Sunday, 13 December 2009

World Media Congress: Nothing called investigative journalism

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 3: Senior journalist Nick Davies feels that there's a threat to "so-called" investigative journalism.
"The threat is commercialism. Commercial pressure that has come piling down on publications is taking time away from reporting," he told the world press summit here on Thursday.
Nick Davies had won several awards including journalist of the year, reporter of the year and feature writer of the year. "All journalism is investigative," he said adding that a lot of news today consists of garbage such as celebrity news.
"This isn't journalism. It's constitutionally free, but it's garbage. If you come across journalists that say they are investigative journalists, you have people with a personality problem. That's like saying the water in a bottle is wet," he pointed out.
Long-term journalism usually occurs because someone is deliberately trying to construct information reporters need, Nick David said, adding that "it's all an attempt to uncover the truth". There is a threat to this so called investigative journalism, he said. The threat is commercialism.
He said a study involving several leading dailies in the UK suggested that 12 per cent of their facts had not been checked. "You take away our time. You take away our ability to do our jobs," he said.
Looking in a micro perspective of journalism, there is that possibility that journalists will still be able to have arguments about getting more time for stories, but in a macro perspective, the solution is difficult to see, he said.
"The value of journalists is different than the executives and businessmen, who run the newspaper and it needs to be recognised. Journalists should be able to select the stories that are important, find the truth and tell the truth," Nick observed.

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