Episode Information

The Future of Investigative Journalism
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
06/12/2008
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Where We Live broadcasts LIVE from Wesleyan University - Investigative Journalism

 

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52:01 minutes (24.97 MB)
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Chris Hedges, David Burnham, and Patrick J. Sloyan on Where We Live: Photo by Celcelia SmithChris Hedges, David Burnham, and Patrick J. Sloyan on Where We Live: Photo by Cecelia SmithDavid Halberstam was one of America’s great journalists, covering civil rights, African conflicts and the Vietnam War. When he was killed in a car accident last spring he was remembered for his vital role in informing the public – not the way the news media does today, with quick pictures and sound bites, but with real investigation. Information that the public needed to know.

Ralph Nader, the consumer activist and Presidential candidate was a boyhood friend of Halberstam, growing up in Winsted, Connecticut.

He proposed a “camp” of sorts for young journalists to honor his memory and to learn from the living masters of what some think is a dying profession.

Future investigative journalists in the audience: Photo by Cecelia SmithFuture investigative journalists in the audience: Photo by Cecelia SmithToday, where we live, we’re broadcasting live from Fisk Hall at Wesleyan University. We’ll be joined by a panel of award-winning journalists taking part in the very first, week-long student investigative Journalism Workshop we’ll talk about the future of investigative journalism. We’re in a classroom with 25 young journalism students from all over the country.

In a media landscape that seems to value flashy pictures, opinion blogs and pundits, is there room for real reporting? And if there’s not room now how do we make room?

See more pictures of Where We Live in Fisk Hall at Wesleyan on WNPR's Flicker Site.

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Maybe newspapers are dying because the people believe that many journalists hold political and economic views with which they disagree. Maybe people believe that these views color the “truth” that the journalists report.

Maybe newspapers are dying because people don’t like the product. Maybe newspapers turned away from the golden age of the 1970s because people didn’t like that product.

People buy products they want. Capitalists invest their money to make a profit. Profits are made by selling products that people want to buy. If people wanted the product the panelists want to sell, “trolls” like Sam Zell would produce that product and make a profit.

Markets aren’t perfectly democratic, but they are a form of democracy. People vote with their dollars.

The panelists viewed the demise of newspapers as the downfall of democracy. Maybe the demise of newspapers is the vindication of democracy.

Bob

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As a current working journalist at a paper in NY
I have seen the number of professional journalists
diminished to almost none. I've seen our paper turned
into a vehicle for entertainment and advertising.

More and more is expected from reporters i.e. do video,
report, write, photograph, all at the same time!

Investigative teams are comprised of veray few people
for an audience of over 3 million.

The future of Journalism seems, unfortunately dim.