Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Investigative reporting is a journalistic specialty that uses fact-gathering to expose wrongdoing by powerful individuals and institutions. This form of reporting has also been called advocacy, adversarial, crusading, watchdog and public service journalism, or muckraking. Experts have offered varying definitions: some emphasize in-depth reporting that is more time-consuming than traditional daily journalism; others claim that the very phrase “investigative reporting” is redundant since all reporting involves investigation of some kind. According to the nonprofit group Investigative Reporters and Editors, America's leading organization of such journalists, it is “the reporting, through one's own work product and initiative, [of] matters of importance which some person or group want to keep secret” (Shapiro 2003, xv). Nonetheless, despite these varying definitions, the core of investigative reporting throughout American history has been its use of evidence to challenge authority and oppose entrenched power—political, governmental, corporate, or reli-gious—on behalf of ordinary citizens. This “journalism of outrage,” ...