Investigative check-in: how are we doing?

Is the current focus on chasing down apps and tweets, instead of graft and corruption, taking us off our game? Some worry that the fourth estate has lost its tenacity. For several years now, journalists have pointed to dwindling investigative resources as the heart of the problem. Initiatives like the Canadian Centre for Investigative Reporting, launched in 2008, were created to revive the art of digging. Globally, new resources and tools have been mustered, like Investigative Dashboard, and a number of journalism schools have embraced investigative learning. Programs like APTN Investigates are investing in research, a strategy that pays off in the long run with breaking news.

There’s no doubt solid investigative work costs money up front. Algonquin College has embraced the novel approach of raising donations to finance projects. The Tyee has done the same, giving rise to a new set of ethical questions. This year, J-Source’s Integrity Award honoured investigative journalism. But how are we doing in the long run? Have the grassroots, journo-powered initiatives of recent years changed anything? Are we turning the trend around in our workplaces? What do you think?