David Carr’s column about investigative reporting, in the New York Times, makes for compelling reading. An excerpt:
Serious reporting usd to be baked into the business, but under pressure from the public markets or their private equity owners, newsrooms have been cutting foreign bureaus, Washington reporters and investigative capacity. Under this model, the newsroom is no longer the core purpose of media, it’s just overhead.
At the same time, the consumer is feeling more empowered, with Google, Digg and all manner of RSS feeds pushing current data to their desktops. But Google and Digg never made a phone call, never asked hard questions of public officials, never got an innocent man out of jail.
The smartest Web robot in the world is going to come back dumb if there is nothing out there to crawl across. Thousands of bloggers could type for a millennium and not come up with the kind of deeply reported story that freed innocent men — an effort that takes years of inquiry, deep sources and a touch for making unholy secrets knowable.