Friday, August 19, 2011

GJR criticizes investigative reporting

Former Chicago Tribune reporter and editorial board member in the new Gateway Journalism Review blasts investigative journalists and their editors for concentrating too much on public-affairs reporting and not enough on the private sector.

McCarron appropriately points out that, too often, it's easier to investigate public bodies that, at least on paper, must adhere to Freedom of Information Act rules and similar public-access measures.

However, by charging that focusing on goverenment malfeasance contributes to a public disdain for government, he overlooks the obvious: the facts.

The truth is, some local, state and government officials do act with disregard for the public they purportedly serve. The chips sometimes fall where they may.

It's also true, nevertheless, that reporters must also do the extra shoe-leather work and sourcing needed to cover local businesses, corporations and interests that are far less transparent than government is at least supposed to be. Otherwise, such prominent forces in the community are not fully covered.