I is for Investigative Journalism

IThey were loud, chaotic and probably all smoked. They were often politically incorrect and cocky, but by jove, were they full of journalistic passion.

But newsrooms aren’t like they used to be in the movies. They’re full of Macs, not typewriters, digital cameras instead of those huge flash-bulb ones…and nobody in the office is wearing a hat that says PRESS.

Instead, we’re all drinking mocha frappuccino’s and chances are new products, new magazines, and new personalities are all being made to serve new audiences in new ways.

urlBut, just over a year ago when I made the transition from a nobody to a somebody, I stepped into my first ‘newsroom’ and it felt like some tectonic plate of destiny shifted. For a moment everything turned black and white, typewriters clattered, editors yelled, cigarettes smouldered in the corner of people’s mouths as they wound their fingers round the phones with hopelessly twisted cords.

In those days, everything happened at such a hurry-up pace. The passion for breaking a story was not only tangible but palpable and visible. You could almost feel the smugness from a journalist as they whispered on the phone “off the record”.

ReporterAnd these days, I’ve been reminded of that passion. As a journalist you’re always yearning for that story, you want to be the first to break it. You become that investigator, and it makes it all the more exciting.

Investigative journalism is real journalism. Not the fluff people write just to make money or headlines.

Real journalism is spending days, weeks, months or even years researching and preparing a report, making sure that all the facts are correct, you have an original angle, and you’re revealing the truth. This is when the movies get it right. You use the phrases “off the record”, “anonymous source”…and yes you keep your sources to yourself.

The smile on your face couldn’t be bigger when someone calls the office and asks to speak to you. That’s right, you’ve never met them but they know your name, and they’re calling for you.

Lois Lane. Over and Out.

|| Part of the A to Z Challenge ||

A post a day except Sunday for the month of April to cover topics beginning with each letter of the alphabet.

Previously on A to Z:

H is for Hibernate

G is for the Great South Run

F is for The Fureys

E is for Everlasting Gobstoppers

D is for Derren Brown

C is for Coffee

B is for Bill Bailey

A is for Avocado


19 responses to “I is for Investigative Journalism

  1. “and nobody in the office is wearing a hat that says PRESS.”

    Noooooooooooooo! Stop spoiling my dreams! Next you’ll be telling me girls don’t have pillow fights in their underwear whenever there are no boys about!

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