Featured: Top of Home Page

Muckraking, the Internet and Wasted Potential

Amy DePaul

It’s a shame that news organizations are using the Internet mostly as a hurry-up medium, leaning on already-overworked reporters to feed morsels of information to their websites while struggling to complete daily news assignments.

Instead, news organizations should be telling more complex and longer stories and presenting the results of more investigations online – a setting where content can take many forms and is not limited by page length.

The case for better use of the Internet – and more realistic job duties for reporters currently enslaved to it – is articulated by Brant Houston, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. and professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In an online exchange, Houston writes:

“The Web has increased expectations that managers [aka editors] have of journalists so that now managers hope that any journalist can report 24/7, shoot video, and possibly do an audio-cast. We hope that in the coming months a more reasonable set of duties will emerge so that quality is not diminished.”

Houston goes on to tout the Internet’s potential on a large scale, saying it “already has had a profound effect on the quality of news gathering and the presentation of investigative work,” citing two websites that make investigative journalism their sole mission: the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

“So long as journalists continue to use proven methods of establishing accuracy and credibility,” Houston concludes, “the Web will allow them to get more context and depth for all their stories.”

So how about it? Let’s have more juicy local investigations intended for presentation on the Web. This might be one way to establish a strong Internet presence, get the space needed to present investigative findings, and please corporate bottom-liners who want newspapers to focus on local news. Now if the bottom-liners would just pay for a few extra hands on deck so that beat reporters could get the time to make it happen…

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.

Film

From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.

Music

'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.

Music

​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.

Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.

Music

Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Music

Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.

Music

Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.