Essay: Investigative journalism

Investigative journalism seeks to expose unethical, immoral and illegal behavior by government officials, politicians as well as private citizens. This genre of journalism has the potential to make a worthwhile contribution to society by ‘drawing attention to failures within society’s systems of regulation and to the ways in which those systems can be circumvented by the rich, the powerful and the corrupt” Investigative reports show how individual wrongs are part of a larger pattern of negligence or abuse and the systems that make these possible. They examine what went wrong and show who suffered from the mistakes. They probe not just what is criminal or illegal, but also what may be legal and overboard but nonetheless harmful”.
As for me, my favorite definition of investigation journalism is ‘material, based usually on own work and initiative on the important topics that individuals and organizations would like to keep secret’. This definition connected with the brightest example of investigative journalism. I mean Watergate scandal, in which the president of the United States Richard Nixon was forced to resign.
Watergate affair began in the following way: June 17, 1972 Washington police arrested five men on suspicion of illegal entry and listening to the hotel “Watergate” – the headquarters of the Democratic Party. President Nixon denied the possibility of the involvement of the White House in the scandal, saying that there was no attempt to listen.Relying heavily upon anonymous sources, The Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered information suggesting that knowledge of the break-in, and attempts to cover it up, led deeply into the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and the White House. Despite the implicit and obvious resistance to the White House, Woodward and Bernstein, step by step continued their investigation. They have made titanic efforts to find out the names of everyone who was involved in the Watergate scandal. And they did it.
All sensational details became known to the American public after correspondents of the “Washington Post” published their article. They decoded phone records of the president, which proved his involvement in the scandal. Thanks to them readers know the true picture of the “Watergate”, which the government tried to silence.
August 9, 1973 Richard Nixon resigned voluntarily. After the Watergate scandal American press received a real opportunity to pretend to be the “fourth power” in the United States. “Watergate affair” has been called the greatest triumph of journalism of the XX century. Woodward and Bernstein became national heroes. Journalistic profession became fashionable in America and hugely popular.

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