Investigative Journalist Ben Swann speaking at the 2013 Liberty Political Action Conference (LPAC) in Chantilly, Virginia. Photograph: GAGE SKIDMORE (2013)
By RAEVENN BREEN
Ever since the internet age rose to prominence at the turn of the 21st Century, the world of investigative journalism, known by many in the world of news writing as ‘true journalism’ has come to its knees. Why is this so?
Investigative journalism is no age-old phenomenon, instead it became a widely popular form of journalism after the Watergate Scandal of 1972 which saw the Nixon Administration dig around for explanations about the large amount of corruption going on within the ex-governing body of the United States. It involves doing incredible amounts of research, clarification, interviews and constant back-checking before stories are published.
The Internet Age saw a huge turn in events for the print media industry as well as media as a whole. Why so? Simply because everything slowly became available online. Soon enough, a walk to the library became a thing of the past for many and instead, if someone, even a journalist, wanted to look for any information a quick and easy Google search became and still is a dominant feature.
So why exactly has this killed investigative journalism, or to expand, why is the internet slowly making investigative journalism turn into a heaping pile of the past? It’s simple. Laziness.
Only a few journalists around the world are dedicated to the true meaning of what it is to be a real journalist, whilst all the others are forced to say what their editors want them to. Articles get sent to the editor but end up in the papers almost completely re-written, and I can say this from experience. Be it government-influenced or a corporate pay-off, modern journalism has turned into crowd pleasing bias and half-truths.
One of these journalists is Ben Swann. An American investigative journalist who left Fox 19 to pursue a crowd-funded campaign he calls ‘The Truth in Media’. His campaign, so far containing 16 viral videos which have racked up a total of 7 million net views, show people the stories behind world issues such as the Crude Oil question, the European Refugee Crisis and the origins of ISIS/ISIL. Stories which you would never come across on mainstream media.
Can this slow killing of pure journalism be stopped? It’s only a matter of time before people become swallowed up in the hole known as corporate media, a hole which we ourselves dug and made even easier to dig since the dawn of the Internet Age. People like Ben Swann are working effortlessly to make sure we can at least crawl back out and into reality instead of being brainwashed by mainstream media.
Investigative journalism is dying due to the ignorance of the greater global population, simply because it is easier for people to read the cover of a book rather than to turn the book open and to read the entire story.