Watchdog Journalism: The Act of Investigative Writing

Paperback | August 26, 2008

byStephen J. Berry

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In Watchdog Journalism, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Stephen Berry analyzes the genesis, development, and outcome of six award winning investigative stories. This textbook, primarily intended for courses on investigative reporting, but of real interest to journalism majors andprofessionals in the field, draws a straight line between the role of reporter and public discourse in a free society. Specifically, the text best reflects proper investigative reporting techniques through a case study approach that examines each of the journalistic pieces in-depth. In particular, Berry reveals, 1) how great investigative stories evolve; 2) how journalists view their role as public watchdog; and 3)how crucial a model of ethical reporting standards is to advancing the role of journalism in our society. Berry underscores his analysis with information obtained through interviews with the respective journalist or journalistic teams. These interviews reveal the experiences of each journalistthrough each step in the reporting and writing process, as the author explains, "I let the journalists show you how it worked on their stories and reveal what they were thinking while they worked."(p.3)

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From the Publisher

In Watchdog Journalism, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Stephen Berry analyzes the genesis, development, and outcome of six award winning investigative stories. This textbook, primarily intended for courses on investigative reporting, but of real interest to journalism majors andprofessionals in the field, draws a straight line betwe...

Stephen Berry is an Associate Professor at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.1 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:August 26, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195374029

ISBN - 13:9780195374025

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Investigative Mentality Exposes Cash-Seizure Abuse2. Secret Sources, Documents Unlock Dark Secret3. Persistence, Empathy Used in Tracking Tiger Force Terror4. Soft Touch Shows Ship Breaking Kills, Maims5. Paper Trail Reveals Exploitation of Mentally Ill6. Daily Coverage Key to Hospital HorrorsConclusionsDiscussion QuestionsAppendix A: Court Record in Chapter IIAppendix B: Coy Allegation in Chapter III

Editorial Reviews

"Berry has broken new ground for the insider analysis of important journalism. Typically, books about modern reporting tend either to be triumphalist (crusading newshounds bring down bad guys) or jeremiads (how the news system has collapsed). But Berry portrays Pulitzer Prize reporting teams as human beings, as well as craftspeople. More important, he shows the shades of gray and the complexities that his protagonists try to translate into black-and-white print and that often stymie 'solutions' to the scandals uncovered. We get an inside look at the many political, emotional, and historical factors that produced reporting that saved lives, but also split a community. This is a book that should be read by every journalist as well as everyone in the academy who thinks of him or herself as a critic of journalism."--David D. Perlmutter, William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, University of Kansas