Investigative journalism has always played a role as truth-tellers in societies; unraveling corruption, fraud and other types of issues within the government and institutions, in order to inform the public the truth (investigativereporting.org.uk, 2015).However, with the emergence of the internet, many question the survival of this type of journalism, as the public can easily access information on the net, as well as taking the role of a citizen journalist and contribute information to the public.
As news organisations have shifted to the online medium, print newsrooms were greatly affected and were forced to reduce their size and operations. Due to the poor economy, newsrooms are operating on only a small number of staff and money and are unable to afford the costly services of a highly trained and experienced investigative reporters (Fisher, 2013).
Although it may seem as if the internet is the cause of investigative journalism’s downfall, it actually is able to provide new methods for this type of journalism such as including multimedia formats. If a journalist is able to adapt to the technology trends and use online videos and photos as an advantage to tell complex investigative news stories to online audiences, investigative journalism will definitely survive.
One of the reasons as to why investigative journalism are not able to thrive in Malaysia however, is largely due to the restriction from the law. Journalists here do not have the privilege of freedom of speech such as in the United States, and any controversial findings will always be banned or questioned by the courts.
But with the emergence of the internet, investigative journalism has slowly been practiced in Malaysia, which can be seen in the leaked information of the 1MDB case. In an article written in the Malaysian Insider (2015), David Kaplan, who heads the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), said attempts to clampdown on the media were useless as people would always turn to the internet.
Fisher, J. (2013). Jim Fisher True Crime. [online] Jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.my. Available at: http://Jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.my [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015].
investigativereporting.org.uk, (2015). Can investigative journalism survive? – investigativereporting.org.uk. [online] Available at: http://investigativereporting.org.uk/can-investigative-journalism-survive/ [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015].
JRN3001 The Survival of Investigative Journalism: study book, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
Shukri, A. (2015). It’s the digital age, award-winning US journalist tells Najib over media blockage – The Malaysian Insider. [online] Themalaysianinsider.com. Available at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/its-the-digital-age-award-winning-us-journalist-tells-najib-over-media-bloc [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015].