|Chinese investigative journalism in the twenty-first century
|de Burgh, H.
The term investigative journalism was originally applied to a phenomenon of particularly detailed, sometimes revelatory and perhaps subversive reports by English and American journalists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the expression ‘muckrakers’ was also used. There was a largely unspoken assumption that this category of journalism was not necessarily covering events and activities on the generally recognised agenda, but finding out that which was hidden from the public. It was an epiphenomenon of relatively open societies and in particular of the Anglo-American societies, in which journalists were expected to challenge authority and its definitions of what mattered. Thus the early heroes of investigative journalism are William Cobbett, Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair and W.T. Stead, for example, and the iconic examples are William Russell’s Crimean War dispatches, Winston Churchill’s 1930s exposure of German rearmament, the Sunday Times’s nailing of responsibility for the Thalidomide scandal, the uncovering of the corruption of urban planning in 1970s England, Seymour Hersh’s reports of atrocities in Vietnam and his exposure of torture in Iraq in 2003.1 Since then, there have been many more examples, with perhaps Politkovskaya’s reports from Chechnya, Saviano’s examination of Naples gangsters, and the Daily Telegraph’s revelation of corruption in the British parliament standing out as particularly notable (Hope 2009).
|Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media
|24 Apr 2015
|Place of publication
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)