Oh Look, Bloggers Can Do Investigative Reporting Too

from the funny-how-that-works dept

Whenever we talk about bloggers or others outside the mainstream press doing some kind of investigative reporting, some traditional journalists tend to stop by and complain that even if it was done this one time by this one individual, that individual won't stick around and do any future investigative reporting. However, that seems to miss the point. With the new tools of production these days, the simple fact is that if there's a story to get out, anyone can now get it out there and get it attention. If they only do it once in their lives, that's great. The next story will be done by someone else. Again, this isn't to knock professional reporters -- who I still believe strongly have a place in this ecosystem. But the complaints that investigative reporting simply won't be done without newspapers still rings incredibly hollow.

In the latest example, sent in by Chris, a blogger in Florida has apparently been doing an excellent job breaking a number of key stories concerning a recent murder. Even the local police say they're now seriously investigating leads brought to their attention by this guy's reporting -- even as the local mainstream press continued to argue against what the guy was reporting. It's still not settled what happened exactly, and some of the blogger's ideas may not turn out to be true, but as the NY Times notes, he has not yet had to retract any of his posts, and many of the factual points he's raised have later proved to be true.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Dear Lord,

    Whatever religion's God is actually right, I implore your righteous ass, do NOT let the murderer in this case turn out to be the blogger.

    Because then I'll have to listen to Bill O'Reilly and Chris Hanson and every other two-bit government mouthpiece stomp around the media for days and days using this guy as an example of all bloggers/new media/etc.

    So if you have an ounce of compassion in your godly heart, which looking around is highly suspect, please make sure that doesn't happen.

    Or else it's war.

    Love,

    Dark Helmet

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

      Re: Dear Lord,

      this was my first thought as well.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 5:17pm

      Re: Dear Lord,

      That was also my first thought about this issue, either his accurate facts are determined by deductive reasoning or by witnessing them.

      And a primary witness is always the perpetrator, or as the cops refer to them as "a person of interest".

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 5:03pm

    So if I want to know about murders in Pensacola, I will consult bloggers. Otherwise, I will stick with trusted news services.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 17th, 2009 @ 5:11pm

      Re:

      "So if I want to know about murders in Pensacola, I will consult bloggers. Otherwise, I will stick with trusted news services."

      ...You will? Which vaunted trusted news sources are these, that don't report incorrect information or sensationalize murder trials? Old media has been around a long time and we STILL don't have an answer for the murder of Kennedy, so I'm confused as to who you're trusting...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 6:09pm

        Re: Re:

        There's the point: The media's primary job isn't to solve murders, they are to report the facts as they have them. Investigative reporting is a secondary or tertiary part of the job.

        If you want a murder solved, ask the police. If I want to know what the police are saying about a murder, I read the news.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 5:14pm

    Damn fool.

    If he knows enough to be taken serious then he by definition a person of interest in the crime.

    If he is a person of interest and he knows non public information then he is the guilty party, an accessory, or an access after the fact and open to arrest.

    This is the way innocent people go to jail for crimes they did not commit. You hear about one or two such cases a year after they spent 20 years or more on death row.

     

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    Seth Finkelstein, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 6:58pm

    Logical flaw

    "The next story will be done by someone else."

    Proof by assertion to those who want to believe it?

    How do you know what DIDN'T get done because nobody volunteered to do it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 7:37pm

    I love how you can find one or two examples of a blogger doing some sort of investigative journalism and consider that strong evidence that society is ready to eliminate newspapers. You're embarrassing yourself. Don't pretend like you're not. It's a weak case - and you are actually hurting your argument because in this case you, as a blogger, are grossly misinterpreting and misrepresenting the data and therefor doing a poor job of reporting. This actually this borders on being yellow. Nice job bud. Way to help your cause.

    I enjoy reading some news. And I enjoy reading some blogs. But let's be clear, we need them both. Why? Because people want both. That's why. Not everybody wants newspapers to die, despite your relentless campaign to bring their death to fruition.

    So Please, quit pretending like you are doing anybody a favor by riding this "death of newspapers" bandwagon. It's getting old, and was yesterday's "news".

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

      Re:

      Ok, Mr Murdoch, back in your box now.

       

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      Danny, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 7:11am

      Re:

      Ummmm....
      ...you can find one or two examples of a blogger doing some sort of investigative journalism and consider that strong evidence that society is ready to eliminate newspapers.

      Again, this isn't to knock professional reporters -- who I still believe strongly have a place in this ecosystem.
      So saying that professional reporters still have a place in this ecosystem but suggesting that they cannot merely rest on their laurels, which actually would result in them being eliminated, is a claim that society is ready to move on from newspapers?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 8:41am

      Re:

      "I enjoy reading some news. And I enjoy reading some blogs. But let's be clear, we need them both. Why? Because people want both. That's why. Not everybody wants newspapers to die, despite your relentless campaign to bring their death to fruition.

      So Please, quit pretending like you are doing anybody a favor by riding this "death of newspapers" bandwagon. It's getting old, and was yesterday's "news"."

      Mike has never said he wanted newspapers to die, so your whole rant is quite pointless. The newspapers themselves are saying they're dying, and saying that they need to be "saved". Mike's just pointing out that saving them isn't our job, it's their job.

      If newspapers die out, it's because people stopped caring about them. Just like any other business that's collapsed.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 7:50pm

    "Oh Look, Bloggers Can Do Investigative Reporting Too"

    I have seen dancing bears at a circus, doesn't mean one it going to win Dancing With Stars.

     

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    Beefcake, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 8:58pm

    Funny

    The fact that the state of the industry is such that it's now a news story when someone reports the news. Either good or bad-- I have no idea which.

     

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    Beefcake, Aug 17th, 2009 @ 8:59pm

    Funny

    The fact that the state of the industry is such that it's now a news story when someone reports the news. Either good or bad-- I have no idea which.

     

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    Esahc (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    News

    It is my honest belief that if the newspapers actually did more investigative, non-biased, reporting they wouldn't be going down the financial shit hole.

    If a blogger can do a better job than a "reporter" then the blogger deserves the eyes & money that comes with success. That is competition, that is capitalism.

    In my town we recently has a string of murders, all having some odd similarities. The local paper barley gives a mention on page 3 and no updates since to the investigation. Withing newspapers website, on the comments to the tiny article are around 300 comments begging for more reporting. It's been three months and nothing.

     

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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Aug 18th, 2009 @ 6:29pm

    Yes they can. But someone still has to pay their bills.

    This is exactly what I have done for over a decade for the invention promotion industry and that is why they run around trying to trash my reputation. Some of the people behind the frauds are literally raking in tens of millions a year.

    What we do to help inventors avoid being fleeced.
    1) We compile victim stories and when we have enough evidence we list the offending companies at www.InventorEd.org/caution/list/.
    2) We track who the owners are, management, sales people and bad apple attorneys who facilitate their conduct.

    3) We show victims how and where to file complaints and after we get enough complaints we encourage all of the complainants to refile in a cluster. This helps make the worst players rise above the noise and often leads to them getting the kind of attention they have justly earned.

    4) We supply compiled data to law enforcement and media on request.

    5) We do not broadcast any information which might alert the perps that they have become the subject of interest.

    6) We cooperate with other organizations with similar goals.

    7) When a scumbag atty threatens us on behalf of some shyster promoter we generally publish their threats on internet to save them the trouble of threatening others.

    8) We have a broad spectrum of volunteers and conduct investigations into the most obnoxious promoters, followed by submitting what we learn to the authorities.

    9) Behind every questionable invention promoter there are always questionable patent attorneys. In fact, many of the silly patents which are issued are the work of invention promotion companies. We track who the attorneys are writing those patents (most do not list their names on the patent), and we encourage those who have been damaged to submit complaints to the Office of Enrollment and Discipline at the USPTO. In a number of cases those attorneys have been sanctioned. One is still a fugitive from justice:)

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

      Re: Yes they can. But someone still has to pay their bills.

      OK... um... what exactly does this have to do with the article?

       

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    april, Aug 18th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

    help

    lol.... i don't know how to make an investigative report... help me...

     

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    aaron fleszar, Jun 8th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Supressed Story

    Is investigative journalism dead?

    I wasn’t sure where to post this, it’s of critical importance though that intelligent people read this and understands it. The future for America is in jeopardy. Whether you’re motivated to become a highly paid journalist, make a name for yourself, or become a part of history, in order to live in a free democratic society, I urge you to read this, draw your own conclusions, and share it with the world.

    My name is Aaron Fleszar, you don’t know me, but the story I want to share with you is 100% true. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. Whether you believe me or not, I ask that you read this all the way through, because there’s plenty to research and form your own opinion.

    In March of 2008 I cracked a code online that is written across thousands of websites. These websites are selling every money making opportunity you can think of, from mystery shopping, to paid surveys, to every aspect of affiliate marketing and affiliate marketing education. By making fun of a group of scam artists, I discovered that this group is enormous, highly sophisticated, and positioned to make billions by destroying the US economy. They are Al-Qaeda.

    When I first cracked this code I reported it to the FBI. A number of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists make up this code. For example, Wanted Seif al-Adel is claiming to be Mark Joyner and Noordin M Top is claiming to be Armand Morin wanted for the financing of Al-Qaeda. The code is made up of aliases with some political overtones, look a likes of CEO’s, and media moguls. It’s sophisticated, it’s dynamic, and if there was anything remotely easy about breaking it, the feds would have done it long before me.

    Without going into great detail and allowing you to follow up on the code itself, I’ll share with you what I got out of it. A great deal of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists make up this code. This means whoever these people are, they must not be “on the run” and acting alone, but rather have always been part of this organization. This organization, Al-Qaeda online, appears to have run the last presidential election on the most highly ranked site in Google search, Youtube. Now I never thought anything about Obama, but it appears that Osama Bin Laden, much like these “internet marketing experts” who are terrorists, may have only been a spokesperson. It also appears that Osama’s name is a code and that Osama represents Obama and Biden (Bi)n La(den). It sounds ridiculous, but these people have been putting this code together for decades.

    9/11 itself was an intelligence failure of epic proportions. It appears that the events of 9/11 were a stepping stone to a much larger plan. That plan appears to be to overthrow the US government. I believe the attacks on 9/11 were symbolic to an attack on capitalism, our foundation. I believe that the FBI had a similar theory about Obama, given his background with radicals such as Bill Ayers, and radical preachers. I’m sure they also thought Osama Bin Laden could be a code, and that the most wanted terrorists having connections to US embassy bombings in Kenya and Indonesia was more than a freak coincidence for Obama to have a background with both areas as well. This code online connects the dots between everyone’s theories.

    It appears that a coup has taken place. Since Obama got elected, it appears unelected officials in Washington are using him to flush out the remaining members of the “New World Order” plot. After being tortured for over 3 years now, denied speaking with anyone in government, denied an attorney, denied a lawsuit in federal court, not to mention a million other things, I’ve been able to deduce quite a bit. The feds have also slowly taken over the media over the last several years.

    The feds are creating the stories, the headlines, they’ve recruited writers and moderators, and are doing everything they can to control the rate at which this information leaks out. They are trying to get everyone to focus on the 2012 election while discrediting the media. The only people left on this earth who can spread the truth are bloggers who understand the importance of this story and their first amendment rights.

    In attempting to release this story a month ago, the government took a preemptive strike by releasing Obama’s birth certificate, then a few days later, fabricated the story about killing Osama Bin Laden. Several major news sites are not allowing new registrations, comments are being deleted, and many un-moderated sites are now moderated. If they cannot delete a comment that starts to get attention, they’ll pull the link to the story from the main page on the site, this has happened repeatedly at Yahoo and The Huffington Post. The feds had ample time before the election to take down the biggest players, which would have created enough chatter publicly to take down any remaining threat. They decided that justice isn’t served in a court of law. The feds are covering up this story and confusing national security with job security. If you don’t want to live in a totalitarian regime operated by unelected officials turning elected officials in puppets, expose this story.

    Thank you,
    Aaron Fleszar

    http://illuminaticonspiracy.blogspot.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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