But Who Will Do Investigative Reporting Without Newspapers?

from the someone-will-find-a-way... dept

Pat was the first of a few of you to send in this amazing investigative report done by the folks at The Smoking Gun, outing a bunch of "griefers" who go by the name Pranknet and who have caused a tremendous amount of trouble and damage throughout the US with their phone-based pranks. The story is fascinating for a variety of reasons, and well worth reading, but it (once again) highlights the fact that detailed deep investigative reporting isn't something that only newspapers can do. The reporters from TSG went well-beyond your typical investigative report as well. Rather than just outing the "leader" of the group, they tracked down numerous accomplices (many of whom insisted they couldn't be found) and outed them all. Apparently police and the FBI had been trying to track down members of this group for a while, but some good old investigative reporting -- from a website -- beat them to it.
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Filed Under: griefers, investigative reporting, pranknet
Companies: the smoking gun


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  1. identicon
    The Rage, 12 Aug 2009 @ 1:14am

    The Modern SO-Called Journalists.

    It's a shame that bloggers HAVE to carry the load now. (the movement pretty much created by Matt Drudge back in the 1990's). Why?. Because the last 2-decades of journalists aren't only arrogant, they are fantastically LAZY...You call a local news station or paper with something happening. They want YOU to send them the pictures, write the story, then submit it for FREE! What are they doing?. Usually downloading "canned" news (From the Net OR satellite) to act as filler for their multitude of repetitive newscasts thruout the day.
    Unless something just "falls into their laps", the so-called "newspeople" are going to go hunt anything down themselves. Sometimes, it's the station management that is too CHEAP to actually pay the gas to go drive to a story. I witnessed a utility pole falling and blocking a section of a street next to the mighty University of SC. It just fell on it's own from rot. Called Channel 10 on my cell (this thing was blocking the road/narily missing a car)..It was a Sunday morning I called. GOt a dude in Master Control. He not only 1)Didn't have a newscrew OR even a free-lancer available, he 2)Wasn't going to call one even though the story was only 5 BLOCKS from the station's backdoor and the real kicker 4)He admitted his management didn't want to piss-off either the power company (who's pole it was) OR putting USC in a "bad light". In other words, PROTECT the Status Quo!. I told him in disgust that it was too BAD no one got KILLED by the pole so WIS would get off their dead-asses to cover it.

    I called the three other stations and NONE of them would dispatch. I finally got intouch with a couple of online publications however. They got a pix of it, wrote the story, AND added the obvious question "How many MORE utility poles are unsafe SCE&G??? (This was tied in with the fact South Carolina Electric and Gas had charged ratepayers extra to hire a company just to inspect ALL poles in the SC Midlands nary 10 months before)..

    TO get a Journalism Degree now is like the old General Studies program alot of colleges had. It's for those too lazy, undisciplined, and/or STUPID to go into business or even teaching!..ESPECIALLY if you're a hot-looking Bimbo who's only asset IS her looks. But it's the way of life. When an individual or business starts just "phoning it in" (going thru the motions), there forms a vacumn someone else finds an opportunity..

    Right on BLOGGER!!!!..Keep up the spirit of Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine..The PEN/Keyboard IS mightier than the sword!

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