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
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2009 @ 5:10am

    You always miss the point Mike. Anyone can do investigative reporting. The question is how often and how well?

    When will TSG do their next investigation? A few days? Years? Who knows. This may not be something done with the intention of breaking the news, rather a couple of guys pissed off who want to know who it is behind these pranks. Will they ever "investigate" anything again?

    It's the same as my opinion of pro versus amateur reporters, videographers, etc. When it's raining, when it's cold, when it's too far away, the amateurs stay home and the pros go do the work. Would TSG spend as much time investigating backed up sewers or a line painting contract that had a kickback in it? Probably not. A pro would do their job and investigate whatever is next. Amateurs do it as a hobby. The results are often interesting, but rarely consistant.

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