The Importance of Investigative Journalism in Today’s World

1. Introduction

Today, the media is an inseparable part of our lives. We rely on it for news, entertainment and even education. The media has a great impact on the society and it is difficult to imagine the society without it.

The media plays an important role in democracy and good governance. It acts as a watchdog that keeps an eye on the government and other institutions of power. The media can help to exposed corruption and malpractices. It can also play a positive role in promoting transparency and accountability.

Investigative journalism is one of the most important forms of journalism. It involves investigating into matters of public interest and bringing out the truth. It is often riskier and more challenging than other forms of journalism. But it is also more rewarding as it can bring about positive change in society.

In this essay, we will discuss the importance of investigative journalism in today’s world. We will look at its legal aspects, resources and how it is practiced by different media houses. We will also see how social media and advertising are affecting investigative journalism. Lastly, we will discuss why public interest is essential for investigative journalism.

2. What is investigative journalism?

Investigative journalism can be defined as “a form of journalism that investigates into matters of public interest and brings out the truth” (Understanding Investigative Journalism, 2018). It includes uncovering hidden facts and secrets, often through the use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests or confidential sources.

Investigative journalists often have to go up against powerful people or institutions. They may face threats or violence for their work. But they do not give up easily as they believe in the power of truth and its ability to bring about change.

3. The legal aspects of investigative journalism

There are many legal aspects to consider when practising investigative journalism. These include defamation law, privacy law, contempt law, data protection law, freedom of information law etc. (Watershed Media Law Resource, 2018). Journalists need to be aware of these laws and how they can be used to protect their sources and themselves from legal action.

4. Resources for investigative journalism

There are many resources available for investigative journalists today. These include databases, search engines, social media platforms etc. Journalists can use these resources to find information or verify facts. They can also use them to reach out to sources or connect with fellow journalists.

5. Media houses and investigative journalism

Investigative journalism is often associated with big media houses like The New York Times, The Washington Post etc. But this is not always the case. There are many small media organisations that are doing excellent investigative work. These include ProPublica, The Marshall Project etc. (The Top 18 Investigative Journalism Organizations You Need To Know About In 2018, 2018).

6. Social media and investigative journalism

Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are changing the way investigative journalism is practiced. Journalists can use social media to reach out to sources, crowdsource information or even break news. But they need to be careful about the accuracy of the information they find on social media.

7. Advertising and investigative journalism

Advertising is an important source of revenue for media organisations. But it can also be a source of conflict of interest. Investigative journalists need to be independent and impartial in their work. But they may be influenced by the advertising revenue that their organisation receives.

8. Public interest and investigative journalism

Investigative journalism is often done in the public interest. It is important for journalists to keep the public informed about matters of public concern. But they should also be aware of the sensitivity of the information they are dealing with. They need to balance the public’s right to know with the individual’s right to privacy.

9. Conclusion

Investigative journalism is a vital form of journalism that helps to uncover hidden truths and expose corruption. It is important for journalists to be aware of the legal aspects of investigative journalism and use resources carefully. Media organisations need to provide support and resources for investigative journalists. And finally, public interest is essential for investigative journalism to thrive.


Investigative journalism is important in today's world because it helps to uncover the truth and hold those in power accountable.

Some of the most notable examples of investigative journalism in recent years include the Panama Papers, which exposed corruption and tax evasion among the world's elite, and the Paradise Papers, which did likewise.

Readers can support and encourage investigative journalists by subscribing to their work, sharing their articles, and donating to their causes.