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Investigative reporting is the gold standard of journalistic enterprise and it is essential to the role of high quality news in a democratic society. It is also expensive and time-consuming, and as commercial journalism in America has suffered declining revenues and cuts to its workforce, the presence of investigative reporting has diminished.
With immense community support, WBUR has launched an investigative reporting unit to fill this critical gap and to ensure individual and institutional accountability.
OUR PLAN: LAUNCHING AN INVESTIGATIVE UNIT
So far, generous support through The Campaign for WBUR has enabled us to hire three journalists for this team: an editor, a senior reporter and a data journalist. The WBUR Investigations team will use all the platforms available to us–radio, website, social media, videos, in-person public events, podcasts, digital photography and data visualization–to powerfully report and distribute investigative journalism with great impact.
You can read their first series, published in March 2020, and other work here.
The Investigations team will conduct a range of work, including:
- Researching and producing comprehensive series, each consisting of long-form stories delivered on-air and online. Series will be complemented by expert analysis and commentary featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Radio Boston. The team will discuss their findings with the public at CitySpace.
- Reporting on independent stories. With the capacity to be more responsive to leads and respond to fast-changing events, we will produce timely individual stories and segments for broadcast and web.
- Teaming up with the award-winning WBUR newsroom to pursue leads and cover stories. There will be strong communication between our investigative and the rest of the newsroom. Colleagues will share tips and leads, and in some cases, will jointly report on unfolding stories.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Investigative journalism is one of the most expensive types of reporting because it requires significant time and persistence to conduct and produce. It is designed to uncover the myriad effects of unchecked power and abuse, and the times in which we live demand such journalism.
We seek to raise $1.5 million to launch and sustain this reporting unit – which will be added funds we are investing from our operational budget – a meaningful effort to enrich our communities and our democracy itself.