Journalism is also a profession and as such is bound by its own code of ethics and the code of professional conduct. This means all accredited journalists have to follow the strictest guidelines on certain matters such as confidentiality of their sources and how information in their reports was obtained in the first place. Its primary purpose is supposedly to discover or uncover the truth in many diverse areas of public interest such as organized crime syndicates, government corruption or corporate shenanigans of which there are many examples.
Investigative journalism serves an important purpose in bringing to light anomalous or unethical practices and policies in either the government or corporate world because it is a form of journalism beyond the usual purview of regulators, the courts or the police system. It aims to correct these wrong practices by making the public aware of them and influencing all those affected to mend their ways and find alternative solutions. This brief paper tries to seek and discuss the importance and drawbacks of this special form of journalism.
The recent unsavory events involving investigative journalism such as phone hacking has led to the public questioning the value and to what extent or limits is investigative reports are valid or not; this had caused the government to form an official inquiry as to its nature. It had in prior years managed to expose a good number of public issues which led to positive or at least, caused vital changes to some practices which had remained hidden. A journalist who investigates any valid issue has an extremely high level of patience and persistence; it may be months, years or decades before any sufficient information can be gathered from vital sources such as whistle blowers and it takes special courage to dig this deep.
The common view is that the general public is largely in favour of investigations that help to