Investigative Journalism and Public Virtue
This book is the culmination of more than a decade of research and writing on the nature of investigative journalism as a form of social and moral inquiry. Focusing on the work of a number of award-winning investigative reporters, James S. Ettema and Theodore L. Glasser punctuate their analysis of news and journalism with interviews with these writers and excerpts from their stories. Custodians of Conscience provides a powerful assessment and critique of the tensions and contradictions that characterize modern American journalism. It is a book that honors the rigor and importance of investigative journalism by showing how facts implicate values and by explaining why the future of news requires a deeper appreciation for the connection between human knowledge and human interest.
"The most thoughtful book in years about the intellectual assumptions behind investigative journalism.... It's hard to imagine any journalist who wouldn't do investigative reporting more thoughtfully, or any citizen who wouldn't read it more insightfully, after this two-teacher seminar." — Carlin Romano, The Philadelphia Inquirer
"The most important book about journalism to be published in years. Journalists, students, and teachers can here experience more intensely the triumphs of investigative reporting and the moral ambiguities of the craft. This book marries the stylistic grace of good journalism with the penetrating insight of sound scholarship. It pays journalism the highest compliment by taking it seriously, and is sure to be a touchstone volume in its field." — James W. Carey, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University
"At a time when a revolution in communications technology and the economics by which it is organized is radically changing journalism and causing journalists to question their traditional standards and values, along come James Ettema and Theodore Glasser to begin a conversation that could lead to a new rhetoric for a powerful new journalism of the future. Carefully reported, analyzed, and argued, this is an important book that has to be read by anyone concerned for a self governing society and the future of a journalism which truly serves the public interest." — Bill Kovach, Curator, Nieman Foundation at Harvard University
"The authors let readers in on lots of craft talk-how investigative journalism is conducted, why it happens, what impact it has on the larger society. They demonstrate that investigative journalists simultaneously validate and shake up the prevailing social order." — Steve Weinberg, Author of The Reporter's Handbook: An Investigator's Guide to Documents and Techniques
Winner, 1998 Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism, 1998 Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism (Research About Journalism Category), 1998 Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award