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Investigative Journalism

Does such a thing exist any more? I had a conversation earlier today with a lady on this very subject. It came up because of peoples positive comments about the work done by RTEs Prime Time, and particularly their programme last night about estate agents.

The conclusion was that outside of this, there’s not a whole lot of investigative journalism evident in Ireland these days – particularly in our newspapers. Why is this? Is it editorial or financial constraints? Or just laziness?

Many of our newspaper stories these days are copied and pasted from press releases. We in Value Ireland have had 2 incidents where journalists have simply copied and pasted parts of the Value Ireland website directly into newspaper articles – the Cork Evening Echo and the Athlone Advertiser – no credits given for either of them.

We’ve also had the situation where journalists have picked up on stories in one newspaper and then published their version of the exact same story the next day – quoting us even though they hadn’t spoken to us at all.

Something we’d never expected was where magazines have e-mailed us asking for interviews, and instead of speaking to us, they’ve e-mailed questions. We were caught out once where after e-mailing answers to the Irish Entrepreneur magazine, they simply copied our e-mail directly into their magazine article, word for word. Business and Finance approached us sometime after that looking for an interview over e-mail, and when we suggested that they call us, we never heard from them again.

Lazy journalists? Don’t even get me started on the journalist (so-called) who trawl the excellent AskaboutMoney.com for news stories. Twice I personally have been quoted anonymously in Irish National newspapers (Sunday TImes and Irish Independent) through comments I’ve posted on that website.

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