Some media investigations sway public opinion and serve as the impetus for government reforms, while others, seemingly of equal importance, just die. This volume--the first systematic study of investigative reporting in the post-Watergate era--explores how and why this happens. Based on a decade-long program of research, highlighted by case studies of the life courses of six well-known media investigations and interviews with a national sample of over 800 investigative journalists, this book presents a new theory about the agenda-setting role of media in American society. Chapters examine the historical roots, contemporary nature, and societal impact of investigative journalism. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that depicts muckrakers and policymakers as antagonists, the authors show how investigative journalists often collaborate with officials to set the agenda for reform. The Journalism of Outrage breaks new ground in looking at this controversial form of journalism.
"This is an impressive work, required reading for any student of investigative and public affairs reporting, media ethics, media sociology, or public opinion/political communication. ...Likewise, it should be read in every serious news organization and by anyone with a stake in public policy debates.'' --D. Charles Whitney in Journalism Quarterly "All investigative journalists hope to change society for the better, to have a positive impact on the lives of individuals. But rarely do we know if we are making a difference or reporting and writing in vain. THE JOURNALISM OF OUTRAGE helps answer our questions in a systematic, readable way." --Steve Weinberg, Editor, The IRE Journal, and Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia ..".Two perspectives on journalism--investigative reporting and agenda building--come together in this exciting new book, THE JOURNALISM OF OUTRAGE. This is a creative merger of contemporary case studies, historical background and analysis, and agenda-building theory..." --Maxwell McCombs, Chairman and Jesse H. Jones Centennial Professor in Communication, University of Texas at Austin "The introductory and concluding chapters are informative and accessible to the lay reader, while the intermediate chapters provide investigative reports that are interesting in their own right, with the added insight of an insider. This highly readable book has something to offer anyone with a strong interest in modern investigative journalism." --"Sources" "The bent of this book is academic and sociological, but it has enough case studies and anecdotes to make it a worthwhile addition to a writer's how-to library." --"Freelance" "The six case studies--including such topics as rape, toxic waste, and police brutality--are interesting and well described....The authors not only follow each story from its beginnings to its publication or broadcast, they survey the reporting's impact on elites and the public." --"Journal of Communication" "An illuminating, lucid, and compelling work." --"Political Science Quarterly"