Byron Harris is profiled in TVNewsCheck today about the role of investigative reporting in local newsrooms. “The reality is investigative reporting has been disappearing and it will continue to disappear,” Harris, who has been an investigative reporter at WFAA in Dallas for more than 35 years, said. The cause of the decline, according to Harris, is the shifting landscape of local news:
Over the last decade, there have been an increasing number of mergers of broadcast news operations at the local level. Do you think that such mergers are good or bad for investigative reporting?
The fewer the sources, the worse it is for journalism in general and investigative reporting as well. I can say that without fear of equivocation.
Why do you say that?
Well, the more voices there are, the better, especially in television where the people who run television stations really are interested only in making money. They’re not interested in producing investigative reporting in general. So what they want to do is air the least expensive thing that garners the biggest audience, which may or may not be investigative reporting and probably is not investigative reporting. Television news organizations are out there to make money, period.
Read the full article here.