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Investigative Journalism:Role in Society 

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Haider Ali

Investigative journalism is the backbone of a free and democratic society. Its main purpose is to shine a light on hidden truths, unveil corruption, and hold those in the power accountable. With a commitment to impartiality and accuracy, investigative journalists work deep into complex issues, going beyond the surface to present in-depth, well-researched stories that can change lives, shape policies, and make positive change.

Investigative journalism plays an important role in safeguarding democracy and upholding the public’s right to know. While traditional reporting covers daily events and breaking news, investigative journalists take on long-term, often risky assignments, dedicating extensive time and resources to investigate corruption, misuse of power, and injustices. By exposing hidden agendas and revealing inconvenient truths, they empower citizens to make informed decisions and hold leaders accountable for their actions and wring doing.

Investigative journalism is not without its challenges. One of the primary hurdles is access to information. Some governments and organizations refuse journalists from obtaining critical documents or data, making it difficult to uncover the truth. Moreover, whistleblowers who risk their careers and personal safety to share information with journalists may also face retaliation, adding an ethical dimension to the reporter’s responsibility to protect their sources.

Financial issues are another significant challenge. Investigative projects often demand much resources, from travel expenses to legal fees

The impact of investigative journalism on society cannot be overstated. Throughout history, it has been responsible for bringing down corrupt regimes, exposing environmental hazards, and unveiling any misconduct. Watergate scandal, the investigative reporting that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, remains a defining moment in the field. Similarly, the Panama Papers investigation, revealing offshore financial dealings of powerful figures worldwide, sent shockwaves through the global financial system.

Investigative journalism serves as a guardian of democracy, revealing truths that would otherwise remain hidden. It acts as a check on power, ensuring that public officials and institutions are held accountable for their actions. However, this noble profession is not without challenges, as investigative journalists face obstacles in accessing information and maintaining financial sustainability.

The writer is a student of BS Journalism studies at Punjab University and can be reached at:[email protected].

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