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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:41 pm 
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Jeff Farrell Journalist Website

Independent reporter covering Current Affairs in South America over multimedia platforms

Pulitzer finalist sees ‘hope’ for investigative journalism

Posted on: July 8th, 2014

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Pulitzer finalist Anthony Summers said one book investigation can involve up to a 1,000 interviews.

By Jeff Farrell

An award-winning author has admitted investigative journalism has been starved of resources but said he saw “a glimmer of hope” it would continue and even thrive into the future.

Pulitzer finalist Anthony Summers said book advances have fallen and media outlets have been paring back on costly investigations – meaning the future for the discipline was uncertain.

Summers, whose book on the 9/11 attacks – The Eleventh Day – is described as a “definitive account” of the tragedy, said one book investigation can involve up to a 1,000 interviews.

But despite such journalism was time-consuming, there was “a glimmer of hope” it would continue. The Telegraph, he said, was as an example of a newspaper with a dedicated investigations unit.

“Journalists go
down rabbit
holes and often
find nothing.”

In recent weeks the London broadsheet published an exclusive revealing an international match-fixing scandal involving the president of Ghana’s Football Association.

Robbyn Swan, Summers’ co-author on The Eleventh Day, was not optimistic for the future of independent investigative journalism, and said freelancers should find other sources of income.

“Look at Giganomics,” she said, referring to multiple-jobbers who earn a living through a variety of work.

Discussing the problems faced in complicated investigations, Swan said journalists “have to go down rabbit holes (and then) often found nothing.” But this was necessary to eliminate ‘hunches’.

Summers and Swan were speakers at a masterclass in investigative journalism on Saturday in the Hay book festival in Kells, County Meath. It was chaired by broadcaster Myles Dungan.

Long-time collaborators, Summers and Swan have worked on projects including biographies of Frank Sinatra and Richard Nixon.

The award-winning authors are in the final stages of a book on the Madeleine McCann disappearance.


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