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Investigative Reporting

While listening to a podcast (Serious Eats) with food critic Ruth Reichl, she spoke excitedly about the future of journalism and storytelling in our technologically-drive era. With a wide variety of mediums at hand, she reflected on the wonder of being able to demonstrate a technique or better convey an experience by adding video rather than being limited to the written word and pictures when they wouldn't suffice as well.

She did have one concern though, “The thing that worries me when I think about the demise of Gourmet [Magazine], is we actually had the money to send people out to do investigative reporting in food. And we need that more than ever now…. Our democracy depends on it. It really depends on the press acting as a watch dog.”

While Reichl was speaking to this from her place in the world of food, she readily acknowledged it to most any area. I remember several years back when I heard a major cable news network had cut back on its investigative reporting team (study). Rather than incurring the additional expense to pay reporters to be embedded in a community or particular exploration, they were now much more likely to report from behind a desk or drop a reporter in the field to briefly cover the story and then head back out.

As we all know from situations and experiences in our own lives, there are many things that can’t be fully understood or appreciated in an afternoon. It takes multiple immersions and patience begin to grasp a community, event, group or subject-matter. A 24 hour trip to Chattanooga, Charleston or Chiang Mai would give you a glimpse into that city and its culture, but it would be foolhardy to believe we have understood it after such a brief encounter.

In a world increasingly dominated by [140 characters], headlines and quick reactions, rather than in-depth study and reflection, what issue, positive or negative, are you steeping yourself in and breaking down its nuance so you might share it with us?

Go Forth Boldly

"A Tribe needs two things: a shared interest and a way to communicate" Seth Godin

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