Watchdog Journalism


Watchdog journalism informs the public about goings-on in institutions and society, especially in circumstances where a significant portion of the public would demand changes in response.

Associated Press: How to do watchdog journalism by Associated Press


This might involve:

Does Investigative Journalism Still Exist? Seymour Hersh ... by The Film Archives


Fact-checking statements of public officials

Fact checking is the act of checking factual assertions in non-fictional text in order to determine the veracity and correctness of the factual statements in the text.


Interviewing public figures and challenging them with problems or concerns

An interview is a conversation where questions are asked and answers are given.


Beat reporting to gather information from meetings that members of the public might not otherwise attend, and to observe "on the ground" in broader society

Beat reporting, also known as specialized reporting, is a genre of journalism that can be described as the craft of in-depth reporting on a particular issue, sector, organization or institution over time.


Investigative journalism, which involves information-gathering on a single story for a long period of time

Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing.


Like a literal guard dog that barks when it notices an intruder, a "watchdog" role involves alerting others when a problem is detected.

A guard dog or watch dog is a dog used to guard against, and watch for unwanted or unexpected people or animals.


Common subjects are the government decision-making process, illegal activity, immorality, consumer protection issues, and environmental degradation.


Watchdog journalism can be located in a variety of news media, such as radio, television, Internet, and print media where it may be seen as "a unique strength of newspapers", and additional new media and concepts such as weblogs and citizen journalism.

The concept of citizen journalism is based upon public citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information."

Television or TV is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound.

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite to link billions of devices worldwide.


Watchdog journalists also are called "watchmen", "agents of social control", or "moral guardians".

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