The Journalism of Outrage: Investigative Reporting and Agenda Building in America
Combining empirical methods and media sociology, the authors probe the impact of investigative reporting on public policy, and challenge conventional assumption that investigative journalism is generated within newsrooms without external influences. The authors follow the life span of six investigative stories, written or broadcast from 1981 to 1988, from the story's inception through its preparation and eventual public impact. They find that public officials and other expert policymakers are normally involved at the time of a newsroom decision to begin an investigation. They empirically measure the effect of each story on public opinion, governmental officials, and policymakers. The impact of investigative stories to change public and expert opinion is found to be inconsistent, which results in public policy alternatives ranging from reassessing public employee job efficiency to extensive changes in regulatory law. ISBN 0-89862-314-6: $30.00.