The future of investigative journalism

The Select Committee on Communications has decided to conduct an inquiry into the future of investigative journalism.

Investigative journalism plays a vital role in a healthy democracy: acting as a watchdog, holding those in positions of authority to account by exposing wrongdoing, standing up for the public interest and, where appropriate, campaigning for reform.

But these are difficult times for investigative journalism. The phone hacking scandal has led to the closure of Britain’s best selling tabloid newspaper and the traditional business models for journalistic content are under threat as a result of economic and technological changes. This raises urgent questions about the potential to harness the power of new technologies to complement traditional media in ensuring the continuation of a strong journalistic culture in the UK.

In this inquiry the Committee will consider the changing media landscape, the role of investigative journalism and how it will evolve in the future. The Committee will consider new business models to pay for the skills of serious reporting and what role citizen and participatory journalism might play in the future of investigative journalism.

An invitation for written submissions to this inquiry was published on 22 July 2011.  The deadline for submissions is 12 September 2011.


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    • Reports and associated evidence - reports and evidence featuring written submissions and corrected oral evidence published at the conclusion of Committee inquiries. Evidence is periodically updated over the course of an inquiry and is not finalised until the relevant Report is published.
    • Uncorrected oral evidence - transcripts of oral evidence not yet approved by the Committee or witnesses.
    • Other oral evidence - corrected transcripts of oral evidence, usually taken for scrutiny purposes or for ad hoc/regular evidence sessions with Ministers.
    • Evidence - written submissions and corrected oral evidence published for scrutiny purposes or for ad hoc/regular evidence sessions with Ministers.
    • Responses to Reports - Government Department and European Commission responses to reports.
    • Call for Evidence - request to submit evidence to a Committee inquiry.
    • Correspondence - correspondence received and sent by the Committee excluding ministerial correspondence.
    • Correspondence with Ministers - Ministerial correspondence received and sent by the Committee.
    • Progress of Scrutiny - records the decisions taken by the EU Committee on European documents that have been deposited in Parliament for scrutiny.

How to find evidence gathered by the Committee

Evidence gathered by the Committee can be found under the “Evidence” category. Uncorrected transcripts of oral evidence are initially available separately, under the “Uncorrected Evidence” category, before being incorporated into the respective Evidence volumes when corrected.