One of the hazards associated with investigative journalism is in the fact that this genre of journalism can easily ruin your reputation, as a practitioner. This is one of the facts you need to be aware of, before venturing out to build a career in investigative journalism. In today’s blog post, we will delve into the subject further, and try to figure out exactly how investigative journalism can be ruinous to your reputation as a journalist.
Often, rumors start swirling around, to the effect that certain investigative journalists have been compromised. It may be something to the effect that a given investigative journalist has been bribed in order to run negative stories about a given business. And indeed, from time to time, you see businesspeople going to a website like Sunbiz.org to secure a new fictitious name for his or her business. (N.B. The Sunbiz portal is the one where fictitious business names are registered). This happens against a background where his or her original business name was ruined by an investigative media report. But often, you find that the investigative journalists in question were acting in public interest, and without being bribed. But the businessperson opts to start spreading the rumors to the effect that they were bribed, as a way of revenge.
There also are cases where rumors start swirling around, to the effect that certain investigative journalists have been bribed in order ‘to push a certain agenda’. Now it is to the extent that you risk being a victim of such rumors that investigative journalism can ruin your reputation.
In a nutshell, it is important for you to understand that as an investigative journalist, you are bound to step on people’s toes from time to time. And when you happen to do that, there is the huge possibility that the people on whose toes you step will endeavor to revenge. One of the main ways in which such revenge is exacted is by ruining the journalists’ reputations. Sometimes it goes beyond the creation of rumors. Sometimes, the people on whose toes you step may decide to set you up in a manner that genuinely scandalizes your name. Thus, investigative journalism is only meant for the truly courageous individuals.