Your local newspaper has shut down or is on life support. Its muckraking staff has taken early retirement, moved away, or simply left the field in despair. It's not an unusual story in the first part of the 21st century. But nature abhors a vacuum, and what is unusual is who is rushing in to take up the investigative role: advocates for specific causes.
In an age when journalism is no longer yoked to an expensive printing press or transmission facilities, organizations like Human Rights Watch and the ACLU are embarking on complicated projects that look a lot like what investigative reporters do. The question is... is that a good thing or not? Courtesy Columbia Journalism Review.