Investigative journalism in Britain is lagging behind other European countries, a new study by the Dutch-Flemish Association of Investigative Journalists (VVOJ) suggests.
When investigative journalists gathered last week in Amsterdam for a global conference, just ten of the 450 deligates were British.
Part of the problem is that unlike many other countries’s British investigative journalists do not have an organisation to share skills and techniques. Computer-assisted reporting, for example, is hardly ever seen in Britain.
The author of the research, VVOJ’s Dick van Eijk told Journalism.co.uk that intense competition between news media in Britain made cooperation between journalists from different media organisation difficult leads news organisations likely to invest in long investigations that may turn out to be wild goose chases. But van Eijk says money does not have to be an issue.
Guardian investigations editor David Leigh blamed Britain’s libel laws and the shift to less legally risky “lifestyle” stories and “pseudo-investigations”.
So, who is going to make the simple first moves necessary to start Britain’s answer to VVOJ or Investigative Reporters and Editors?