Guardian Investigative Journalism

  • Sun, 10 Jun 2018 06:00:44 +0000: Reporter: A Memoir by Seymour Hersh – review - Investigative journalism | The Guardian

    US journalist Seymour Hersh recounts in fine detail the stories that made him, from the My Lai massacre to Abu Ghraib

    Ten years ago, not long before the election that put Barack Obama in the White House, I went to Washington to interview Seymour Hersh, the reporter who, in 1969, single-handedly uncovered the atrocities that had been committed by an American platoon in My Lai, South Vietnam, 12 months before: a story that hastened the end of the Vietnam war and for which, in 1970, he won a Pulitzer prize. I remember our encounter vividly: the chaos of his office, with its filthy walls and toppling piles of notebooks; the unstoppable flow of his conversation; the wolfish greed with which he scoffed his eggs at breakfast. Above all, what has stayed with me was his almost total lack of interest in anything other than his reporting (by his own estimation, pretty brilliant); his contacts (so numerous that they rival the crowd at the Super Bowl); his editors (occasionally fantastic, but more often annoying and dumb). If Hersh had a hinterland, he was keeping it well hidden.

    Thanks to this, I was well prepared for Reporter, a memoir he only embarked upon because the book he was contracted to write for his publishers – a coruscating volume about Dick Cheney and all who sail in him – had hit the buffers. I guessed – correctly, as it turned out – that Reporter would be unrelenting, and focused entirely on his work; that it would come with no false modesty (or much modesty at all). All the same, even I was taken aback by the extent of his completism. Did he kidnap the book’s editor, tie him or her up until it was at the printers? It’s right that the big stories he has reported – My Lai, the domestic and foreign policy crimes of the Nixon era, the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib – are recounted in chapters that run to many pages. But it seems a bit much when, determined not to leave anything out, he resorts literally to running lists of the other, smaller scandals on which he worked in between. Detail swamps his narrative, like creeper clambering over an ancient Mayan ruin, and for the reader, hacking through it is completely exhausting.

    Determination directed unyieldingly at politicians and other high-ups is never not a good thing

    Related: The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes – review

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  • Thu, 17 May 2018 10:09:29 +0000: Slovakia police criticised over treatment of murdered journalist's colleague - Investigative journalism | The Guardian

    Critics condemn ‘hostile’ eight-hour interrogation of Pavla Holcová by officers investigating killing of Ján Kuciak

    Slovakia’s law enforcement agencies are facing criticism of their investigation into the assassination of journalist Ján Kuciak after officers spent eight hours interrogating a reporter who had worked closely with him.

    Kuciak, 27, and his fiancee, Martina Kušnírová, were shot dead at their home in February.

    Related: Journalist's murder does not make Slovakia a mafia state, says PM

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  • Mon, 14 May 2018 06:45:43 +0000: Ronan Farrow: Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein and me - Investigative journalism | The Guardian

    Ronan Farrow, the son of Mia and Woody Allen, is the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist whose exposé triggered #MeToo. Now, he has written an acclaimed book on waning US diplomatic influence – and he’s still only 30

    “Thanks for taking the time,” says Ronan Farrow when we meet at a central London hotel. Farrow is the journalist whose exposé of Harvey Weinstein helped kickstart the #MeToo movement. Just 30 years old, he looks, up close, about 13. But he has packed into his three decades more adventures and achievements than most of us could manage in two lifetimes. Of course he had a head start. He was the only biological child of two extremely famous people: Woody Allen, arguably America’s most celebrated living film-maker, and Mia Farrow, herself a child of Hollywood royalty, star of many films and ex-wife of Frank Sinatra.

    By the time that he was five, Ronan had witnessed his parents’ epically bitter break-up, his father’s new relationship with his 22-year-old sister (Farrow’s adopted daughter) Soon-Yi (the cause of the vicious split), and the allegations that his father had sexually abused his seven-year-old adopted sister Dylan Farrow. A court case and custody battle ensued in the relentless glare of the world’s media.

    I’ve made too many enemies through my journalism ever to run for political office in the United States

    Related: Those who deplored the persecution of Roman Polanski enabled the likes of Weinstein | Barbara Ellen

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  • Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:54:08 +0000: Turner prize 2018: art that asks timely, probing questions - Investigative journalism | The Guardian

    The latest group of shortlisted Turner artists deal in real lives, dignity, history and legacy – subjects that demand examination in globally uncertain times

    No one can say that this year’s Turner prize shortlist is an irrelevant, footling parade of art-world luvvies. What an interesting, serious and timely shortlist it is. Politics, personal as much as global, spatial as much as temporal, are at the core of the selected artists’ work. All, to greater and lesser degrees, use film and digital imagery – in extremely different ways. Not all the names are familiar.

    Forensic Architecture interrogate not so much architecture as space itself – the spaces between walls and windows, roads and buildings, borders and intentions. Space is political as much as geographic. It is contested, defended and attacked. The path of a ricocheting bullet, the sound a particular gun makes, the pattern of a bomb blast: the Forensic Architecture group analyse and reconstruct, build real and virtual models, quartering territories and presenting evidence, sometimes in galleries and art exhibitions, sometimes in court. The question might be the degree to which what they do is art at all. One might say that even a still life or a portrait can be forensic, although the group itself disputes the term. They seem to operate between disciplines, describing the world, and events, in ways that are genuinely innovative, useful and new.

    Related: Turner prize shortlist pits research agency against film-makers

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  • Sun, 31 Dec 2017 06:59:23 +0000: The death toll falls but the blood and danger remain for reporters - Investigative journalism | The Guardian
    The numbers of journalists killed in 2017 was the lowest for 14 years: a small matter for celebration in a difficult time

    Some good news – in a constrained sort of way. Some 65 working journalists were killed on duty this year, the lowest total for 14 years, Reporters Sans Frontières has said, with 326 journalists currently held in prison and 54 held hostage by non-state groups.

    China is the biggest jailer of journalists (52) followed by Turkey with 43, according to RSF. Syria was the deadliest country for journalists in 2017 (with 12 killed), followed by Mexico (11), Afghanistan (9) and Iraq (8).

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