Inventive Factfinders: Investigative Journalism as Professional Self-representation, Marker of Identity and Boundary Work
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonJournalism Practice. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2020.1845780
This study explores the boundaries of investigative journalism by examining how investigative journalists compete to construct, reiterate and challenge acceptable epistemic practices. Departing from the notion that investigative methods are fixed tools and tactics, the paper argues that methods also serve as relational skills and epistemic resources in the struggle for identity and recognition within the field of journalism. By conducting a qualitative textual analysis of 44 method reports submitted to the annual Norwegian investigative journalism award (SKUP) in 2018, both the transformative and normative aspects of the investigative epistemology are examined. The findings suggest that the investigative method can be conceptualized as a continuum of intertwining epistemic practices whose distribution and emphasis are context dependent. Within these contexts, some identity markers emerge as more contingent than others. The study contributes to two streams of scholarship by deploying the concept of boundary work within the field of journalism, and by reassessing the epistemology of investigative journalism as an object of ongoing negotiations.