Triggering change – How investigative journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa contribute to solving proble...
|Authors and Corporations:||, , , , , ,|
|In:||Journalism : theory, practice & criticism, 17, 2016, 8|
|Media Type:||Article, E-Article|
This article analyses 12 cases of investigative journalism in Sub-Saharan Africa. The reporters all claimed to have contributed to change processes by influencing government policy, action by state administration, supporting the uptake of scientific solutions or provoking public debate. An assessment of these processes shows that in 10 cases, the journalists indeed helped to trigger change and in two cases they failed to do so. The cases are evaluated through an explorative approach inspired by the dynamic models for communication on public issues developed by Rucht and Peters. Different types of investigative stories in Sub-Saharan Africa are identified and hypotheses are developed on key factors that were important in investigating and publishing the stories as well as in achieving change. A decisive element of investigative journalism in Sub-Saharan Africa seems to be the involvement of and the interaction with other societal non-journalist actors.