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December 20 2010

15:00

The changing of the gatekeeper: Adapting to the new roles for journalists, sources and information

We’re continuing our recaps of the Secrecy and Journalism in the New Media Age conference that took place at the Nieman Foundation on Thursday with the second panel discussion — entitled “Whither the Gatekeeper? Navigating New Rules and Roles in the Age of Radical Transparency.”

The discussion centered on the issue of how has journalism responded to WikiLeaks and others doing some of the work traditionally done by journalists — namely ferreting out documents and information — and how reporters and editors remain important as the interpreters and analysts of news.

The panel includes Walter Pincus, intelligence and national security reporter for The Washington Post, Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, Clint Hendler, staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review, and Maggie Mulvihill, senior investigative producer for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Below you’ll also find the archived liveblog and online discussion from the session.

November 19 2009

18:00

Linking watchdog journalism and nonprofit accountability

Nonprofit business models often pop up in our coverage, and in recent weeks we’ve run a series on the relationship between non-governmental organizations and the news ecosystem. But here’s something we’ve only touched on in passing: the decline of investigative journalism and its impact on nonprofit accountability. Pablo Eisenberg, senior fellow at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, explores this issue in the Fall 2009 edition of Carnegie Reporter.

It’s interesting to see concerns about journalism’s watchdog role addressed through a different perspective. Here’s an excerpt from Eisenberg’s essay:

The crisis in accountability in recent years has become all the more acute as the number of operating nonprofits has grown enormously and the sector has assumed even greater responsibility for society’s well being. Public expectations are greater than ever. Public confidence in their performance and integrity is, of course, the key to nonprofits’ ability to raise money. While most nonprofits are honest and transparent, the small number that are not can stain the reputation of the entire field. That is why there must be oversight mechanisms to ensure that both nonprofit organizations and philanthropic foundations operate ethically and effectively. The loss of daily newspapers and the investigative journalism they have traditionally provided will make this task much more difficult.

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