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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

Rosen: Deep reporting creates hunger for updates

On this week’s edition of Rebooting The News, NYU Journalism Professor Jay Rosen riffs on the seminal NPR/This American Life co-production from last year, Giant Pool of Money, and finds in it the germ of a compelling argument: Deep reporting is not only good journalism, it may actually be the thing that creates a desire for more news, building new consumers of news where there were none before.

In other words, a topic that may have been something you knew about peripherally through the headlines — say the financial crisis — becomes a must-know obsession once you understand the core facts and the storyline. And the best way to get to such a place of understanding is through unvarnished explanatory journalism.

Here’s an excerpt of Rosen making his case:

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  • http://savethemedia.com Gina Chen

    I also heard that This American Life report in question, Giant Pool of Money. In fact, my husband saved it on our iPod, so we could go back to it — in case we forgot an aspect of what we read. (We listened to parts of it several times.)

    Before I heard this report, I just blanked out a bit on housing crisis news because I didn’t fully understand the crisis. Also, I felt I couldn’t join in conversations about it because I didn’t want to look stupid or seem ill-informed. So I sort of sat back.

    But once I understood much of it through this in-depth report I became more interested in the topic and could learn more from less in-depth news reports because I understood the significance of what people were saying. I got nuances that would have gone over my head before.

    And I felt more confident engaging in conversation about the topic, which both fed my interest and gave me more information.

    This experience is interesting, I think, because it flies in the face (thank God) of those who believe the answer to the crisis in journalism is shallow fluff.

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