Investigative reporting today faces challenges unknown in times past. Its no longer enough to catch the local councilman on the take or the large polluting plant. The investigative reporter of today must take the world view of the multinational business and banking systems.
Todays reporter must transcend the medias daily dose of sound bites, info bits and assorted data. He or she must view this daily barrage of information as pieces of a mosaic. Armed with background in a variety of disciplines sociology, science, history, business, law the true investigative reporter sees the medias hodgepodge reporting as pieces of a larger puzzle.
When Randy Weaver of Idaho is acquitted by a jury after armed resistance to an attack by government agents, the investigative reporter sees corroboration for allegations that the killing of agents of the same agency in a shootout with the Branch Davidians in Waco was in self-defense. When Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt fails to convince a federal court jury in Florida that he was not in Dallas Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, perhaps more attention should be paid to charges that the CIA was involved in President Kennedys assassination.
Look under the rock ... never take the official pronouncement at face value ... always question authority this is the creed of the true investigative journalist.
It is a creed of a free people and one we should all embrace.
Mr. Marrs, an award-winning investigative reporter, is the author of Crossfire, a New York Times best-seller and one of the two books used by Oliver Stone as the basis for the film, JFK.