Image: BBC World Service/flickr.
A silhouette of a man sits in a stark television studio. Exposed wires snake their way up bare plywood walls. The man’s face has been blacked out. His voice is disguised. The only light in the studio shines on a well-groomed reporter in a dark blue suit.
“They don’t want you telling the truth,” the reporter says.
“Correct,” the man responds.
“Why?” asks the reporter.
“Because people would be outraged.”
This interview of an anonymous local pharmacist by New Orleans reporter Lee Zurik was the linchpin of a 2016 WVUE-TV investigative story, “Medical Waste,” that exposed less-than-scrupulous practices by some of the biggest insurance companies in the US. Zurik’s revelations led to changes in state laws, numerous lawsuits, and a prestigious award for the station.
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Station managers say hard-hitting investigations like this may also have led to a recent ratings surge. WVUE’s 10pm newscast has only been around since 2010, but last year it became the highest-rated late news show in the market. It was the first ratings win for a New Orleans news station over dominant rival WWL in almost four decades, and since then WVUE has increased its lead in a highly competitive environment. “Viewers appreciate that kind of hard, long-form investigative journalism,” said WVUE news director Mikel Schaefer in an interview with TVNewsCheck.com. “Serve the public. That cannot be overstated.”
The Fox affiliate’s rise to
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/analysis/study-competition-between-tv-stations-spurs-investigative-journalism.php