News about news organizations has more often been bad rather good in recent years. It's been dominated by newspaper closings and news staff layoffs.
So it's good to see some positive news about news.
The Associated Press announced an expansion of its investigative reporting efforts, with the hiring of some experienced award-winning investigative reporters and the reassignment of others already on the AP staff to investigative units. There will be an increased focus on national news in the U.S. and a new focus on international investigative reporting.
Investigative reporting is, in my opinion, one of the most important functions of a free and independent press.
Reporting that's based on first-hand and eyewitness accounts, prepared news releases, staged news conferences and interviews tells us what's happening -- on the surface, at least. But investigative newsgathering delves behind what we see, to tell us why it's happening, who's behind it, what are the implications for those involved or for the readers. It's the news behind the news.
The news release about the move, on the AP website, gives several examples of how investigative journalism has exposed corruption, mismanagement or honest errors, and how it's brought about many significant changes in laws, corporate and government practices and other things both here in the U.S. and abroad.
The AP's commitment to more investigative journalism is good news.