Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years researching and preparing a report. Investigative journalism is a primary source of information. Most investigative journalism is conducted by newspapers, wire services, and freelance journalists. Practitioners sometimes use the terms “watchdog journalism” or “accountability reporting.”
Seymour Hersh’s stories on the My Lai massacre were distributed by the Dispatch News Service during the Vietnam War and won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1970; in 2004, Hersh reported for The New Yorker on torture inside the Abu Ghraib prison by members of a military police unit of the U.S. Army Reserve during the Iraq War.