Is this a golden era for investigative journalism?

When the final Independent hit the newsstands last month, many commentators once again proclaimed the death of journalism as we know it.

They proclaimed print media was heading down a one way street to extinction, a victim of the tidal wave of blogs, tweets, posts and snapchats that have swept traditional journalism away in an era of social media and online content.

But the doomsayers have been proclaiming the ‘Death of Journalism’ since the first news website and while the fashion choices and love interests of Z list celebrities do now litter the once proud pages of publications across the world, the critics cannot dispute the key role print media has taking the lead on good old fashioned investigative journalism.

And we may well be in a golden era of the detective hack with sport at the very forefront.

A rogue Harley Street doctor with supposed links to Premier League footballers, doping Russian athletes and match fixing amongst top tennis players have all been exposed in the media in the past six months by first class investigative journalism.

In 2016 a story can break on the other side of the world and be consumed immediately across every time zone and media organisations are taking advantage of this connectivity and joining forces to bring the most explosive stories to light.

The ‘Tennis Racket’ betting story was a collaboration between Buzzfeed and the BBC while The Sunday Times has worked closely with German broadcaster ARD to expose both doping in Russian athletes and the FIFA scandal.

But these collaborations are dwarfed by the Panama Papers exposés that are currently dominating headlines across the world. This extraordinary story exposing the tax avoidance of the rich and famous does not have one single author but is being analysed and reported on by 400 journalists at 107 media organizations in more than 80 countries.

Iceland PM Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson may be the most high profile victim of the story so far after he announced his resignation but expect a lot more and a lot more journalistic collaborations such as this.

While the days of two reporters bringing down a President as the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein did for President Nixon during the Watergate scandal may be behind us, we could be entering the golden era of investigative journalist.

The only shame is that the Independent is not still around to be at the forefront of such reporting.

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