Truth Versus Fact: How Investigative Authors and Journalists Influence the American Narrative

abstract

     The relationship between the American people and journalism has long been complicated-- journalists bringing forward stories that have changed the course of American history, investigative journalists questioning the powerful and the status quo, and the people influencing and being influenced by these stories. This relationship has caused strains throughout U.S. history but has widely been recognized as an essential part of democracy. In recent American history, a new kind of anti-journalism rhetoric has grown within some public sectors, causing distrust in this critical part of information sharing.

     While most certainly not the sole culprit, part of this problem is the overuse of buzzwords "truth" and "fact" in mass media, two completely different concepts that have grown to mean the same thing in the 24-hour information cycle.

     Understanding the difference between these two concepts and their power when brought together is desperately needed in today's social and political climate. Investigative authors and journalists in American history have used the compelling stories of the American people have paved the way for change we have desperately needed. Knowing what that looks like today-- the ethics and impact of investigation-- requires an in-depth look into our past.