I think the odds of there being less investigative journalism in the world are zero. I just don’t think there is any evidence that that will happen. Just walk through your bookstore.
DD: If investigative journalism is here to stay, what will it look like?
JG: Either small groups of writers will team up or there will be a single writer and you will develop an affection for them—through whatever, the Facebook recommendation of a friend or a discovery engine—and you’ll follow that person and you’ll care what they have to say. Think about how you follow bands or movie stars.
If you’re going to see a Megan Fox movie, do you really care that it’s being made by 20th Century Fox? Individuals involved have a lot more to do with the movie than the guy who owns the studio. That’s definitely true with newspaper articles.
The entire history of media is a tradition toward developing affection for individuals. That’s not just the Web, that’s Oprah, that’s Limbaugh, that’s pundits. Think of record labels. You might have a feeling toward Motown, and every once in a while there’s a record label that matters, but basically you like the band.
Every successive wave of technology has democratized the creation of journalism and with that the ability for more and more people to participate. And all that’s done is increase the power of individuals versus institutions. And, given the choice, people would rather relate to people.