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Adversarial Journalism
Adversarial journalism

The achievement which gradually uncovered the Watergate scandal led to renewed enthusiasm in American newsrooms for investigative journalism. But there was also increased soul-searching about ethics. Some commentators began to warn that reporters who were overly-hostile to and cynical about politicians, public institutions and business risked alienating the public from journalists, or could erode public faith in democracy. In 1982 Michael J. O'Neill, then editor of the New York Daily News, condemned the increase in ‘adversarial mindset’ among journalists. Despite these concerns, research suggests only a small minority of American journalists consider they have an adversarial mindset (Weaver and Wilhoit, 1996: 134–5, 139–40).

A survey in the 1990s suggested that, compared to their US counterparts, British journalists are more likely to declare an ...

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