“Step into my office” – Les Nessman, WKRP in Cincinnati
There is nothing arcane or even complicated about investigative journalism. Other than basic literacy, its only requirements are a driving curiosity, unflagging persistence, and a skin tough enough to withstand criticism, rejection, deception, and overt hostility.
These qualities were once the necessary tools of all reporters, whether they were covering a political convention, a homicide, or a fender bender on Main Street. But that skillset, according to the New Conventional Wisdom, is about as relevant today as blacksmithing or roof thatching. A couple of keystrokes, the NCW says, will give us enough factoids to feed the masses, who are too lazy, too busy, or too stupid to demand anything else anyway.
Balderdash. To paraphrase Faulkner, I decline to accept the lazy-busy-stupid-reader excuse. People are painfully aware that technology has exposed them to a body of information that is ocean-wide but only puddle-deep. Particularly when it comes to local issues, they crave more information than can be offered up in a 500-word summary or a 20-second soundbite. There’s also a darker side to be dealt with: dishonesty. Cloaked in civil authority or social justice or official utterance it can stroll right past the journalist, who’s supposed to be the gatekeeper, and present itself as truth. In either case, praise God, there are still those who, reading or seeing or hearing, pause and say, “Hold on. Wait a minute. What about … ”
This site is for the what-abouters. The Enquiring Minds.
EM made its debut last December as a subsection of the excellent website Tavern Voices, which, for statewide political news and commentary, I earnestly commend to your attention. For a taste of its incisive content, just click on the Tavern Voices tab right here, and you’ll find links to their latest dispatches.
As a stand-alone site, we’re not oriented towards breaking news, nor are we (yet) a full-scale “magazine” covering a whole range of topics all at once. We’re more like a special report, focusing on a single issue about once a week and archiving stories as we go along. To give you an idea of what we cover and how, we’ve gone ahead and posted several recent pieces here – see “Recent” – as well as some older work for other outlets under “Archives.”
Shortly we’ll be detailing how you can subscribe to Enquiring Minds and offering a look at what we have in store for future issues. For now, just check back often at www.enquiringminds.media … and tell your friends. And if you have a tip for us, please don’t hesitate to give us a heads-up, at this same address. Above all, I hope you’ll see fit to walk along with us on this little adventure. There’s no way of knowing where the road will take us, but I think you’ll find the journey won’t be dull.