WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The Value of Investigative Journalism

Mar 31, 2015

The alleged corruption by Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) was uncovered through the digging done by reporters.  The Shop Talk panelists say this story demonstrates once again why it's important to have fully funded and staffed newsrooms.

Rich Egger said the bulk of the reporting was not done by news outlets within Schock’s congressional district.  Those newsrooms tend to have small staffs.  The initial stories and the follow up reporting were done by larger outlets such as The Associated Press, USA Today, and Politico (among others), which could devote time and resources to dig into this single story.

Jasmine Crighton pointed out reporters started looking into Schock after his chief of staff tried to prevent a Washington Post reporter from writing about his lavishly remodeled congressional office. But even then, the original article did not question how Schock paid for the work.  Crighton said the issue was raised in on-line comments from readers.

Richard Moreno said the story snowballed from there.  He pointed out how Schock’s Instagram account helped reporters check some facts, and he said the final straw appeared to the discovery that Schock misreported mileage for reimbursement from the government.