Thursday, October 11, 2018

'Chasing Corruption', a video series by Facebook and Alabama papers, is a 'love letter to investigative journalism'

Facebook, which provides a platform for journalism but may also blur the definition of the craft, has been working on a video series paying tribute to local investigative journalism. Facebook partnered with's social media brand, Reckon, to produce the eight-minute videos.

In each video, director and host Ian Hoppe introduces a case of corruption, shows how a local journalist investigated and reported it, then talks about what happened next. "So far, 'Chasing Corruption' has brought in more than 800,000 views for the stories of a sneaky sheriff in Kentucky, a vote-suppressing governor in Alabama and a dangerously negligent and well-paid housing official in Illinois," Kristen Hare reports for the Poynter Institute. "The series uses video, animation and a dash of humor to show that local investigative reporting comes from newsrooms of all sizes and from journalists of all backgrounds. 'Chasing Corruption' doesn’t just show corrupt elected officials, either, but how systematic corruption impacts whole communities."

Kelly Scott, Alabama Media Group's vice president of content, told Hare that "In some ways, these stories are a love letter to investigative journalism . . . We are focused on the jobs that investigative journalists do throughout the country and the service they provide and what that means to America at this point in our country." AMG is the parent company for, the Newhouse Newspapers brand for its dailies in Birmingham, Montgomery and Huntsville.

Facebook donated $1,000 to Investigative Reporters and Editors and has encouraged viewers to donate too, Hare reports.

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