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The Watchdog Still BarksHow Accountability Reporting Evolved for the Digital Age$
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Beth Knobel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279333

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279333.001.0001

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Bigger Means Better

Bigger Means Better

(p.28) Chapter 2 Bigger Means Better
The Watchdog Still Barks

Beth Knobel

Fordham University Press

This chapter presents the results of the study of three large national newspapers with high circulation and big reputations for excellence. They are the New York Times (NYT or Times), the Washington Post (Post or WaPo), and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ or Journal). One might expect these high-achieving, well-funded news organizations to be the largest producers of watchdog journalism. This chapter considers that to be true, although not quite as much as one might think. Although the large papers were the highest producers of deep accountability reporting in the study group overall, they were surprisingly low producers during the early study years. And although their reputations were always high, a look back with hindsight shows that even the largest, strongest newspapers faced challenges in producing a steady stream of watchdog reporting during the time covered by this research.

Keywords:   New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, news organizations, watchdog journalism, accountability reporting, watchdog reporting, national newspapers

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