The Selden Ring Award: Why investigative journalism matters

A new video from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism features a cross-section of leading editors, writers and executives discussing why investigative journalism is so vital and necessary — and what would happen if the field didn’t exist.

“In a world where there is no investigative reporting, America wouldn’t know very much about how wars are being conducted around the world,” Dean Baquet, the New York Times executive editor, said in the video.

“In a world where there is no investigative reporting, local citizens wouldn’t know about how their school boards spend their money,” Baquet said. “They wouldn’t know about corruption among their city council members and their mayors.”

The NYT editor is one of 15 people interviewed in the video, which  was produced in conjunction with the 2015 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, an annual prize administered by USC Annenberg and presented by The Ring Foundation. 

The video also includes a history of the Award, from past winning stories and packages, to sharing the Watergate-related origin of the Award.

In addition to Baquet, others who appear in the video include: Cindy Miscikowski (CEO, The Ring Group); Mark Katches (VP of content and editor, The Oregonian); Robin Fields (managing editor, ProPublica); Marc Duvoisin (managing editor, Los Angeles Times); Kevin Merida (managing editor, Washington Post); Megan Twohey (investigative reporter, Thompson Reuters); Brant Houston (professor, University of Illinois); Willow Bay (director, USC Annenberg School of Journalism); and Vince Gonzales (professor, USC Annenberg School of Journalism).