Investigative Journalism and Technology

Ünsal Çığ
Mersin University, Faculty of Communication


Leak journalism has been an important concept since the Wikileaks released classified documents in 2010. After the Wikileaks phenomenon, it has been questioned if the leaks are the news and the platform is a kind of journalism. When the Panama Papers was released in 2016, the discussion had already evolved to the question of if leak based journalism is the new way of investigative journalism in terms of the active role of the journalists and newspapers all over the world. With the help of digital technology, a huge amount of leaked data can be searched, collected, analyzed and shared by selected newsrooms in different countries, so that a mentality of sharing and collaboration is brought to investigative journalism like never before. This study aims to examine the idea of “leak journalism which can substitute old-school investigative journalism” in terms of involving professional journalists with their conventional identity and practices, which has recognized when defining the concept after the Panama papers experience. The study argues that the current state of journalism worldwide necessitates a discussion about the ways of improving the declining press freedom along with the technological benefits stemming from the Internet era. In this context, it will be emphasized that in order to benefit the latest information technologies, the basic rights gained through historical struggles should continue to be protected politically and economically.