chapter  6
12 Pages

Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Investigative journalism in the age of Lava Jato
WithBeatriz Bulla, Cortney Newell

From the beginning, in the process of reporting on Lava Jato, the Brazilian press facilitated public access to information at a level unprecedented in the country’s history. Journalists thus contributed to the great public support that has been essential to continuing official investigations into major corruption allegations. Some critics have, however, suggested that such voracious news coverage has actually harmed investigative journalism; concerns have been expressed about the use of anonymous sources who leaked investigation details that should have remained secret, and critics have questioned whether journalists can remain unbiased in their reporting. This is a valuable reminder that holding the powerful accountable also requires accountability for those who are investigating, publicizing, and passing judgment. However, it is beyond dispute that journalism has played and continues to play a key role as an important mechanism for controlling corruption.