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INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING PATTERN OF TEMPO WEEKLY NEWS MAGAZINE
Corresponding Author(s) : Septiawan Santana Kunia
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 7 No. 1 (2019): January
Purpose of the study: Through an investigative news, “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih” (Tempo, 2004, May 16), this research is conducted for the purpose of examining Tempo’s investigative reporting pattern – how Tempo conceptualize its investigative reporting, how Tempo plan its investigative reporting, how Tempo evaluate its investigative reporting and how Tempo conduct its investigative reporting.
Methodology: This study uses qualitative method with case study approach, through interpretive framework. Case study approach designed for this research is a single case (embedded) in nature, which applies multi-level analysis. Analysis is carried out to discover the answers to understand the reporting of investigation, both stated by literature and meanings conceptualized by Tempo Magazine itself. ‘One observation’ is the terminology of investigative reporting (11-steps of investigative reporting by Paul N. Williams).
Main Findings: Investigative reporting by Tempo Magazine is a rigorous and systematic reporting, disclosing wrongdoing based on evidence, facts and data. Investigation’s editorials of Tempo Magazine form special teams. The investigation team gives emphasis to quality and capacity of journalists, which coordinated by an editor. Investigasi rubric is systematically a reporting unit integrated with Tempo’s editorial management.
Applications of this study: Tempo’s investigative activity in Indonesia is not only a matter of press action. Its presence encourages democratic verve in Indonesia. Tempo’s reporting pattern represents social, cultural, politics and other subjects. As a matter of fact, Tempo’s investigative reporting is linked to Indonesia’s Human Rights Affair, in articulating freedom of thought and opinion. Thus, this research is able to be use as material for research in politics, sociology, communication, media and cultural studies.
Novelty/Originality of this study: Investigative reporting is rather a unique topic of research. Most of the research discuss investigation within the news themes and its impact, or journalistic professionalism. Thus, the research on Tempo’s investigative reporting has its novelty.
In the late 1990s, there were many issues, scandals, violations, such as the government’s Corruption, Nepotism, Manipulation reported by the Indonesian press. One of them was Tempo Weekly News Magazine. Tempo Magazine is a news magazine deemed to have credibility within the Indonesian press circle. Published since 1971, Tempo Magazine contributes a particular attitude and reporting pattern. The banning of Tempo Magazine in 1994 unleashed a wave of protest from various class of society. Its re-publication in 1998 brought together a new rubric called Investigasi.
The process of investigative reporting conducted by Tempo Magazine is executed in a specific mechanism. Meanwhile, on a certain discussion, investigative reporting has an array of specified technical guidelines. This study aims to examine the investigative reporting pattern of Tempo Magazine, through one of its news article.
Reporting pattern is one of the important dimensions in journalism. Through excellent reporting, a media produces various message products that will be consumed by the public. Journalism discipline, among other things, introduces investigative reporting as a technique to report violation events through accurate facts and often described as ‘custodians of conscience’ 1, the fourth estate 2, even digital watchdog 3 and in a networked world 4. Many now agreed that investigative journalism is essential for journalism 5.
The definition of investigative journalism is multifaceted. It is original reporting full of rigorous documentation and numerous interviews 6. The term ‘investigative journalism’ is used to explain activities to reveal wrongdoing in various areas including consumer issues and more serious issues such as corruption, smuggling or corporate malfeasance 7 hence muckraking and revelatory 8 , with the latest WikiLeaks, may be taken as an extreme example. It is said to be one of the practices of good journalism and exemplary journalism 9 and advocate change 10 . In America, scholars viewed it as “episodic historical phenomenon within America journalism” 11 . It is also one of the toughest, costly and takes a long time to complete. Hence, it is not strange when reporters at small US dailies are less likely to undertake investigative projects 12 . Various constraints hamper investigative journalism in some countries like Italy, Hungary, Romania and Latvia 13 and lack of resources in Sweden 14 . Some countries like Malaysia rather investigate issues related to consumerism, environment and social illness rather than exposing wrongdoing of the leaders due to the relationship between media and the government, multi-ethnicity and religious sensitivities 15 .
Investigative reporting currently includes various methods including the inclusion of media social in its gathering process 16 and variety of narrative techniques, including direct advocacy of alternatives, to the larger question of capitalism’s morality 17 . It involves interplay between political and economic factors, and technological development and economic pressure 18 . In some parts of the world such as China, the role of investigative journalism is very pertinent that it helps journalists define their professional identity 8 despite obvious political and economic pressure 19 .
20 examined the epistemology of investigative reporting that recounts several phrases: (1) a tip is selected if it may lead to a potentially productive investigation; (2) evidence is collected, not to prove the story but to justify the assembly of a story that can be further scrutinized; and (3) the story is tested by assembly to determine if the components validate each other and the story. The study suggests that if a story, once assembled, cannot be disconfirmed, it emerges from the process as fully justified. Recently, technological advancement is seen to change the epistemology of investigative journalism 21.
22 presented examples on media and investigative reporting as well as her journalism experience – through Le Monde, a French newspaper that represents investigative journalism’s performance. Since its inception in 1979, Le Monde encourages the public to transform from week to week through investigative reporting – and taboo issues, for example “child homosexuality”, “suicide among teenagers”, “failed integration of the Harkis” (the Harkis are people of Algeria who fought for France during the war of Independence), “Elf-Aquitaine government” (Elf-Aquitaine is a very strong business corporation), and so on.
Investigative reporting has become a prestigious jargon among journalists. The year 1975 saw the foundation of Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. (IRE). Indonesia marked the names Goenawan Mohamad and Andreas Harsono as its members (http://www.icij.org/members/index.html).
Investigative Reporting in Indonesia
A note from the Press Council of Indonesia (during a hearing in Parliament, 2002, March 21) states that various media publishing parties have not yet had an understanding of media administering. Media administrator, among others, are incapable to perform excellent reporting works.
The practice of investigative journalism in Indonesia is influenced by, among many others, the political system’s openness and freedom of the press. Indonesia’s mass media depends on the authority’s attitude in implementing press freedom policy.
The Indonesia Raya Daily is one of the media in Indonesia considered phenomenal in investigative reporting. This newspaper, led by Mochtar Lubis (1949-1958 and 1968-1974) during its early publications can be put as out of ordinary that direct its reporting into investigative form. Atmakusumah, its former editorial member, in his statement (during a telephone conversation), states that their investigative reporting defined scandalous elements as a medium for investigative reporting. The value of scandal, with multiple violations and legal crime factors, distinguishes regular with investigative news values.
Investigative reporting, in general, is different from journalistic activities. 23 quotes Boyd, Lloyd, Edwards, Pilger, Tuchman and others, explain several elements in investigative reporting. 23 uses the term re-contextualization. All reporting materials are re-contextualized into certain classifications and structures of narrative, and according to its themes and types of specifications. The whole story is constructed by the investigator’s narration. This is an effort to re-contextualize authoritative facts by checking two opposing points of view in balance or highlighting alternative point of views. This includes speakers who are the “eyewitness” as well as authoritative figures linked to the issue. The process includes radio documentary activities, television featuring, column writing in newspapers and so on.
Simply put, according to 24 , investigative reporting activities are generally divided into two parts of reporting process. The earlier part of the investigative process is to browse through various cases, scandals or issues which must be followed up upon. Once discovered, the second stage which is the serious part, is where the investigation begins.
Paul N.Williams presents eleven steps of investigative reporting:
- Conception • Suggestion by somebody • Review various regular resources • Reading • Utilize news excerpts • Broadening alternative point of views out of a news event • Direct observation
- Feasibility Study • Various obstacles should be overcome? Or matters need to be prepared • Required individuals • Possible pressure implication on our media • Preserve confidentiality from other media
- Go-No-Go Decision: Yes or No (conducting investigation)
- Base building
- Planning • Collection and organization of information • Task delegation
- Original Research • Browse paper trails i) Secondary sources ii) Primary documents iii) Computer information system iv) Information from other countries • Browse people trails
- Filling the Gaps
- Final Evaluation
- Writing and Rewriting
- Publication and Follow-up Stories
Williams’ 11 steps is a well-structured piece in illustrating investigative reporting context of its implementation by the media.
In its progress, Tempo Magazine which was banned during the New Order era has now made its come back. With a new paradigm, they returned by opening up the magazine to a broad range of society. In the 2003-20041 Annual Report, they have become a holding company by the name PT Tempo Inti Media Tbk, with the following Board of Commissioners:
- Goenawan Mohamad, Chief Commissioner of PT Tempo Inti Media since 1998, the year Tempo was reissued. From that same year, he became the editor-in-chief of Tempo magazine until 1999.
- Ir. Ciputra, Commissioner of PT Tempo Inti Media from 2000 to date.
- Leonardi Kusen, Chief Director of PT Tempo Inti Media Tbk since 1998.
- Zulkifly Lubis, Director of PT Tempo Inti Media Tbk since 1996.
- Yusril Djalianus, Director of PT Tempo Inti Media Tbk since 1998.
- Bambang Harymurti, Director of PT Tempo Inti Media Tbk, and editor-in-chief of Tempo magazine since 1999.
Performance of PT Tempo Inti Media Tbk transpires the strength for Weekly News Magazine Tempo where the Rubric Investigation slotted and Tempo Magazine’s investigative reporting pattern is processed.
Tempo Magazine’s Editorial Policy
Tempo Magazine’s editorial policy can be deduced by its vision as follows:
Based on this vision, it can be construed that Tempo Magazine aims to become a press institution of reference by the Indonesian public. The basis is to position a media that can encourage the fundamentals in the liberty of thinking and expressing opinions in social orders of Indonesian. Through media institutions that report various “truths” on multiple events within the society and government, Tempo Magazine empower the growth of dialectic discourse in the community by its reporting. From this side, Tempo Magazine pursues to build a social order that “values intelligence and dissent”. This means, Tempo Magazine stands out to be a medium for discussion desired by the society. Tempo Magazine intends to channel people’s desire to discuss various actual events that are becoming important issues among the Indonesian public.
Tempo’s Investigative Reporting Activities
By practice, the technical details of the investigative work process are not always executed in exact manner. Actual reality in the field often requires the editor to be prepared with any unexpected possibilities.
In an organizational meeting, according to Toriq Hadad in a paper entitled 25, they discussed the proposed theme for the investigation that will be executed. The discussion continued in an investigation meeting attended by every party involved in the project; the reporters, head of the reporting bureau, reporting coordinator, writer, editor, design department that will construct the outline for the news and assignments. The Executive Editor led the whole team. He worked on the tasks from sorting outlines, monitoring incoming materials, providing additional assignments and organizing literature research. They appointed a reporter as research officer to research on a variety of news published earlier before.
The execution of investigative reporting takes place under the coordination of the Head of the Bureau and the rubric’s Person in Charge. Both of them discussed various materials that came in, for each day the investigation is going on, and it was reported to the Executive Editor. Their tasks include strategizing reporting, developing assignments and pursuing additional resources. From time to time, the team on the field reports whatever they have gathered.
This study uses qualitative method with case study approach, through interpretive framework, according to (26 p. 11-13).
“Case studies”, according to Robert E. Stake when writing Case Studies (in 26 , p. 236-247) are “it draws attention to the question of what specifically can be learned from the single case, the process of learning about the case and the product of our learning”.
According to 27 , the object incase study approach must be “specific, unique and systemic as a whole”.The issue of the investigative reporting, which to be examined in this case study approach must be specific, unique and systemic. It must be specific that no other research can explain the conceptualization of investigative reporting done by Tempo. Meanwhile, the case is also unique: due to the lack of clarity in conceptualization of investigation by Tempo Magazine when examined based on investigative reporting’s framework definitively. Investigative reporting done by Tempo Magazine is a systemic issue due to reporting working concept that integrates editorial management as a journalistic work unit. This qualitative research collects data through interview transcripts, field notes, document studies and so on.
All of that will be examined with descriptive (descriptive case studies) approach. According to Yin (1994, p. 4 & p. 105), the nature of descriptive in case studies, among other things, is to explain the sequence of multiple events (development), subculture, or browsing key phenomena, for certain social environment(s), within a time period. Case study approach designed for this research is a single case (embedded) in nature, which applies multi-level analysis. Single case (embedded) research design consists of textual, practical and systemic analysis.
Analysis is carried out to discover the answers to understand the reporting of investigation, both stated by literature and meanings conceptualized by Tempo Magazine itself.One observation is the terminology of investigative reporting. The conclusion in pursuit is the reporting conceptualization where the investigation is defined by literature, and conclusion that is conceptualized by Tempo’s investigative reporting.
The analysis also discusses the difference/specification of investigative reporting in relation to Tempo Magazine’s reporting management as a whole. The observation is focused on the investigative reporting pattern of Tempo Magazine in relation to Tempo’s editorial management. The conclusion to be sought is the description and analysis of investigative reporting pattern by Tempo Magazine as a reporting unit (Investigasi rubric), which is systemically integrated with Tempo’s editorial management.
28, p. 102-106, states research with the case study approach justifies analysis strategy that emphasizes on what to analyze and why. In this research, all 11 steps of investigative reporting by Paul N. Williams work as a guide for the observation that aims to examine the reporting pattern done by the media. The investigative reporting steps became a descriptive framework to interpret Tempo’s investigative reporting reality. Thus, it does not serve as a theoretical measure instrument framework.
As such, this study resulting in a description of the conclusion that carries different weights with propositioned investigation levels. The conclusion for this study case approach, through interpretive framework, is intended to interpret the uniqueness of investigation covering pattern done by Tempo Magazine as a media within the Indonesia press circle, when associated with literary propositions in regards with investigative reporting.
Thus, referring to Yin’s idea, analysis technique for the case study approach applied in this study is pattern matching and explanation building. Pattern matching technique is used to apply the proposition for Tempo’s investigative reporting pattern. This proposition is not the tested theoretical conceptualization, but merely to serve as a descriptive framework in the observation of Tempo Magazine’s investigation with the pattern suggested by Paul Williams and other investigation theorists.
Explanation-building technique is applied to develop the description of this research case. In other words, developing explanations in regards to data discrepancies and investigative reporting workflow based on the comparisons from Tempo Magazine’s work pattern with literary investigative reporting propositions.
Data Collection Method
Data collection process has started since September 2004, based on the willingness and availability given by the resource persons. All of these research sources are personnel of Tempo in 2004, which are: Tempo Magazine’s Chief Editor, Bambang Harymurti; Deputy Chief Editor, Toriq Hadad; Investigative Editor (cum Executive Editor), Hermien Y. Kleden; journalist for Investigasi Rubric, Rommy Fibri and Endah W.S., and Editor, Ahmad Taufik. These are the people involved in Tempo Magazine’s investigative reporting activities.
Accumulatively, the research was conducted approximately within 11 months, which is from June 2004 to June 2005. It was conducted by studying documents, in particular the documents pertaining to this research, which includes draft texts on the investigation of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, infographics on journalists’ computer monitors integrated with Tempo Magazine editorial system (functions as communication channel among the journalists when working on an investigation), drafts of editorial mechanisms, structure and organization of Tempo Magazine as a media company. This research was also conducted by in-depth interviews using unstructured interview pattern on several informants or resource persons selected based on their deemed competency in investigative reporting in general.
In addition, observations were made on the editorial workspace (observing the editorial members’ daily pattern during day and night), the activities of journalists (discourse on “Kebebasan Infomasi” at the Press Council Building, staying over at journalist Ahmad Taufik’s house and the trial of Tempo vs. Tommy Winata at the Central Jakarta High Court).
The publication of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih” became the object of this research. The news became analysis instrument to observe Tempo’s investigative reporting pattern.
Analysis is conducted through Investigative Reporting Terminology research done by the researchers. The discussion tries to describe the differences of investigative reporting and its characteristics with other types of reporting. In the literature, the discussion attempts to pick up the investigative reporting pattern (which consists of 11 steps) presented by Paul Williams. Findings by the researchers during the pre-research in Tempo Magazine’s investigation editorial and attempt to link it with researchers’ findings in journalism literature discourse has found investigative reporting working format.
By taking the example of Tempo Magazine’s investigative reporting in the case of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, the researchers look out for pattern design of Tempo’s investigation works.Analysis later discusses the reporting mechanism for Tempo Magazine. The study found the measures taken by Tempo Magazine that applies the regular pattern on reporting but with multiple specific specializations. The Investigasi Rubric from Tempo Magazine has specific reporting works from its journalists. When examined further, as a matter of fact, the investigative reporting of Tempo Magazine by its principle has a mechanism that is not much different from regular reporting process. The difference, however, lies on specific dimensions of its investigative reporting’s characteristics.
DISCUSSION / ANALYSIS
Investigative reporting is a rigorous reporting designed to reveal a case. The particular case is usually related to fraudulent or misconduct committed by country’s administration or boards. Ever since its second ban, Tempo Weekly News Magazine brings the widest information to the society through its investigative reporting. This is relevant to democratic nation context which demands involvement from the public in each decision-making process. To be able to get involve, the public itself has to firstly acquire suffice and accurate information. This is where Tempo Magazine steps in and play its role as information provider to the public with in-depth information and disclosure of cases revolving the society.
Toriq Hadad, the editor for Tempo Weekly News Magazine, explains the background for investigative reporting, through Investigasi Rubric. The inception for that rubric in relation with Indonesia’s socio-political condition. The openness era requires extensive information and disclosures on cases pertaining to public interest. In the New Order press system, for example, has portrayed how investigative reporting is reduced by the authority. Due to the situation, the researchers found the vision and mission for Tempo Magazine in initiating and delivering investigative reporting. Tempo, with its Investigasi Rubric, aspires the order of civil society towards the formation of a clean government. The vision of Tempo Magazine, which intends to expose countless abuses in the society, demands particular groundwork from its news magazine editorial team. Tempo Magazine, among others, establish a specific team, which its intensity and frequency of reporting works uniquely from regular reporting.
“During the time Tempo was re-published in October 1998”, according to him, “Tempo Magazine must face a new era, as well as a phase of transition between a group of people who wants to reform and another group who wants to preserve the status quo. On that point, Indonesia was having an era frequently called the Reformation Era, which is a transition phase from the New Order regime to the next era. Tempo wished to jump onboard. They feel the need to play a part in the transition process. Tempo Magazine wanted to help the growth of civilized society in Indonesia. With a civilized society, the development of society is expected to yield loads of benefits.
“We saw that, in that position, the part that needs to be strengthened is civilized society,” explained Toriq. Tempo plays the role of media as a catalyst for social growth. Tempo Magazine became a media that provides news about various unpleasant events that had happened in Indonesia in the past that cannot be repeated. They want to be a bulletin board for the reformists displaying events circulating the society. “Especially in relation to law enforcement, for example, courts, prosecutors and policies. We see those things need to be strengthened. ”On that point, according to Toriq, “Most of us only have word of mouth, but lacking data and proof.” Tempo Magazine aimed to position itself as a media that exposes various events backed with proof and data.
In addition, Tempo wanted to be a bold media to expose countless abuses within society in a systematic way. By means of journalism, Tempo Magazine strengthens the establishment of civilized society to acquire controlling power on various events in society. Its rubric, Investigasi, later became a special feature for Tempo Magazine after the ban. This rubric is hoped to function in catering the public with extensive and thorough information. In regards to this matter, Bambang Harymurti stressed out public interest aspect in Tempo Magazine’s investigation rubric.
Investigasi rubric is one of the vessels of Tempo, to carry its duty as a media within the Indonesia press. “Tempo’s main duty,” according to Bambang, “is to deliver information to the public.” This is the imperative duty for Tempo. Why? Because Tempo Magazine aims to carry out the mandate of democracy as people’s authority. The people are the main support of Indonesia nation that deserve a place. Tempo presents that place. Tempo Magazine invites participation from the public in the decision-making process, by providing information where various decisions in regards with the country and nation are put at stake. Tempo Magazine performs its journalistic duty as significant and valuable information provider for the public.
“Whether the piece of information carries public interest or not,” told Bambang, “if it has, yes, we need to carry it out in various ways, including undercover,” to obtain the most crucial information for the public. Tempo Magazine dares to perform journalistic ‘undercover’. But then again, not for any useless information, for example, “just to know the size of the undergarment, I do not think it is too big of a public interest.”
From that point, Tempo Magazine assigns its journalists to investigate, in light of public interest. “That is the reason we constantly assess information by the journalists whether it is carrying public interest or not, that is the main focus of investigation”. That is the reason for the establishment of Tempo’s investigation rubric. “Because there are important issues need to be put under public knowledge but they are impossible to get with regular methods,” he explained. “Due to that, investigative measure is needed”.
Investigation assignments are highly determined by team’s intensity and compactness. A good and solid team determines accuracy and quality level of the investigation’s results. The investigation team lay emphasize on quality and capacity of the journalists. The working mechanism is coordinated by the coordinator, which is the investigation editor. “The team must be solid,” explained Ahmad Taufik. “And for that reason, a coordinator is assigned to organize the team.”
The investigation editorial management structured by Tempo is different from regular reporting. “The Investigasi journalists are different from journalists of other rubrics,” explained Toriq Hadad. Tempo Magazine’s journalists only work on one case (news), for a longer period of time. “The treatment towards them and other journalists is also distinctive,” posed Toriq.
The investigation team receives more attention by the editorial management. The attention is mainly in the form of funds, human resources, products and teamwork that will work on the investigation project. There is a special team outside of the regular editorial team. Tempo Magazine’s investigation team has certain human resource criteria:
- Excellent journalist
- Capacity in capturing behind story
- Background of ability
- Never give up
- Networking command
This matter was reiterated by Toriq Hadad, during explaining on the necessary expertise in conducting investigation works. For that purpose, qualified journalists human resource are required, apart from high perseverance, strong sentient and never give up.
The flow of investigational team’s task begins with proposals from the journalist. The process begins with creation of idea to disclose a case detected by the media. The idea is then escalated to the editorial meeting, to be account its feasibility for investigation. Hermin Y. Kleden, as investigative editor once, states every matter is taken into account in the editorial meeting, which involves every element in Tempo editorials. “Here is where the ruthlessness happened,” values Hermin. In the meeting, which is joined by the editor in chief, executive editor and the rest, all the investigational idea must prepare to be heftily condemned and criticized. “Our preparation was put to test, besides receiving oppositions from other departments. Thus, our materials need to be strong.”
Investigational rubric is the special feature of Tempo, consequentially valued positively by society. This matter is caused by several elements lying behind it. For example, the confidentiality style of work for Tempo’s investigational works. As much as possible, the editor prudently contained the ongoing investigational themes. “Except when we have collaboration with other media,” explained Hermin.
Next, the courage in news reporting. Every so often, other media hesitates to report certain news. For Tempo, the effort to report “violations” happening within the society is something important. This courage is not “subjective”, which is based on opinions. “We discuss the facts and data. We deflect argument based on facts and data in hand. Courageousness might be the added value for us, which sometimes the other media failed to have.”
Not all of the investigative reporting succeed, it may be terminated halfway due to unproven case. Regarding this matter, Toriq Hadad considers that as normal, because this is investigation. “Yes, if it cannot proceed and funds have already been released, what else can be done? That would be only considered as production cost.”
Investigative reporting is highly determined by selection of precise and sharp angle. This is beneficial for news depth and sharpness so it will not be broad, but focus to single case. “During the planning we choose one very sharp angle. So it will not be broad…. Usually we move from the initial data. This can be from various sources….” explained Toriq Hadad. The initial data became the benchmark for carrying the investigation onwards. This data became the idea to conduct investigative reporting.
Investigasi Rubric is systematically a reporting unit integrated with Tempo’s editorial management. Essentially, every rubric of Tempo Magazine get to carry out investigation. That is the reason for the occasional collaboration with the regular team. “The collaboration with Tempo News Media (TNM) for instance,” explains Toriq Hadad.
In the investigation of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, the journalist who investigated was Romi Fibri. In the report, Romy asked assistance from his colleagues in Tempo working at Riau and Batam. Romi needed to get those two correspondents of Tempo Magazine to involve too, even though both of them are not in the investigation team. “I need to get my partners in Batam and Riau involve, because they understand the situation better.”
Systematically, investigation activities are integrated with Tempo Magazine’s editorial management, but possessing specialized characteristics of reporting and journalists. The specialized investigative rubric of Tempo Magazine is related to the events reported, related to reporting activity by other rubrics, related to multiple editorial organs (Tempo’s Koran and Tempo News Room), related to provision of huge reporting funds, related to the selection of specified journalism standard, execution of teamwork, and its news reporting products that are limitless by time of reporting.
Williams’ 11 Steps Juxtaposition
When juxtaposed with Williams’ “11 Steps of Investigation Journalism”, Tempo’s investigative pattern has the similarity essentially. However, it appears to be different when it comes to practicality of Tempo Magazine’s investigative activity.
Essentially, in the management’s perspective, it can be evaluated that “The 11 Steps of Investigation by Williams” patterned the tasks based on Planning, Organizing, Actuating, Controlling with several additions of “cautionary” in the “execution” (to be mindful of “missteps” possibility, or to minimize scale of error) and “monitoring” activity in the “controlling” steps (assessing impact of the news, or observing the possible response from audience towards the news).
Essentially, the same activity happens in Tempo’s investigation. News reporting steps by Tempo, in light of managerial, consist of planning, organizing, actuating and controlling of investigative activity. Tempo’s investigation also set a high level of “cautionary” in activities and monitoring of news impact.
However, despite having similarity in their managerial essence, lies some differences in Tempo Magazine’s investigation. Investigative reporting, briefly has four stages that consist of “conceptualization, planning, evaluating and reporting”. In other words, Tempo is different from “William’s 11 Steps of Investigative Journalism” in regards to its sequence of stages and naming.
Those various stages and naming for Tempo Magazine’s investigation steps were picked up and founded from Tempo’s regular reporting routine for over two decades. To put it in simple form, the investigative reporting done by Tempo Magazine comprises of four features:
- Conceptualize investigative reporting
- Planning the investigation
- Create investigation report
The followings are explanation of Tempo’s investigative reporting pattern when juxtaposed with Williams’ “11 Steps of Investigation”. By applying Tempo’s investigation activity during reporting of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, Tempo’s investigative reporting pattern is defined.
- Conceptualizing investigation report At this stage, it can be evaluated that Tempo is carrying out its investigative activity with “Conception, Feasibility Study, Go-No-Go Decision and Basebuilding” from the theory of “Williams’ 11 Steps of Investigation”. In the Conception step, Tempo opens up the pitch for investigation topic to the editors –from the reporters, rubric’s head, editorial staff, executive editor, the editor in chief – or problems raised, politics, economy, social, legal, cultural and others. In the reporting of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, the idea came from Tempo’s Koran which was then considered by reporters to be proposed in the editorial meeting. Feasibility study in Tempo’s editorship is done with mapping process. This process leads to initial data browsing, oversee Tempo’s preparedness, the possible obstacles, existence of data sources and others. Other than that, measuring various means that are able to support data for the case, verifying a variety of alternatives and predicting numerous positive and negative possibilities. Go-No-Go Decision, done by Tempo in the editorial meeting; each idea does not directly granted its approval. All proposals are criticized. Then only the investigation proposals are decided, which should be proceeded or rejected. Basebuilding is the foundation from an investigation’s topic. In the investigation “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, the basis was from a report in Tempo’s Koran regarding the particular case. Following by the findings of “impartial data” evidence from members of People’s Representative Council, concerning (assumption) the presence of “Navy’s misappropriation in ship’s procurement” and “expending civil budget fund”.
- Planning the investigation At this stage, Tempo can be evaluated exercising “Planning, Original Research, Paper-Trails and People Trails”. In the Planning process, in the “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, Tempo Magazine get hold of the assumptions from newspaper reporting the case. Then, Tempo rendered the planning, for instance, arranging the fact-finding team, which involved correspondents in 32 provinces, in order to confirm and clarify informants related to this case. Original Research activity is done by Tempo. In the investigation of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, Tempo conducted paper-trails (documents) browsing; such as seeking documentation data, “proposal letter” and other supporting documents from the Navy to Local Government on the subject of patrol boat’s procurement. Tempo also conducted people-trails (resource person) search, which pursued on several sources related to the scandal, in multiple provinces that granted the Navy’s proposal in the ship’s procurement, comprised of “local governments, governors, regional secretary (Setwilda), transportation departments (Dishub), Navy, Head of Navy Unit (Kasal)” and others.
- Making evaluation At this stage, Tempo can be evaluated conducting “Reevaluation, Filling the Gaps and Final Evaluation”. In the Reevaluation process, Tempo reevaluated various findings’ facts and data. In the case of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, early hypothesis was unverified that the Navy really in need of the ship, so it is reasonable for them to propose the ship’s procurement. Thus, the investigation’s hypothesis was changed. The focus for the investigation was shifted, along with the pursuit and tracking was directed to corrupt acts in multiple regions. Filling the Gaps step (discovering facts that have not been covered), done by Tempo, for example, reexamine obtained evidence rigorously. Once an inaccurate data was found, upon evaluation, Tempo then conducted re-searching. At this level, Tempo’s investigation met obstacles from closed sources or resource persons, intentionally concealed. Undercover activity was then carried out. Various information channels tried to be disclosed. Nonetheless, the editorials usually go through undercover to find missing facts and data in the background regions, not for on-the-record fact-finding. The Final Evaluation step conducted by Tempo, among others, by assessing the possibilities of error, weakness and arguments done in the report, or in the acquired facts. This is to preserve the possibilities of any parties being harmed by investigational reporting of Tempo, rebuttal and strikes back at Tempo. For that reason, a final evaluation meeting kind of discussion was done to assess the merits for every obtained findings, measuring their accuracy, with consideration of journalistic code of ethics or various press offenses. At this point, it was then conducted the selection of on-the-record or off-the-record information. In addition, measuring the content of public interest in each reporting news.
- Reporting investigation In this stage, Tempo can be said to exercise the “Writing and Rewriting, and Publication and Follow-up Stories” steps. The Writing and Rewriting steps, in Tempo’s investigative activity, is the reporting stage, in the form of news reporting arranged in interesting manner. For every field data and findings obtained, they were rearranged to the feature news writing framework. Various facts on field being appeared in the news story, which usually divided into several themes. The news reporting is linked to the initial hypothesis. In the investigation of “Kapal Patroli Pembawa Selisih”, the news is presented in ‘round up’ form to provide message perspective and general picture. Additionally, there was chronology of the event, which then incorporated with infographics and interview section. The Publication and Follow-up Stories steps (publishing and developing news) is the activity followed after the publication of investigative story. Tempo observed public’ opinion towards its reporting. Tempo also anticipated the responds and reactions from audience. On the other side as well, Tempo made the documentation for possibilities of case development/violations/scandals for the investigation which has been reported.
Mapping: Tempo’s Distinctive Measure
The conception of Tempo Magazine’s investigative reporting is obtained by, in the term of Tempo Magazine’s editorials, mapping. Mapping can be put as the specific investigative reporting pattern of Tempo Magazine. The mapping investigation steps by Tempo Magazine is different from the ‘Feasibility Study’ steps in theory.
Mapping in Tempo Magazine’s investigation is the activity to measure ability and readiness of investigational works, for example calculating magnitude of offense when measured with space point of view and public interest (including “severe” offense, and causing significant social damage, as well as creating “many” reactions of “perception/rebuttal/objection”, and others).
The mapping concept of investigation in Tempo Magazine focusing on the basics of public interest. The mapping process, in such manner, is the target from Tempo Magazine’s aspirations which to become information provider that can empower the society (civil) and encourage good governance by the government. In mapping, Tempo Magazine conducts investigation, among others, the activity of browsing initial data, overseeing readiness by Tempo, measuring obstacles, data sources and others.
Within the mapping stage in the investigation, Tempo Magazine might consider on the Go / No Go Decision step, whether to continue the investigation activity until the final level. However, this decision step is not like what is stated in the literature. Tempo Magazine does not really run the assessment, whether its investigation activities manage to disclose case/offense/scandal/others, to create a news. Decision made by Tempo in context of the investigation, is more focus on the news’ collision magnitude. How far will public interest gain its benefit. What is public reaction/perception towards its investigation news.
Investigative reporting by Tempo Magazine is a rigorous and systematic reporting, disclosing case/offense based on evidence, facts and data. Based on the desire to become a media delivering information to society, Tempo Magazine’s investigation wishes to empower a civil society order moving towards the formation of a clean government. Investigation’s editorials of Tempo Magazine among others form special teams, which their investigational tasks’ intensity and frequency are different from regular reporting. The investigation team gives emphasis to quality and capacity of journalists, which coordinated by an editor. Investigasi rubric is systematically a reporting unit integrated with Tempo’s editorial management. The mapping investigational activity is one of its kind from Tempo Magazine.
LIMITATION AND STUDY FORWARD
This study is a case study of Tempo magazine that limits the findings to this particular sample of study. Future studies may study other magazines in Indonesia with elements of comparison to compare Tempo and other magazines available. Data available needs updated as the fieldwork was conducted when access was granted.
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