Michael Isikoff

Michael Isikoff

Inside Media: Investigative Reporting

June 15, 2008

Guest: Michael Isikoff

"Information is power; facts rule," said Michael Isikoff, investigative reporter for Newsweek magazine.

Isikoff, who has covered stories on Monica Lewinsky, President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, Guantanamo Bay detainees and the Bush administration’s case for the war in Iraq, explained that the title "investigative reporter" has a certain allure but can be applied broadly in journalism.

"It means you probe more deeply, you dig more deeply," he said. "You try to get beyond the spin."

Questioning sources can sometimes lead to tricky situations, especially when a reporter is probing an exclusive story, he said. When former Pentagon employee Linda Tripp asked him for advice on talking to Lewinsky, Isikoff felt he was up against an ethical line.

"We want to cover the news; we don’t want to be the news," he said. "We don’t want to shape the story that we’re writing about."

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