It is no secret that American media is in turmoil, with many longstanding fixtures in print journalism either folding or forced to layoff staff. Each week through the end of 2009, a different media insider will offer their perspective on what media will look like in 5, 10, or 15 years–and what will become of investigative journalism. The series includes commentary from John Nichols, Dan Rather, Jane Mayer, Victor Navasky, Ana Marie Cox, David Schimke and Nick Penniman.

This week, Jane Mayer offers a perspective on the troubling losses in the field of investigative reporting. Investigative reporting, which is a slow, expensive undertaking, has become a “luxury item” for many outlets, says Mayer. In 2003, 1000 foreign reporters were covering the Iraq war, and now under 100 are. “There used to be dozens of American reporters in Cairo,” says Mayer, “and now there are two–one from the New York Times, and one from the LA Times.” There is “so much more pressure on people who are still there, to write faster, write more, write cheaper stories.” Investigative reporting, too, requires taking chances: “You don’t always get what you’re going for,” Mayer explains.

Other Videos in This Series


, The Nation.

, Huffington Post Investigative Fund.

Ana Marie
, Air America and MSNBC.

Mark Luckie,