Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu


Investigating Power: The First Comprehensive Online Visual History of How Journalists Have Helped to Save Democracy

American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop launches visual history project of journalism’s most significant reporting of the last 60 years

WASHINGTON, D.C., (April 19, 2012): Investigating Power is the first comprehensive visual history of some of America’s greatest moments of fearless, independent journalism, and how they changed the course of American history forever. Investigating Power seeks to answer one of the most pressing questions confronting journalism in this age of shrinking media budgets and newsrooms: how can the American people know the truth about those in power with the future of original, in-depth reporting in question?

American University Professor and former CBS 60 Minutes and ABC News producer Charles Lewis sat down with many of the greatest journalists from the last century including Murrey Marder, Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, Moses Newson, Ben Bradlee, Dana Priest and Seymour Hersh and more than a dozen other leading reporters, including recently deceased Mike Wallace and Daniel Schorr, in never before seen interviews that discuss how they got their story and how their stories influenced society. Professor Lewis spent more than five years researching and creating Investigating Power in order to faithfully record, for the first time, journalism’s impact on history from the very people who did the reporting.

The journalists interviewed for Investigating Power have brought 'truth to power' in journalism during contemporary U.S. history dating back to 1950. Investigating Power defines six crucial “Moments of Truth” including the McCarthy era, Civil Rights, Vietnam, Watergate, post 9/11 America and Corporate Power.

The project’s website includes 51 HD produced video segments, the journalists’ biographies and historic “Moment of Truth” timelines, and still photos and archival footage from the war in Vietnam, the McCarthy hearings and the other “Moments” that constitute Investigating Power. After this initial launch, additional interviews and footage will be added as the project continues.

WHAT: Investigating Power Website Launch: a multimedia project that examines the life and work of the fearless journalists who exposed abuses of power through their investigations and as a consequence changed American history.

WHO: Charles Lewis, founding executive editor of the Investigating Reporting Workshop at American University’s School of Communication.

WHERE: National Press Club, Washington D.C., Holeman Lounge

WHEN: Wednesday, April 25; 6:30pm

SPONSORED BY: American University’s School of Communication, the Center for Public Integrity, the Fund for Independence in Journalism and the National Press Club Journalism Institute.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.