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The Importance of Investigative Journalism in Our Current Environment

Ted Bridis
J. David Ake/AP
Associated Press News Editor Ted Bridis poses for a portrait in the Washington bureau, Monday, Jan 12, 2015. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

As the media landscape has evolved over the past few decades along with the rise of the internet and social media the importance of fact-based, deeply researched investigative journalism has become increasingly clear. But, especially in recent years, the amount of misinformation and disinformation that’s flooding our news feeds has made some people unwilling to believe any news story they disagree with no matter how well documented the facts it contains are.

On today’s show we’re continuing our series of conversations with speakers from the Naples Discussion Group’s 20-21 schedule by talking with professor Ted Bridis, he is Rob Hiaasen Lecturer in Investigative Reporting in the Department of Journalism at University of Florida. He’ll be presenting a virtual lecture on Friday, January 29 on the Importance of Investigative Journalism in Our Current Environment.

Before joining UF in 2018, Bridis was editor of the Associated Press’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington investigative team and was AP’s leading newsroom expert on security practices for source-protection and on the U.S. Freedom of Information Act and related laws.

During his 20 years at the AP his investigative team won the 2012 Pulitzer and Goldsmith prizes for investigative reporting on NYPD intelligence programs, he was the first journalist to discover and trace Hillary Clinton’s private email server to her home’s basement in Chappaqua, New York, and his team was first to reveal in August 2016 Paul Manafort’s and Rick Gates’ covert foreign lobbying activities.

Professor Bridis was also one of AP’s seven analysts since 2004 responsible for projecting winners in national elections. His call in 2016 allowed AP to be the first new organization to project Donald Trump winning the presidency.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week. Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.