Laura Frank, reporting for Exposé, explores the state of investigative reporting in a series entitled "The Withering Watchdog." In an era of shrinking newsrooms, "investigative reporting is often the first target. Investigative journalism takes more time and more experienced journalists to produce, and it often involves legal battles. It's generally the most expensive work the news media undertake. But an Exposé original investigation has found there's more to the story. The decline in investigative reporting — the in-depth stories that hold the powerful accountable in a democracy — began long before the current economic collapse. The crisis that has pundits worried about the survival of serious journalism in America began with what the journalism industry did to itself."