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Survey: Investigative reporting continues despite surveillance, privacy concerns

Despite concerns over government surveillance, a recent survey of IRE members found that few have let those worries prevent them from pursuing a story or reaching out to a source.

In December the Pew Research center surveyed journalists who are IRE members about issues including electronic surveillance and digital privacy. Today Pew released its findings, based on confidential responses from 671 journalists, in a report and interactive.

Here are some of their findings:

  • Most investigative journalists (64 percent) believe the U.S. government has collected data about their phone calls, emails or online communications, and eight-in-ten believe that being a journalist increases the likelihood that their data will be collected.
  • Journalists are changing their habits. Nearly half (49 percent) say they have at least somewhat changed the way they store or share sensitive documents, and 29 percent say the same of the way they communicate with other reporters, editors or producers.
  • Surveillance and hacking aren't the most pressing concerns among journalists. So what is? The vast majority – 88 percent – said decreasing newsroom resources.
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