Many people have sounded the death-knell of investigative reporting.
Over the years countless inches of this organ have been covered with poignant words by gloomy hacks pining for the glory days when stories about Thalidomide babies and AitkinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lies adorned every page.
DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry though, investigative reporting is back. And guess whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to save it? The Sunday Times? The Guardian? Private Eye? The Oxdown Gazette?
No Ã¢â‚¬’ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Scientologists of course! After its epic showdown with John Sweeney on last weekÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Panorama, during which it displayed its donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t-call-us-a-cult-or-weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll-stalk-you approach to PR for all to see, the Church of Scientology has launched its own TV station, Freedom.
The official Scientology magazine, of the same name, is adorned with the strap-line: Ã¢â‚¬Å“investigative reporting in the public interestÃ¢â‚¬.
The church has been distributing thousands of DVDs of its counter-documentary about SweeneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Panorama film, accusing him of terrorism, no less. In the accompanying press release Freedom TVÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s editor Graeme Wilson says it documents 154 would-be violations of BBC and Ofcom guidelines in SweeneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s film.
Interesting then, that Ofcom received a mighty nine complaints about the programme and sought to adjudicate in none of them.
Panorama editor Sandy Smith was merely Ã¢â‚¬Å“disappointedÃ¢â‚¬ with SweeneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shout-fest and defended the rest of the programme.
Recent Freedom investigations include one that accuses psychiatrists of being Ã¢â‚¬Å“mind-manipulatorsÃ¢â‚¬ responsible for acts of terrorism.
Somewhat sinisterly, the press bumf sent out with FreedomÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s DVD doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mention Scientology once.