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Lithuania – (C9) Watchdog function and financial resources

Score in short:

No pre-planned budgets are allocated to perform investigative journalism and fulfill the watchdog function.

Score in detail:

Even though investigative journalism is a significant tool for controlling the powers that be, the selected news media do not engage in these activities on a regular basis. Lack of financial resources, adequate time planning as well as lack of professionals qualified to do investigative journalism are among most frequently mentioned reasons for this. The representatives of the selected news media describe investigative journalism as one of the most important functions of the media, yet the highest priority is given to the mission of informing society and presenting the biggest scope on various events. At the same time, some of the news media allocate their journalists the time needed for investigation – sometimes it can be 3-4 days, other times 2-3 weeks (depending on the news media type and the issue that is being researched). It is important to mention that none of the news media organizations in our sample has a unit that performs investigative journalism as its main function; basically, decisions to allocate financial and human resources and invest in investigative journalism are made depending on the needs of the moment (for example, to disclose wrongdoings in politics, business, or sports).