Stop the Presses!

Newsroom Eyes and Other Newshawks

“You dig me up a good yarn, brother, and I’ll kiss you.”
Garry Dean, hard-boiled newshawk, chats up a source in Call the Lady Indiscreet (1946)

“Newspaper reporters are like dicks. Private dicks. Yeah, I know everyone loves the private investigator. But I look at it this way: A newspaperman is a P.I. who can spell.”
Charles Aesop Farnsworth, editor, River City Blade

I admit that the distinction between private eye and a journalist is often a tenuous one at best. Of course, not all journalists can be considered honourary PI’s. But more than a few can. A lot depends on their attitude. After all, reporters do conduct independent and private (non-official) investigations for a fee, often as freelancers (on “spec”).

So, for the purpose of this site, let’s say that a journalist who could credibly come to investigate crime or otherwise make like a detective as a regular part of their job will be considered a private eye; whereas those who just happen to be journalists and end up investigating crime do not. For example, a crime or political reporter who looks into, say, a suspicious death or a political scandal, would qualify; but the gardening columnist who stumbles over a body in the vicar’s rose garden does not.

Not quite sure what I’m getting at? Check out the following newsroom eyes, all of whom I think qualify…






  • Frank Corso by Frederick Zackel (Las Vegas City @ Nite)


  • Lou Brick by George Mair (LA-based Capitol Broadcasting System)
  • Alex Tanner by Anabel Donald (researcher for TV documentaries)
Respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.

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