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Guardian Investigation Into Egypt Republican Guard Massacre: A Model For Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age

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While the battle over the future of Egypt wages on the streets and in embassy briefing rooms across Cairo, another no less important one is taking place across global newsrooms.

Social networks have been alight with content and commentary from pro and anti-Morsi factions for the past fortnight - and a deluge of reportage, of mixed quality and consistency, has flowed out of the Egyptian capital at a frenetic pace.

Indeed, the critical task of the global tier-1 media has been to sift through reams of fact and political fiction on digital channels to present a clear sense to readers and audiences of the real state of play in the country.

A major learning from the Arab Spring for the Western media was not so much the power of social media as a dispenser of political truths deep from within the underbelly of oppressed peoples suffering from the political symptoms of dictatorship and theocracy - but more so its more perverse ability to blur and skew readings of the event according to the prism through which one views the unfolding drama.

And because social channels like Twitter and Facebook are precisely apolitical, the opportunity for both sides of the argument - "democratic" or otherwise - to present a paradoxically revisionist perspective on events in real time is critical to any analysis of the social or geopolitical fall out.

It's for this reason that foreign editors and their correspondents, operating in environments where events are moving and developing at incredible speed, need to be relied upon to provide an analytic approach to breaking news. They must move beyond the presentation of international affairs as a false binary between good and evil, democracy and fanaticism that can almost never be applied when political violence is rife.

When they manage to achieve that golden mean, the results are really worth showcasing.

Patrick Kingsley (@patrickkingsley), The Guardian's Cairo Correspondent - and, I should add, a Gold Award winner at the MHP 30 To Watch 2012, and a member of the judging panel in 2013 - last night filed an article that may well serve as a model for foreign investigative journalism in the digital age.

Killing in Cairo: the full story of the Republican Guards' club shootings, a tour de force in long form reportage, combines high quality traditional investigative work with a keen use and analysis of the digital material that is being published at a frenetic pace from both sides of the argument in Cairo.

It is well worth a full read this weekend. In its presentation of both on-the-ground, eye witness accounts and well-sourced social media content, Patrick's piece provides a rare example of a thorough, below-the-surface analysis of unfolding events in Egypt.

And beyond the excellent reporting, the format of the piece - optimised for both a desktop and mobile readership - provides us with a very clear sense of where the future of investigative reportage is headed.

The levels of sheer uncertainty in newsrooms - and boardrooms - regarding the future of reporting and publishing methods of old is stimulating a wholesale rethinking of how and when news is delivered to ever voracious consumers of content.

So while The Guardian Media Group posted concerning financials for its print arm this week, the forthright statement from the Group on its investment in digital was less a spin on less than desirable profit margins, more a sense of how the Board at Kings Place will seek to navigate the rather turbulent journey towards an, at present, unknown destination that almost all traditional print outlets face.

If that strategy is finding its manifestation in the flagship title's reportage from Cairo, things are looking up.