Each year investigative journalists are murdered and yet newcomers are prepared to join the ranks Using examples and autobiographical material discuss what it is that drives such men and women despite an apparent decline in support from their employers

Global statistics, as researched by and presented in the Columbia Journalism Review (2006) indicated that in 2005, a conservative figure of 1200 journalists were murdered, killed, arrested and imprisoned for doing their job: exposing the truth. Their enemies include groups of people who would never otherwise be grouped together: law and order officials and petty criminals and, statesmen and crime lords to name but a few. The dangers which investigative journalists confront are only compounded by the fact that the media organisations they are affiliated to are increasingly incapable of providing them the support or the protection needed. The implication is that if they are kidnapped, the payment of the required ransom is slim and compliance with the any of the kidnappers’ demands is a virtual impossibility. if they are arrested, the capacity of the organisation in question to act in their defence is minimal, especially vis-à-vis foreign governments and. if they `disappear,’ as investigative journalists often do, their organisations are rarely able to `find’ them. Within the context of the stated, the real question is why, year after, young and aspiring journalists join the ranks of investigative journalists. As may be inferred from the literature on the topic, and as shall be argued in this research, the answer to this question is found in that which investigative journalism symbolises, its principles and, ultimately, that which it achieves. Indeed, even though some are motivated to join the ranks of investigative journalism because of the associate fame, glamour and financial rewards, the majority are attracted to it because they perceive of journalism as a vocation which allows them a strategy for the exercise of social responsibility and the safeguarding of societal welfare.Understanding the attractions of investigative journalism is partially predicated on understanding the