December 26, 2007

Three outcomes for investigative reporting?

You still can comment on a draft chapter on blogs and investigative reporting over on the Online Journalism blog. The blog - and post - is written by Paul Bradshaw. He suggests three paths for the future of investigative journalism.

Bradshaw suggests these ways:
1) Mainstream media can use investigative journalism to provide a distinctive product and prevent the readership migrating elsewhere online.
2) News organizations with declining budgets but a commitment to public service may outsource part of their investigative work to take advantage of their brands and experiences. One possible outsourcing would be to use "crowds," ie. the public and/or experts in the community to help look at something.
3) Foundations and reader donations will increasingly support investigative journalism as an important contribution to society.

Bradshaw says, for now, he expects the third solution to be the most popular and most likely.

Foundations and private support for investigations (as well as local journalism) is exactly what Dan Gillmor proposed in September in this piece.

What do you think? Will we see more groups like the nonprofit group Pro Publica forming? (That link takes you to a New York Times article about the group.) Can Pro Publica, now found at, succeed?


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