The declining state of investigative journalism

The declining state of investigative journalism

American Journalism Review delved into the declining state of investigative journalism last week with articles and videos that quantified what’s been lost — and what might be gained:

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  • Investigative shortfall: “Kicked out, bought out or barely hanging on, investigative reporters are a vanishing species in the forests of dead tree media and missing in action on Action News. I-Teams are shrinking or, more often, disappearing altogether.”
  • The nonprofit explosion: Investigative nonprofit news organizations are sprouting up across the country. But there are pitfalls: “Whether carried out by a CEO or a development pro, fundraising is a consuming and never-ending quest at journalism nonprofits, as much a part of their business as advertising sales are to a publisher in the traditional media world. With the task come issues that are foreign to newsgatherers. Precisely what money to take under what conditions requires often thorny ethical decisions. Just because money comes from civic-minded foundations or deep-pocketed do-gooders does not mean it is free of strings or baggage.”
  • Living the Dream: A profile of the nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism: “These are not suits who ran newsrooms. Most of these people starting these are rank-and-file reporters. It’s like reporters and editors taking over the profession.”