Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4337
Title: Investigative journalism: a case for intensive care?
Authors: Lashmar, P
Keywords: Investigative Journalism;Journalists;Fourth Estate;Fifth Estate;Donation
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: University of Westminster
Citation: Journalism in Crisis Conference, London, May 2009.
Abstract: Is Investigative Journalism in the UK dying or can a ‘Fifth Estate’ model resuscitate it? This paper is an examination of whether the American subscription and donation models such as ProPublica, Spot.US and Truthout are the way forward. In January 2009 a group of the UK’s top investigative journalists met privately to discuss ‘What is to be done?’ about the perceived perilous state of investigative journalism. There is profound concern that the traditional media either no longer has, or wishes to employ the resources to maintain a sustainable level of investigative journalism. While the Iraq War and the Credit Crunch have revealed the desperate need for better in-depth investigative reporting, the number of viable outlets has contracted. Investigative journalism is accepted as a core determinant of high quality journalism. The need for a critical mass of investigative journalists is widely perceived as vital to democracy as characterized by Carlyle’s ‘Fourth Estate’ model. The UK group is currently examining the US experience where long standing non-profit organisations like the Centre for Public Integrity and the Centre for Investigative Journalism have used the combined foundation and donation funding model. But new ‘Fifth Estate’ web based models are also being innovated. ProPublica, which employs a substantial number of experienced journalists, is funded by a wealthy philanthropist. Spot.US posts possible investigative projects and appeals to the public to donate to fund specific identified investigations. This paper will address whether new funding models can be employed in the UK.
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/4337
Appears in Collections:Media
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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