Huffington Post Gives Back

By Ben Cohen

This is the best news serious journalists have heard in a good few years. From Arianna Huffington:

I’m delighted that today we are launching a new venture — The

Huffington Post Investigative Fund. This nonprofit Fund will produce a

wide-range of investigative journalism created by both staff reporters

and freelance writers.

As the newspaper industry continues to contract, one of the most

commonly voiced fears is that serious investigative journalism will be

among the victims of the scaleback. And, indeed, many newspapers are

drastically reducing their investigative teams. Yet, given the multiple

crises we are living through, investigative journalism is all the more

important. As a result, all who recognize the indispensable role good

journalism plays in our democracy are looking for ways to preserve it

during this transitional period for the media. For too long, whether

it’s coverage of the war in Iraq or the economic meltdown, we’ve had

too many autopsies and not enough biopsies. The HuffFund is our attempt

to change this. It will also provide new opportunities for seasoned

journalists who have been laid off or forced into early retirement.

As a journalist, this is music to my ears. The lack of money for people serious about the profession means the industry cannot attract top talent. As a result, everyone suffers as power is left unchecked. It’s not the answer to the collapse of journalism, but it will help. And right now, a little can go a long way.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.