New Investigative Journalist Site Funded by Philanthropy

With ad rates still in the doldrums and newspapers unable to figure out how to make a profit, Philanthropists are stepping in to provide money for investigative journalism. Check out the UK based The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a non profit organization funded by the Potter Foundation. Here’s their mission statement from their website:

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism officially launched on Monday

26th April 2010. The not-for-profit organisation is the first of its

kind in the UK and aims to bolster original journalism by producing

high-quality investigations for national and international press and

broadcast media.

In the current economic climate it is increasingly difficult for

editors to invest in expensive long-term investigations. The Bureau

received a £2 million grant from the Potter Foundation last year to try

and plug the gap. Its long-term aim is to explore new ways of conducting

and funding investigative journalism.

It will initially function as a production house working in

collaboration with other news groups to get its investigations published

and distributed.

The Bureau has more than twenty journalists working across several

major investigations, but at its core are editor Iain Overton and lead

reporter Angus Stickler.

I’m still convinced there is a way to run profitable, ethical journalism (I spend most of my week trying to figure it out), but projects like this must be encouraged in the mean time. Having a vibrant press dedicated to real reporting is an absolute must, particularly when holding corporations to account is becoming increasing difficult – because sadly they own most of the outlets.

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.