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
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
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.