businessmodels · futurejournalism · online journalism

First success in a new form of investigative journalism

Help Me investigate, a trial of a platform for crowdsourcing investigative journalism, based in the UK’s West Midlands has had its first investigation published. I have previously blogged about this exciting project and it’s interesting to see some results.

Given my recent discussion about journalists and not-for-profits funding journalism and the major news organisations reaping the rewards, I wonder whether the Birmingham Post, who first published the work from the site, actually contributed any funding to the process? But it is interesting to see a different way of publishing and engagement from readers.

Check out creator Paul Bradshaw’s post on the project and let me know what you think.

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One thought on “First success in a new form of investigative journalism

  1. The Birmingham Post did not contribute any funding. However – and crucially – Post journalist Tom Scotney is a member of the site and contributed to that investigation, so you could argue that the news organisation did subsidise it, however indirectly.

    If 4iP and Screen West Midlands decide to support Help Me Investigate past this initial proof of concept stage, one of the planned features is to allow users to specify whether they are happy for investigations to be taken up by commercial publishers (for many the objective is to highlight wrongs that need righting, so getting it onto that mainstream radar is par for the course), in a Creative Commons-type licensing approach.

    However, it will be the news organisations who invest their own staff’s time and institutional resources in stimulating investigations who will benefit most (not just from the results but from the expertise, contacts and distribution). Those who approach it in a wholly parasitic way will benefit least. This is something I’m working hard to communicate when I speak with news organisations and journalists.

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