WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Paying for Investigative Journalism

Dec 17, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a website that is seeking crowd-sourced funding for investigative reporting.

The New York Times reported the Center for Public Integrity is a partner in the site, which can be found at Uncoverage.com

Uncoverage believes the current model for investigative journalism is broken, and the Shop Talk panelists concur.  Lisa Kernek said investigations are labor-intensive and costly, and many news departments are cutting staff and budgets instead of trying to produce in-depth reports.

Jasmine Garcia said investigative reporting has all but disappeared on local TV. She said local stations are most likely to run investigative pieces during sweeps periods, but those only happen four times a year.

The panelists think crowd-sourcing to pay for investigations is an interesting experiment and they’re curious to see how it works out. They feel sites that rely on advertising for revenue end up catering to what people want – such as celebrity gossip -- instead of giving them reporting they need.