Digital Investigative Journalism

Digital Investigative Journalism

The traditional media industry is rapidly changing in western and in developing and transitional countries. In the northern hemisphere models like Pro Publica are still more or less unique. In Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America exists a longer tradition of civil societal organizations and NGO’s, providing an online-driven investigative journalism. Very often they publish their content in own Internet forums and ‘stakeholder’-media. Those organizations provide investigations which the traditional media aren’t capable of achieving and financing anymore. For them the digital media is both a tool for editorial management and publishing their investigations. Normally those organizations are supported either by foreign governmental agencies or foreign private foundations. Very rarely their business model works in a sustainable manner.

The panel asks whether the debate about citizen journalism and ICT-based journalism in developing and transitional countries is just a hype or addressing a real need in these respective societies. Key Questions:

Difference to traditional investigative journalism

  • How does this organizational structure of investigative journalism – comparing to commercially organized journalism – changed the face of traditional investigative journalism?
  • What new business models are being developed around digital investigative journalism?
  • Do the results of those investigations only have an effect on their own new Internet spheres or do they affect the traditional media organizations as well?
  • Does this civil societal journalism mark a difference regarding the results of investigations or is it filling a gap without any difference regarding the structure of investigation-processes?

Role of technology

  • Are digital media the main force driving this shift in the organizational structure of investigative journalism?
  • What new tools and approaches are being used and what models of financing investigative journalism in the future are being developed?

Donor and Cooperation Perspectives

  • What are lessons learnt?
  • How could donors take over those lessons learnt?
  • What are strategies for making such journalism economically independent and sustainable?

Jelena Jovanović – Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN)
Gustavo Gorriti – IDL Reporteros

Christian Mihr – n-ost

IDL Reporteros
“Digital Journalism: Will It Work for Investigative Journalism?” at Nieman Reports

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