A First Step in the Remodeling of Investigative Journalism
Tim Luckhurst, in a Guardian-UK article, Why Journalism Needs Paywalls, argues that “It's time to admit that giving away value undermines democracy.”
I’m not sure he makes the case that democracy is any real trouble, but newspapers surely are. They’re losing tons of money and, in an effort to staunch the blood-flow, are tossing everything toss-able overboard. The fact seems to remain that, in a world of instant on-line technology, pulling a daily print edition together, rolling the presses and sending countless trucks off to thump the bales of paper at news-stands and front porches is unprofitable—in the extreme.
Johnny Carson used to say, “If you buy the premise, you buy the bit.” My premise is that print editions of The New York Times (insert your personal favorite here) will not survive. If you buy that premise, the bit has to do with how to rescue investigative journalism from the life-boats.
One major paper after another has closed down foreign bureaus and heaved their best investig…