News Start Ups Don’t Spend Enough on Making Money

Online local news start ups are devoting significantly more resources to creating content than they are to raising money to pay for it – and that may spell trouble for long term sustainability. That’s one finding from a new survey conducted earlier this year as part of my database of U.S. news start ups, www.micheleslist.org. About 80 publishers responded to the annual survey, which I conduct independently.

Investigative Highlights from the Perugia Journalism Festival

Imagine a charming Italian town packed with journalists, data geeks, and students. Everywhere you go you run into old colleagues, someone you follow on Twitter, or your next partner in crime. Now add 225 sessions in beautiful century-old venues, 540 speakers from around the world, and 230 young volunteers ready to help. That about sums up the 8th International Journalism Festival in Perugia. Didn’t make it? Don’t worry, here are some highlights compiled by GIJN, including panels and tips on investigating crime, data techniques, social media, and crowdfunding. (Photo: GIJN members in Perugia from IRPI, ICIJ, OCCRP, VVOJ.)

How Three Independent News Sites Survived their First Five Years

Launching a news publication online is the easy part. Paying the bills and surviving for several years is the hard part. Three of those who have evolved and survived for at least five years are La Silla Vacia, a political website in Colombia, Homicide Watch, a news and data platform in three U.S. cities, and Texas Tribune, a news site focused on Texas civic life.

Crowdfunding: Alternative Finance Builds Alternative Journalism

Greg Palast’s approach to investigative journalism can be summed up in one phrase: Stand up for the underdogs, and take on the fatcats. His hard-hitting reports on corporations like ExxonMobil, politicians like Bush, and shadowy institutions like vulture funds stem from an impulse to challenge those players with the power to bend the rules to their private advantage. That’s why functioning democracies need people like Palast.

The Future of Media Is Mobile

After years of predictions that this year would be the year of mobile, finally it has arrived. So here are some numbers that should prompt strategizing and action by digital media publishers. What small and large digital publishers ought to learn from these figures is that the public is moving so quickly to mobile consumption of news and social sharing that they need to take action.

Spurring Cross-Border Collaboration on Journalism Investigations in Latin America

More and more, Latin American journalism is thriving in the digital space. Investigative journalism platforms online are joining forces, data journalism bootcamps are taking off and there are new accelerators looking to fund innovative news projects. “In today’s world, journalists spend more time in the virtual world than in the paper stacks,” said Carlos Eduardo Huertas, director of Connectas, a nonprofit which supports transnational journalism.

YanukovychLeaks Update: “The Project Is Becoming Bigger”

The extraordinary story of how Ukrainian investigative reporters saved thousands of documents left by fleeing ex-president Viktor Yanokuvych has gone viral. YanukovychLeaks.org, the site thrown together by an impromptu team of journalists and hackers, has received more than 600,000 visitors since going live on Tuesday – and those documents have been viewed 3.8 million times. “That means people really do care about transparency. It is valued,” says Drew Sullivan of the nonprofit Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which is helping provide resources for the project.

Should Investigative Journalists Partner with Business?

The setting was a recent conference on “Business in Society” at INSEAD, the business school based outside of Paris, where the authors of this article were presenting their ideas on media development. Unexpectedly, an executive from a major shipping company stood up and said: “We just learned that one of our sub-contractors in a certain country is in organized crime. We want more investigative reporting, so we can avoid such issues.”

The GIJN Top 10: Our Most Popular Stories of 2013

As 2013 nears an end, we’d like to share our top ten stories — the stories that you, our dear readers, found most compelling. The list ranges from impassioned calls for journalists to fight back to the dangers of big data, from the latest techniques for tracking business across borders to the arcane practice of plane-spotting. Please join us in taking a look at The Best of GIJN.org.

GIJN Newsletter: GIJC13 Highlights, After Rio, End of Year Appeal

Our just-released newsletter, the Global Network News, includes highlights of the 8th Global Investigative Journalism Conference, as well as a big thanks to all of you who made it possible. You’ll also find an update on the big decisions that came from the Rio meeting of GIJN’s Steering Committee, made up of our 90 member organizations.