Thinking beyond print to support investigative journalism

With traditional news funding models under siege, the former publisher of The Toronto Star John Honderich has taken a look at five potential options.

His main focus is how to ensure that quality, investigative journalism continues to receive the funding it needs. The piece is well thought out and argued, aside from one underlying assumption – that this is about saving a media format, the newspaper.

From the start, Honderich asks: “Whether serious print journalism?”

He goes on to talk about various ideas to revive newspapers, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to pay for newspaper subscriptions for all 18-year-olds.

There is no denying that newspapers have been the vehicles for powerful, investigating journalism. But it is time to stop equating a form of journalism with a format for delivering that journalism.

There is no reason to assume that print is the only or even the best vehicle for investigative journalism.

The newspaper is a delivery vehicle for news. For a younger generation, that delivery vehicle is the internet.

As one of the comments on the story says:

My son is well educated but will not read a hardcopy newspaper. He is well read and takes in many different news sources but it’s all via the net. That’s the way that generation is. You need to capture and keep their interest ’cause we hard copy guys are leaving this earth!!

Let’s stop rehearsing tired arguments about journalism that are linked to a means of distribution.

Post Author: Neil Black