I am talking to a charitable foundation that wants to foster investigative journalism and my advice is, “go online”. So thanks to Lloyd Shepherd for pointing out this Press Gazette article on how one newspaper’s investigative team is using the internet.
David Leigh of the Guardian is the grandaddy of British investigative hacks and he’s been digging with great success in to the BAE bribery story. Leigh chose to set up the BAE Files website rather than write a book, the traditional vehicle for the post-paper publication of these ripping yarns. The website is a lot sexier with graphics and charts but its real value is as a network.
Journalists all over the world can now share the story and contribute their own bit of information. WIth crime going global, journalism has to as well. And instead of relying on a tiny team of journalists in London, the Guardian now has a vast army of connected sleuths on the case.
It raises all sorts of interesting questions about copyright, fact-checking and veracity but the benefits must surely outweigh the difficulties.