Nonprofits May Be Future of Muckraking

Websites compete with city papers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2008 12:50 PM CST
Online journalists are producing investigative reporting at a very low cost   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Internet journalism has long been dominated by partisan commentary, gossip, and well-intentioned amateurs, but that’s all changing, the New York Times reports. Sites like VoiceofSanDiego or the St. Louis Beacon are doing serious, investigative journalism many a newspaper would envy at a fraction of the cost. Voice’s reports on local corruption, for example, have led to investigations and criminal charges.

“I have them come into my classes, and I introduce them as, ‘This is the future of journalism,’” said one University of San Diego professor. The problem for these Web outfits is money. Most are nonprofits, relying on donations or wealthy backers for their meager budgets. Can the news be run essentially as charity? Voice’s founder thinks so. After all, “the market isn’t doing it very well.”