Investigative Journalism: Next Generation

Woods-Hole-Ferry-BinocularsIf newspapers are in terminal decline who is going to pick up the mantle of accountability journalism?

So asks NYU professor Clay Shirky, one of the most insightful digital media thinkers around.

The fourth estate is a traditional bulwark against the excesses of the commercial and political classes. Without it – or rather, without much of it – will come “casual, endemic, civic corruption”.

In my latest column for, I discuss what might eventually replace the newspaper as a check against corruption and highlight some of the examples of accountability journalism already out there on the net.

If you haven’t already come across Propublica, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism,, and Help Me Investigate among others, you soon will.  

Read: Where now for accountability journalism?

(And, if you really haven’t got anything better to do, you can read all 10 of my columns here.)

(Picture credit: rogue3w)

YouTube If You Want To: Why Susan Boyle Won’t Save Michael Grade’s Micropayment Plan

Interesting discussion towards the end of last week between Five Live presenter Simon Mayo and ITV’s executive chairman Michael Grade.*

Inevitably, they talked Susan Boyle, star of YouTube for the month of June and Grade made a pitch for micropayments.

As I explore in my latest column for today, there are at least four good reasons why making micropayments pay off is going to be a tough challenge for ITV. Briefly,

1. Micropayments don’t work for perishable goods
2. Micropayments put people off
3. Micropayments only work if you control distribution
4. YouTube clips drive traffic first, revenues second

You can read the piece here for a little more meat on the bones.

(You can listen to the interview on the iPlayer until midnight Wednesday 15 July. Grade interviews starts around 1 hour, 22 minutes.)

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Goodness Gracious, Not So Great Firewall Of China

I mentioned in passing yesterday Clay Shirky’s views on Twitter and events in Iran. Well, you can never have enough of the man and this is worth 17 minutes of your life.

Recorded last month and posted in the last couple of days by, this compelling restatement of the web as media revolution was delivered to an audience in the US State department.

Continue reading Goodness Gracious, Not So Great Firewall Of China