Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Investigative journalism: great return on investment

Between fines and recovered funds, journalists get results

Lately a couple of us here at the University of Navarra have been looking for models of high-quality journalism that are sustainable. As it turns out, many of the best news organizations that are thriving are doing investigative journalism.

Readers like this type of journalism, which holds the powerful accountable for their actions, makes them responsible for serving the public rather than themselves.

In a 2016 article, two leaders of global investigative journalism organizations made the case that investigative journalism actually has a great return on investment, ROI.

Versión en español

"Over the years [Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)] has accepted $5 million in funding from the U.S. and other governments. The return on that funding? With $2.8 billion recovered in fines and seized assets by various governments, the payoff is over 56,000 percent (or a 560-fold return)".
The authors of that article were  David E. Kaplan, executive director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, and Drew Sullivan, one of the founders of OCCRP.

Monday, May 20, 2019

In Eastern Europe, a media battle for hearts and minds

Atlantic Magazine features the clash of ideas in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban vs. philanthropist George Soros.
Many of the right-wing or nationalist leaders of Eastern and Central Europe have been winning votes by attacking the political correctness of the European Union and its allies.

And they have chosen as their whipping boy George Soros, the billionaire and philanthropist whose Open Society Foundations have been funding programs that promote Western democratic values like freedom of expression, human rights, equality, and social justice.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is part of the reason. He has never gotten over the humiliation of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Even worse was seeing three former member republics --Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia-- join the European Union in 2004, along with four former Eastern bloc members, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. He is using media to try to get them back.