At the end of August the Mother Jones published an interesting article that looks at the high cost of doing investigative reporting. They focus on a story that was recently published in the New York Times Magazine, written by a Propublica staff writter. The investigation took two years, and cost nearly $400,000.
This story... is the kind of work that is in peril now that the financial underpinnings (i.e. advertising) for journalism have collapsed. Bloggers and commenters and citizen journalists can’t take on a project like this. They can add to it, amplify it, criticize it, and generally run with it, but a project like this requires consistent, institutional teams of reporters and editors and factcheckers and lawyers and web dudes.
Building sources of funding for investigative reporting will be a challenge going forward.