Investigative journalism is underprovided in the market, but new combinations of data and algorithms may make it easier for journalists to discover and tell the stories that hold institutions accountable.
Investigative journalism involves original work, about substantive issues, that someone wants to keep secret. This means it is costly, underprovided in the marketplace, and often opposed. It gets done when a media outlet has the resources to cover the costs, has an incentive to tell a new story, cares about impacts, and overcomes obstacles. Changes in media markets have put local investigative reporting particularly at risk. But new combinations of data and algorithms may make it easier for journalists to discover and tell the stories that hold institutions accountable.
CJ Lab co-founder Jay Hamilton writes all about this in his new book, published Fall 2016.Available from Harvard University Press
Winner of 2017 Goldsmith Book Prize for the best academic book on media, politics and public policy.
“The Goldsmith Book Prize is awarded to the academic and trade books that best fulfill the objective of improving democratic governance through an examination of the intersection between the media, politics and public policy. The Goldsmith Book Prize for best academic book will be awarded to James T. Hamilton for Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism (Harvard University Press).”
Winner of Frank Luther Mott – Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism & Mass Communication Research Award for best research-based book about journalism or mass communication published in 2016.
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“Hamilton provides a fresh and compelling look at the value of investigative journalism in our democracy,” said Jeff Fruit, president of Kappa Tau Alpha and a contest judge. “He not only develops and analyzes a unique data set of investigations, but also clearly demonstrates the impact that investigative journalism can have through a case study of one Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter.”