Thursday, January 21, 2010

Interview: Paul Bradshaw, of UK Crowdsourced Journalism Project Help Me Investigate

Recently we interviewed David Cohn, a Bay Area entrepreneur who is experimenting with crowdfunded investigative journalism (journalism funded by small donations from a wide base of people) with his website Spot.us. Back over this side of the pond is Birmingham City University senior lecturer Paul Bradshaw, who is approaching the current difficulties in investigative journalism in a similar but crucially different way with his site Help Me Investigate. Rather than crowdfunding, he’s crowdsourcing investigative stories - pooling the efforts of ordinary people to look into issues which affect them, and helping resource-strapped journalists to research time-consuming and complex stories. It comes at a time when investigative journalism is highly valued by the British public - witness the reaction to the MP’s expenses scandal, broken by Heather Brooke, who is part of the Help Me Investigate Team - but struggling to find funding amid a time of great media upheaval. We recently spoke to Paul about the project.
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