By Aaran Fronda
A new crowd-sourcing website has been launched to stem what its creators claim is a decline in investigative journalism caused by faster news cycles, plunging newspaper circulation and falling advertising revenues.
Investigate.ie invites the public to submit news tip-offs and story ideas which, if they are considered newsworthy, are then investigated by professional journalists.
Stories already broken by the site include an expose of the plight of Kidney donors who received no financial help to compensate for weeks of lost income whilst recovering from their operation.
Maria Delaney and Peadar Grogan, the journalists behind Investigate.ie, say that because Investigative journalism is time and labour intensive, many traditional newsrooms no longer have the resources to commit to such stories.
“I think our site will help sustain investigative journalism and cut down on the time involved in researching an investigative news story,” Grogan told London Journalism Centre.
Investigate.ie plans to partner with traditional media outlets to sell their stories, as well as offering other online media services, such as audio and video reports, data visualisation, and live blogging.
Director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, Gavin MacFayden, is all for the new venture.
“Anything which encourages whistle blowing and opposition is a good thing and we need more of it,” he told London Journalism Centre. “Support for investigative journalism just doesn’t exist. Political parties are hostile to investigative journalism in various forms. As an institution they don’t like it and don’t trust it.”
However, MacFayden warned that there are also problems associated with the Dublin based website’s crowd-sourcing approach.
“There are limitations with regard to reliability of sources and information received,” he said.
To submit a story idea or tip-off visit: www.investigate.ie