Toward a new business model for investigative journalism  Dr. Mark Lee Hunter Adjunct Professor, INSEAD CIJ Summer School,...
The Crisis is now <ul><li>Shrinking funding for IJ </li></ul><ul><li>Shrinking audience for mainstream media that funded i...
The Opportunity: <ul><li>Internet has created new and growing audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse and large demand for rel...
The Goals: Get out of crisis  Seize opportunities Earn a living doing a thing we love…  That makes the world better
What is a business model? <ul><li>The answer to these questions: </li></ul><ul><li>What are we doing? (differentiation) </...
Part One: What are we doing?
The Current Model Providing citizens with information (revealing secrets) leads to better governance  Watchdog role preven...
Three additional answers Provide informed guidance/judgement;  Make sense of chaotic open source info;  Propose alternativ...
Our roles now become: <ul><li>Watchdog (classic function!) but ALSO: </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregator/Monitor (massive info) <...
Differentiators (key success factors): <ul><li>Inquiry is a special skill </li></ul><ul><li>Massive data requires greater ...
Part Two: Where’s the Value?
The Value to Others: Help consumers to make better choices Help investors make better decisions Identify promising new tal...
The Value to Ourselves <ul><li>Differentiate product (Canard, New Yorker) </li></ul><ul><li>Win prizes, fame </li></ul><ul...
Part Three: How are we doing it?
Our Processes Stink <ul><li>High transaction costs </li></ul><ul><li>Bad product design </li></ul><ul><li>What marketing? ...
Our revenue models suck: Poor diversification/leveraging Weak and costly distribution Losing advertising markets Losing vi...
Our HR policy is for losers Low salaries/benefits = lost talent What managerial/team training? What mid-career training? E...
Our branding as journalists is suicidal: <ul><li>The public increasingly perceives our internal rewards…NOT general benefi...
Part Four: Promising Alternatives
Style is Added Value Michael Moore: The news is bad, but getting it is fun Agnès Varda (The Gleaners): News you can use to...
Local news is now global Internet communities: Global consumers have same products/concerns.  Courrier International (Fran...
Independence pays… at least in France! Le Monde: Shift from counter-power to power costs circulation Le Canard enchaîné: 4...
The Internet Pays… for communities: Environmental movement: Leading NGOs are now a news network Radins.com: Guide and test...
The Internet Pays… for VA content: Economist Group: Electronic advertising revenue increased by 39% over year. Electronic ...
Value-added content = leverage (Economist Group): Group: The Economist, Economist.com, Economist Intelligence Unit, Econom...
Part Five: Strategic Perspectives
IJ as a disruptive technology (cf Christensen): <ul><li>To promote/diversify IJ: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify niche markets ...
IJ in the blue ocean: <ul><li>Red ocean : news, “people”; general public approach </li></ul><ul><li>Blue ocean :  specific...
Diversify revenue streams: Private contracts/consulting Research/content services to: consumers, policymakers, NGOs Sell I...
New content media: <ul><li>Aggregators </li></ul><ul><li>Brand positioning around specific content </li></ul><ul><li>Porta...
In conclusion: <ul><li>IJ requires a wider definition to seize opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>IJ requires renewed brandi...
LET THE SOURCES SPEAK!!! <ul><li>Beginners waste time trying to write perfect sentences about events that affected someone...
When the draft is done…. Is it  coherent ? (the details fit together) Is it  complete ? (all questions are answered, contr...
RHYTHM IS KING A good story is like a train. The reader/viewer must be invited to get on.  The writer must get the train m...
Editing the work Watch out  for long sentences.  They reveal your confusion + slow you down. Watch out  for long paragraph...
For writing samples using this method… Please visit my site: http://markleehunter.free.fr
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Mark Hunter: A business model for investigative journalists

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  • Dear Dr Hunter,

    I am writing to you having just read your article from
    Health & Medicine / HIV & AIDS 1993.

    First of all what a wonderful piece of medical journalism. I hope you are still busy with your very important work.

    I am an Intensive Care nurse currently working in the VUMC Amsterdam.

    I found your article because a patient of mine is now HIV pos and Hep C pos due to a blood transfusion 20 years ago in a Paris Hospital.

    The consequences for my patient, physically, mentally, and socially have been devastating.

    I write in the hope that you are perhaps ' following up ' this dreadful scandal.

    with friendly greetings

    lizarmstrong@rollingstones .com
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
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Mark Hunter: A business model for investigative journalists

  1. 1. Toward a new business model for investigative journalism Dr. Mark Lee Hunter Adjunct Professor, INSEAD CIJ Summer School, July 21-22 2007
  2. 2. The Crisis is now <ul><li>Shrinking funding for IJ </li></ul><ul><li>Shrinking audience for mainstream media that funded it </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of alternative model </li></ul><ul><li>Disproportion of training/skills between journalists and their subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Deteriorating brand of journalism </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Opportunity: <ul><li>Internet has created new and growing audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse and large demand for reliable information </li></ul><ul><li>Disinformation creates demand for criticism (media blogs) </li></ul><ul><li>Communities create new relationships </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Goals: Get out of crisis Seize opportunities Earn a living doing a thing we love… That makes the world better
  5. 5. What is a business model? <ul><li>The answer to these questions: </li></ul><ul><li>What are we doing? (differentiation) </li></ul><ul><li>What is the value? (for us and users) </li></ul><ul><li>How do we do it? (resources, process) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Part One: What are we doing?
  7. 7. The Current Model Providing citizens with information (revealing secrets) leads to better governance Watchdog role prevents, denounces or redresses missteps/wrongdoing THE CORE MODEL IS POLITICAL
  8. 8. Three additional answers Provide informed guidance/judgement; Make sense of chaotic open source info; Propose alternatives (link to civic journalism) Implication: Move from secret to open source, information to meaning
  9. 9. Our roles now become: <ul><li>Watchdog (classic function!) but ALSO: </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregator/Monitor (massive info) </li></ul><ul><li>Guide (explanatory) </li></ul><ul><li>Critic (sense-maker) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Differentiators (key success factors): <ul><li>Inquiry is a special skill </li></ul><ul><li>Massive data requires greater effort </li></ul><ul><li>Others don’t have time to watch(dog) </li></ul><ul><li>Independence is appreciated </li></ul>
  11. 11. Part Two: Where’s the Value?
  12. 12. The Value to Others: Help consumers to make better choices Help investors make better decisions Identify promising new talents, products, policies, etc. Find sense in confusing information Denounce false information Paradox: Few of these practices are considered “investigative”
  13. 13. The Value to Ourselves <ul><li>Differentiate product (Canard, New Yorker) </li></ul><ul><li>Win prizes, fame </li></ul><ul><li>Develop skills </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy the work </li></ul><ul><li>Gain independence… </li></ul><ul><li>and power (over self and environment) </li></ul><ul><li>Make money! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Part Three: How are we doing it?
  15. 15. Our Processes Stink <ul><li>High transaction costs </li></ul><ul><li>Bad product design </li></ul><ul><li>What marketing? </li></ul><ul><li>Poor cost control (what outsourcing?) </li></ul><ul><li>Poor and narrow evaluation of results </li></ul>
  16. 16. Our revenue models suck: Poor diversification/leveraging Weak and costly distribution Losing advertising markets Losing viewer/reader bases
  17. 17. Our HR policy is for losers Low salaries/benefits = lost talent What managerial/team training? What mid-career training? Early training focused on info not inquiry
  18. 18. Our branding as journalists is suicidal: <ul><li>The public increasingly perceives our internal rewards…NOT general benefits! </li></ul><ul><li>Concentration of ownership = corruption </li></ul><ul><li>Journalists NOT seen as differentiated pros </li></ul><ul><li>Journalists ARE seen = lackeys </li></ul><ul><li>IJ is used for occult purposes! </li></ul>
  19. 19. Part Four: Promising Alternatives
  20. 20. Style is Added Value Michael Moore: The news is bad, but getting it is fun Agnès Varda (The Gleaners): News you can use to stay warm
  21. 21. Local news is now global Internet communities: Global consumers have same products/concerns. Courrier International (France, weekly): Aggregated local news becomes international themes
  22. 22. Independence pays… at least in France! Le Monde: Shift from counter-power to power costs circulation Le Canard enchaîné: 400,000 weekly readers; investigation (2/8 pp) underlines credibility of commentary and reportage; circulation and revenue rising
  23. 23. The Internet Pays… for communities: Environmental movement: Leading NGOs are now a news network Radins.com: Guide and tests of free offers supports owner. Media blogs: Desire to understand news Potential value added: Lifestyle support, reputation (access to ancillary revenues), advertising revenue, diversify audiences (plural!)
  24. 24. The Internet Pays… for VA content: Economist Group: Electronic advertising revenue increased by 39% over year. Electronic revenues represented 17% of Group turnover. Consumer and business information businesses growing.
  25. 25. Value-added content = leverage (Economist Group): Group: The Economist, Economist.com, Economist Intelligence Unit, Economist Conferences, Economist diaries, Rights & syndication, CFO brand family, Government brands, etc. Combined advertising revenues up 20%. Economist’s worldwide circulation up 9% for the July-December 2006 ABC audit period, up 12% in North America, 8% in UK, 4% Asia-Pacific. Print advertising revenues at The Economist up 18%. Economist threatens dumbed-down BW in US.
  26. 26. Part Five: Strategic Perspectives
  27. 27. IJ as a disruptive technology (cf Christensen): <ul><li>To promote/diversify IJ: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify niche markets where VA info has value </li></ul><ul><li>Invade the niche </li></ul><ul><li>Widen applications to other markets </li></ul>
  28. 28. IJ in the blue ocean: <ul><li>Red ocean : news, “people”; general public approach </li></ul><ul><li>Blue ocean : specific demographics, communities poorly served by mainstream media </li></ul><ul><li>Cf Hamilton, “All the News That’s Fit to Sell”: Different folks like different info! </li></ul>
  29. 29. Diversify revenue streams: Private contracts/consulting Research/content services to: consumers, policymakers, NGOs Sell IJ services to media, outsource scutwork to specialists
  30. 30. New content media: <ul><li>Aggregators </li></ul><ul><li>Brand positioning around specific content </li></ul><ul><li>Portal/ring approach: interlinked special interest sites/media (health, conspiracy, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-media (incl. SMS), multi-lingual </li></ul><ul><li>Consulting services (subject to ethics code!!!) </li></ul>
  31. 31. In conclusion: <ul><li>IJ requires a wider definition to seize opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>IJ requires renewed branding and ethics. </li></ul><ul><li>IJ requires new processes. </li></ul><ul><li>IJ requires an aggressive strategy of expansion based on differentiation. </li></ul><ul><li>IJ ISN’T DEAD… </li></ul><ul><li>IT JUST ACTS LIKE IT WANTS TO DIE. </li></ul>
  32. 32. LET THE SOURCES SPEAK!!! <ul><li>Beginners waste time trying to write perfect sentences about events that affected someone else. Let people who lived the story tell it. </li></ul><ul><li>NEVER STAND IN FRONT OF VICTIMS. What YOU feel does not matter compared to them! </li></ul>
  33. 33. When the draft is done…. Is it coherent ? (the details fit together) Is it complete ? (all questions are answered, contradictions are resolved) Does it MOVE well?
  34. 34. RHYTHM IS KING A good story is like a train. The reader/viewer must be invited to get on. The writer must get the train moving. DO NOT STOP THE TRAIN. SLOW IT DOWN ONLY TO RELIEVE THE READER OR SUMMARIZE BRIEFLY.
  35. 35. Editing the work Watch out for long sentences. They reveal your confusion + slow you down. Watch out for long paragraphs. When a person/place/idea changes, so should the paragraph. Watch out for bureaucratic language. It makes sense only to bureaucrats.
  36. 36. For writing samples using this method… Please visit my site: http://markleehunter.free.fr

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