Tough piece on Gawker yesterday about the HuffPost Investigative Fund. John Cook particularly goes after the project for publishing almost all of its investigations on its for-profit partner, The Huffington Post, along with a scattering of other sites, such as AlterNet and Common Dreams.
On the one hand, it is true that the HuffPost Investigative Fund has attracted impressive financial support given that they’re still, as this article establishes, in startup mode and extremely dependent on HuffPost readers for exposure.
On the other hand, we know here at The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund that while “partnerships” may be the media watchword of the moment, in fact they’re quite tricky to pull off. Editors and producers, quite fairly, guard their editorial independence and are wary of taking on outside partners. It’s taken us some years to get to the point where we have our Investigative Fund stories appearing in places like Frontline, GQ, Marketplace, and NOW on PBS. That makes us more than sympathetic with the steep uphill climb of Nick Penniman and crew as they try to find diverse outlets for their work.
And come on, if Arianna Huffington was only interested in an ego boost, she could have launched a perfume. These are tough times for journalism and for investigative reporting in particular. We all have a stake in the HuffPost Investigative Fund’s success.