Denver television station KBDI is launching a non-profit investigative news unit due to the reduction of significant investigative journalism. The operation, called Colorado Public News, will launch online (a beta version is already up) and later expand to a weekly half-hour program. KBDI hasn’t set a target launch date, but it hopes to raise $400,000 to support a staff of six for six months before launching. The new unit promises to deliver in-depth investigative pieces using multi-media tools like online videos, slideshows and podcasts. It also plans to include blogs and mobile applications.
However, one of the reasons for the decrease of investigative journalism is because it costs too much money. The threat of La Presse‘s potential close down is a perfect example. Despite being applauded as one of the best papers for investigative journalism, the Montreal daily has been facing huge challenges from its high-cost structure and declining ad revenues. It faces a predicted $215-million deficit by 2013. Publication will cease on December 1 if the paper doesn’t reach an agreement with its union workers to cut costs.
So while I congratulate KBDI’s effort to resurrect the somewhat dying field of investigative journalism, you’ll pardon my skepticism.