The Economics of Investigative Journalism: What Price is Right?

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Transcript of The Economics of Investigative Journalism: What Price is Right?

The economics of accountability journalism: What price is right?

The economics of accountability journalism:What price is right?James Breiner, Universidad de Navarra, Spain@jamesbreiner

20 years as reporter, business editor, head of investigative team

11 years on the dark side, publisher of a business weekly

Dominant duo7

56% of mobile advertising globally40% of digital advertising globally

What you think you know about the Web is wrong.

Tony Haile CEO of Chartbeat

Of 2 billion visits to hundreds of sites, 55% lasted less than 15 seconds

Few spend more than 2 minutes a day


Piracy (aggregators)Bots, click fraud Ad blockers

ROI: Billions in taxes recovered, fines levied

Radical sharingLone wolf journalists share their data, help each otherMedia organizations work together, across borders, across cultures

Graphic: Figures are euros per capita. From Nielsen & Linnebank (p. 16).

Distributed contentFacebook Instant ArticlesGoogle Accelerated Mobile PagesSnapchat DiscoverInstagramApple News Etc.

+ Faster load times for pages+ Gives publishers some money+ Extends the reach of publishers- Dilutes importance of their website

Go for scale, eyeballs, CPMs like BuzzFeed

Or for engagement, relationships like Texas Trib

1714,500 partners pay $66 a year Value proposition is editorial independence $800,000 a year, 1/3 of budget Less than 1% of audience 54 employeesRelationships, not eyeballs

Journalism in spite of it everything

Launched in Holland in 2013 Initial crowdfunding $1.7 million40,000 subscribers pay $66/yr No ads, value prop. editorial independence14 full-time journalists, 22 correspondents

Launched in 1999 by two journalistspublished in Tamil, Chinese, Malay, English9 million visitors a month16,000 subscribers pay $40 for English version

Expenses of senators, congress10 Harleys for senatorsSyndicated to major media

Should you charge for online news?21

Pay wall service merged with Tinypass1,200 news media on four continents $40 million in revenues for Piano in 2015

What am I paying for, exactly?


iTunes for news600,000 users in Germany HollandPitch in U.S.: no ads, no clickbait$3.3 million from Axel Springer, NYT

Who pays for accountability journalism and how much?Public subsidies- BBC, Nordic countriesNon-profits, grants - local media, public radioRelationship model - Texas Trib, MinnPost, eldiario.esSubscription model - De Correspondent, MalaysiakiniPaywalls - bundled digital and print (survival)Blendle - iTunes for news

Lets continue the conversation in Pamplona. Come visitJames Breiner, Universidad de Navarra,