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Innovation in investigative journalism (SCOOP)

    The objective of SCOOP is to study the impact of innovative technologies and new funding mechanisms on the role and working practices on investigative journalism.

    Investigative journalism should play a key role in democracy, but developments in digital media and new technologies (drones, mobile cameras) and changing funding models (crowd sourcing) is transforming this. Traditional media organisations struggle to adapt to new patterns, work more efficiently with fewer journalists, and identifying new financing models for the resource-intensive practice of investigative journalism.

    Studies find that alternative practices and professionals have emerged, becoming a marketing strategy for media outlets and a tool to gain market share and new customers in a digital world. But there is a research gap about how investigative journalism is in flux. SCOOP will address this gap with findings on alternative financing models, new and creative use of technology and social media, and new forms for collaborations in the UK.

    SCOOP involves a comprehensive ethnographic analysis of how investigative journalists in the UK media are adjusting to the challenges and possibilities created by new technologies; findings from a country with long tradition in investigative journalism will inform journalists, academics, decision makers, and the wider public in countries currently lacking funding and traditions for investigative journalism.

  1. To map how investigative journalists fulfil their roles as watchdogs in democratic societies.
  2. To perform an ethnographic analysis that generates new knowledge regarding how investigative journalists adapt to changing technology, organisational structures, and funding mechanisms.
  3. To analyse and report on how digital media and new technologies are changing working practices.
  4. To chart how investigative journalism adapts to new business models.


The research project used an ethnographic analysis of culture and people, complemented by semi-structured interviews. In addition several expert-interviews will be conducted.


The output of this research project is not only to update a state of art of a fast changing field of journalism, but also to raise an awareness both amongst academics, practitioners and aim to bridge the two. One of the most important resent traits within investigative journalism is collaboration across borders, and this project aims to ask where such a collaboration come from and what it consist of, not only internationally but locally, regionally and nationally as well.