Democracy's Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism

Democracy's Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism

by James T. Hamilton


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Winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Winner of the Tankard Book Award, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Winner of the Frank Luther Mott–Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism & Mass Communication Research Award

In democratic societies, investigative journalism holds government and private institutions accountable to the public. From firings and resignations to changes in budgets and laws, the impact of this reporting can be significant—but so too are the costs. As newspapers confront shrinking subscriptions and advertising revenue, who is footing the bill for journalists to carry out their essential work? Democracy’s Detectives puts investigative journalism under a magnifying glass to clarify the challenges and opportunities facing news organizations today.

“Hamilton’s book presents a thoughtful and detailed case for the indispensability of investigative journalism—and just at the time when we needed it. Now more than ever, reporters can play an essential role as society’s watchdogs, working to expose corruption, greed, and injustice of the years to come. For this reason, Democracy’s Detectives should be taken as both a call to arms and a bracing reminder, for readers and journalists alike, of the importance of the profession.”
—Anya Schiffrin, The Nation

“A highly original look at exactly what the subtitle promises…Has this topic ever been more important than this year?”
—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674986817
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/08/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

James T. Hamilton is Hearst Professor of Communication at Stanford University.

Table of Contents

List of Tables ix

Introduction 1

1 Economic Theories of Investigative Reporting 12

2 Detectives, Muckrakers, and Watchdogs 34

3 What's the Story? 59

4 What's the Impact? 82

5 How Is It Produced? 136

6 How Is It Supported? 179

7 A Single Investigative Reporter 208

8 Accountability and Algorithms 279

Notes 319

Acknowledgments 359

Index 361

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