The Independent | Web proves an unlikely saviour for investigative journalism ::a market for 25K-word pieces::


In his book Flat Earth News, Nick Davies bemoans the pressure on newspapers to produce stories that are quick to knock out, thus strangling investigative journalism. George Brock, head of journalism at City University London, agrees to an extent. “The resources are not around, and neither is some of the wish and determination to do it,” he says. “But there’s a fantastic amount of experimentation going on, and the more of that there is, the more likely that a sustainable business model will emerge.”

Byliner and The Atavist are two such experiments, the latter already heralded as a rescue package for journalism. While 50,000 free downloads of a book does not in itself change the face of publishing, the team behind Byliner are clearly anticipating a willingness to pay for 25,000-word pieces that mirrors the anticipated growth of e-books into a $3bn industry by 2015.

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