Arianna Huffington announced the The Huffington Post Investigative Fund yesterday. This is a way to meet the fears of newspapers scaling back on investigative journalism, and the $1.75 million that is used to kickstart the venture will focus on just that.
The pieces developed by the Fund will range from long-form investigations to short breaking news stories and will be presented in a variety of media, including text, audio and video. And, in the open source spirit of the Web, all of the content the Fund produces will be free for anyone to publish.
The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Huffington Post is the forces behind the initiative, and they are publicly looking for potential editors to coordinate the project.
While this does indeed sound like a good idea – I personally truly appreciate the open source angle of it all – it will do little good by itself. On the other hand, if good journalistic pieces are developed through the fund, and getting the recognition as well as the traffic they deserve, that could potentially be a strong statement to newspapers and publishers that investigative journalism is worth spending a little money on. We’ll see soon enough.