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The Economics of Investigative Journalism: the Case of French Mediapart

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Harper Center Room C25

5807 South Woodlawn Ave

Chicago, Illinois 60637

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Investigative journalism that holds powerful actors to account and exposes the ways special interest groups influence the rules of the game is an important democratic institution. But is there a viable business model for media outlets that provide this service? Is financial investigative journalism a service that can be produced by the market or is it a public good?

These questions will be discussed in a special event hosted by the Stigler Center with Edwy Plenel, the Editor-in-Chief of MediaPart and Stanford Professor James T. Hamilton.

Edwy Plenel is the founder of MediaPart, a startup founded in 2008 that disrupted the French news media market with groundbreaking investigative stories. Mediapart has become highly profitable, with a business model that is based solely on subscription fees, not advertising.

James Hamilton is the Hearst Professor of Communication and the Director of the Journalism Program at Stanford University. He has published many books on media markets and information provision. His most recent book, Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism (Harvard, 2016), focuses on the market for investigative reporting. Through research in the field of computational journalism, he is exploring how the costs of story discovery can be lowered through better use of data and algorithms.

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Harper Center Room C25

5807 South Woodlawn Ave

Chicago, Illinois 60637

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