06/10/2008 04:17 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011 A Big Step Forward in Investigative Journalism

These guys might represent the future of investigative reporting:

ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that will produce investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work will focus exclusively on truly important stories, stories with "moral force." We will do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.

Investigative journalism is at risk. Many news organizations have increasingly come to see it as a luxury. Today's investigative reporters lack resources: Time and budget constraints are curbing the ability of journalists not specifically designated "investigative" to do this kind of reporting in addition to their regular beats. This is therefore a moment when new models are necessary to carry forward some of the great work of journalism in the public interest that is such an integral part of self-government, and thus an important bulwark of our democracy.

The business crisis in publishing and -- not unrelated -- the revolution in publishing technology are having a number of wide-ranging effects. Among these are that the creation of original journalism in the public interest, and particularly the form that has come to be known as "investigative reporting," is being squeezed down, and in some cases out.

Of particular interest to me is "scandal watch", right hand side column, where they report ongoing scandals. Frequently, big reports of corruption appear in the news one day, then disappear the next. Scandal watch focuses on stories which are an ongoing big deal. here's one example.