The US investigative news site, which relies on funding from philanthropic donations, was launched in 2008.
Giving a keynote speech to the event in Hong Kong via video-link Pro-Publica’s Paul Steiger, a former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, said he did not think a commercial organisation would be able to do as ProPublica does and “concentrate on doing nothing but investigative reporting”.
“It is possible that news organisations can have investigative reporting as part of the menu of reporting”, but not to the same extent.
The industry has gone from a high profit margin business model to one with much tighter margins.
As a result news organisations are “much less able to take the risk of sending reporters out on a project that might not produce a viable story,” he said.
I don’t think it is impossible at to make it happen in places outside of the US though. It just requires energy and ingenuity.