Resources760x1000The following resources provide links to key books, articles, reports, indexes, and other tools related to the impact of investigative journalism. Ranging from case studies to analyses of metrics and indicators, these materials can help donors, journalists, and others address the fundamental question of why high quality investigative reporting matters and how to measure its impact.


Protess, David L. The Journalism of Outrage: Investigative Reporting and Agenda Building in America (1992).

Schiffrin, Anya. Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism from Around the World (2014).

Waisbord, Silvio R. Watchdog Journalism in South America (2000).

Weaver, David H. and Lars Willnat. The Global Journalist in the 21st Century (2012).


Abrash, Barbara and Jessica Clark. Social Justice Documentary: Designing for Impact (2011).

Ahrend, Rudiger. Press Freedom, Human Capital, and Corruption (2002).

Aleman, Jose Luis Requejo. Periodismo de Investigación sin ánimo de lucro en el Perú: IDL Reporteros [Nonprofit Investigative Journalism in Peru] (2011).

Andersson, Emma, Mathias A. Fardigh, and Henrik Oscarsson. Reexamining the Relationship between Press Freedom and Corruption (2011).

Armah, Stephen E. Media Freedom and Political Stability in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): A Panel Data Study (2011).

Bishop, Sarah, Katherine Durlacher, Rema Hanna, Sara Nadel, and Gabe Scheffler. The Effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Policy: What Has Worked, What Hasn’t, and What We Don’t Know (2011).

Brunetti, Aymo and Beatrice Weder. A Free Press is Bad News for Corruption (2001). [subscription required]

designing_for_impact_-_headerCamaj, Lindita. The Media’s Role in Fighting Corruption: Media Effects on Governmental Accountability (2012).

Chowdhury, Shyamal K. The Effect of Democracy and Press Freedom on Corruption: An Empirical Test (2004).[subscription required]

Cook, Fay Lomax, Thomas R. Curtin, Donna R. Leff, Maxwell E. McCombs, Peter Miller, and David L. Protess. The Impact of Investigative Reporting on Public Opinion and Policymaking Targeting Toxic Waste (1987). [subscription required]

Coronel, Sheila. Corruption and the Watchdog Role of the News Media [see Chapter 5] (2009).

Coronel, Sheila. Recovering the Rage: Media and Public Opinion [see Chapter 18] (2000).

Dahlstrom, Tobias. The Role of the Media in Combating Corruption (2011).

De Burgh, Hugo. Kings Without Crowns? The Re-Emergence of Investigative Journalism in China (2003). [subscription required]

Feldstein, Mark. A Muckraking Model: Investigative Reporting Cycles in American History (2006). [subscription required]

Freille, Sebastian, M. Emranul Haque, and Richard Kneller. A Contribution to the Empirics of Press Freedom and Corruption (2007). [subscription required]

Grimes, Marcia. The Conditions of Successful Civil Society Involvement in Combating Corruption: A Survey of Case Study Evidence (2008).

Hanitzsch, Thomas and Claudia Mellado. What Shapes the News around the World? How Journalists in Eighteen Countries Perceive Influences on Their Work (2011). [subscription required]

Hunter, Mark Lee and Luk Van Wassenhove. Disruptive News Technologies: Stakeholder Media and the Future of Watchdog Journalism Business Models  (2010).

Kania, John and Mark Kramer. Collective Impact (2011).

Kovacic, Melita Poler and Sonja Merljak Zdovc. The Paradox of Slovenia: Investigative Journalism During Socialism and Democracy (2007).[subscription required]

Lewis, Charles. The Growing Importance of Nonprofit Journalism (2006).

Lindstedt, Katharina and Daniel Naurin. Transparency and Corruption: The Conditional Significance of a Free Press (2005).

Lindstedt, Katharina and Daniel Naurin. Transparency is Not Enough: Making Transparency Effective in Reducing Corruption (2010). [subscription required]

Marchetti, Dominique. The Revelations of Investigative Journalism in France (2009). [subscription required]

Ornebring, Henrik and Vaclav Stetka. Investigative Journalism in Central and Eastern Europe: Autonomy, Business Models, and Democratic Roles(2013).[subscription required]

Picard, Robert C. Journalism, Value Creation and the Future of News Organizations (2006).

Pinto, Juliet. Muzzling the Watchdog: The Case of Disappearing Watchdog Journalism from Argentine Mainstream News (2008). [subscription required]

casebookRsumovic, Nevena. The Uncertain Future Centers for Investigative Journalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia (2013).

Singh, Shailendra. Investigative journalism: Challenges, perils, rewards in Seven Pacific Island Countries (2012).

Stiglitz, Joseph. Transparency in Government [see Chapter 2] (2002).

Torwell, Vitalis. Investigative journalism and Democratization in Nigeria (2008).

Waisbord, Silvio. Why Democracy Needs Investigative Journalism (2001).


Antonopoulos, Konstantinos and Rabii Kalboussi. Interactive: Corruption in the EU (February 5, 2014).

Barber-Green Lindsay. How Can Journalists Measure the Impact of Their Work? Notes Toward a Model of Measurement (March 19, 2014).

Barber-Green Lindsay. The Language of Impact: Introducing a Draft Glossary (September 18, 2014).

dashboardBeaujon, Andrew. How CIR Measured the Impact of an Investigative Series (August 18, 2014).

Clark, Jessica. Media Impact Focus at Paley Center Reveals Wealth of Assessment Approaches (November 25, 2013).

Clark, Jessica and Tracy Van Slyke. Investing in Impact: Media Summits Reveal Pressing Needs, Tools for Evaluating Public Interest Media (May 12, 2010).

Coronel, Sheila. Is It Really Investigative Reporting’s Golden Age? (October 21, 2014).

Davis, Kevin. Can Journalism’s Impact Be Measured? (September 5, 2013).

Goins, Cole. Defining Media Impact at Dissection: B (February 5, 2014).

Hare, Kristin. Still Slip-sliding: Gallup Poll Ranks Journalists Low on Honesty, Ethics (December 17, 2013).

Kaplan, David E. UN Endorses Journalism Safety, Investigative Reporting (December 27, 2013).

Labelle, Huguette. Why Tackling Corruption Matters in Development Aid (April 15, 2014).

Likmeta, Besar. EU Urges Would-Be Members to Protect Probing Journalists (July 25, 2014).

Nelson, Mark. MDIF’s Impact Dashboard: A Case Study in Measuring MediaDev (September 30, 2014).

upworthyNeubauer, Miranda. For Measuring Impact of Journalism and Advocacy, Data is Not Just Data (June 3, 2014).

Pohle, Allison. How Digital Media Affects Investigative Reporters Worldwide (September 22, 2014).

Saldana, Magdalena. Knight Center Survey Shows Interest for Investigative Journalism in Latin America but Lack of Training in the Field (October 2013).

Sasaki, David. Rebooting Investigative Journalism (January 25, 2013).

Schiffrin, Anya. Why We’re in a Golden Age of Global Investigative Journalism (August 26, 2014).

Wihbey, John. Why the Press Matters: Six Compelling Investigations and their Broad Civic Impacts (March 5, 2014).

Zuckerman, Ethan. Metrics for Civic Impacts of Journalism (June 30, 2011).


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A Guide to Actionable Measurement (2010).

BRITDOC Foundation. The End of the Line: A Social Impact Evaluation (2011).

Empowering Independent Media CIMAFrameCenter for International Media Assistance. By the Numbers: Tracing the Statistical Correlation between Press Freedom and Democracy (By Karin Deutsch Karlekar and Lee Becker) (2014).

Center for International Media Assistance. Empowering Independent Media: U.S. Efforts to Foster Free and Independent Media Around the World — First Edition: 2008 (ed. by David E. Kaplan).

Center for International Media Assistance. Empowering Independent Media: U.S. Efforts to Foster a Free Press and an Open Internet Around the World — Second Edition: 2012 (ed. by David E. Kaplan).

Center for International Media Assistance. Global Investigative Journalism: Strategies for Support (By David E. Kaplan) (2013).

Center for International Media Assistance. Investigative Reporting in Emerging Democracies: Models, Challenges, and Lessons Learned (By Drew Sullivan) (2013).

Center for Investigative Reporting. Waves of Change: The Case of Rape in the Fields (2014).

European Parliament. Deterrence of Fraud with EU Funds through Investigative Journalism in EU-27 (2012).

European Parliament. European Parliament Resolution of 23 October 2013 on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering: Recommendations on Actions and Initiatives to be Taken (2013).

Fledgling Fund. Assessing Creative Media’s Social Impact (2008).

foundation ctrFoundation Center. Growth in Foundation Support for Media in the United States (2013).

Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media. Funding Media, Strengthening Democracy: Grantmaking for the 21st Century (2010).

Harmony Institute. Impact Playbook: Best Practices for Understanding the Impact of Media (2013).

Instituto Prensa y Sociedad de Venezuela. Métodos de la impertinencia: Mejores prácticas y lecciones del periodismo investigativo en América Latina [Impertinence Methods: Best Practices and Lessons of investigative journalism in Latin America] (2010).

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze (2013).

Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University’s School of Communication. The Art, Science and Mystery of Nonprofit News Assessment (By Charles Lewis and Hilary Niles) (2013).

engaging audiencesJ-Lab: Institute for Interactive Journalism. Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions (by Eric Polgreen and Jan Schaffer) (2012).

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Finding a Foothold: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability(2013).

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. IMPACT: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Community Information Projects (2011).

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Measuring the Online Impact of Your Information Project: A Primer for Practitioners and Funders (2010).

National Council of Voluntary Organisations. Inspiring Impact: The Code of Good Impact Practice (2013).

Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Muckraking Goes Global: The Future of Cross-Border Investigative Journalism (2013).

Pew Research Center. Amid Criticism, Support for Media’s ‘Watchdog’ Role Stands Out (2013).

Pew Research Center. State of the News Media 2014 (2014).

ProPublica. Non-profit Journalism: Issues Around Impact (2012).

ProPublica. Impact (video, studies, and annual reports).

UNESCO. The Global Investigative Journalism Casebook: UNESCO Series on Journalism Education (2012).

World Bank. Monitoring and Evaluating Social Programs in Developing Countries: A Handbook for Policymakers, Managers, and Researchers (1994).

World Bank Institute. The Media’s Role in Curbing Corruption (by Rick Stapenhurst) (2000).


Committee to Protect Journalists. Getting Away with Murder: Impunity Index 2013.

corruption out of businessEuropean Commission. Eurobarometer Special Surveys (see Corruption).

Freedom House. Freedom of the Press 2013.

Global Integrity. Global Integrity Report 2011(relaunching reports later in 2014).

International News Safety Institute. Killing the Messenger 2013.

Transparency International. Global Corruption Barometer 2013.

Transparency International. Power of Investigative Journalism as an Anti-Corruption Tool 2012. (See also TI’s full survey results here.)


BRITDOC’s The Impact Field Guide and Toolkit offers an impact library with case studies, as well as tools and guides, for measuring the ability of film to advance social change.

Inspiring Impact is a collaboration of UK voluntary organizations that seek to measure social impact and share resources.

nominet.jpgInvestigative News Network’s Hackpad on Impact Metrics and Measurement has links, resources, and tools for measuring and analyzing impact.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s informative list of assessment resources for impact.

Media Development Investment Fund’s Impact Dashboard analyzes clients’ business performance and impact on the societies in which they operate through case studies and other tools.

Media Impact Funders is a knowledge network for media funders.

Nominet Trust is a UK social technology funder that supports ventures addressing social challenges using digital technology. Its Knowledge Center provides resources on impact and innovation.

USAID’s Results and Data page includes qualitative and quantitative data, maps, evaluations, budgets vs. project results, and Mission performance reports. Of particular interest may be the Development Experience Clearinghouse, an online resource for USAID-funded technical and project materials, including evaluations and assessments, contract information, and policy and planning documents.

USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project is a hub for collecting, developing and sharing approaches for measuring the impact of media.

World Bank’s Developing Independent Media as an Institution of Accountable Governance: A How-To Guide (2011, by Shanthi Kalathil) is a handbook on the fundamentals of media development programming, and includes resources on monitoring and evaluation. [purchase required]


Rockefeller FoundationCenter for International Media Assistance panel discussion. Can Media Development Make Aid More Effective? (2012).

Investigative News Network. Google Hangout Conversation Between INN Members & Knight Foundation On Nonprofit News Sustainability (2013).

Rockefeller Foundation. A World Changed: 100 Years of Philanthropy (2013).

WGBH Forum Network panel discussion. Why Do We Need Investigative Journalism? (2014).