Investigative journalism is in its death throes, and it's not because of lack of money. It's because of lack of interest from audiences.
Nowadays, journalism is all about who breaks the story first. This is why people are saying (only half-jokingly) that we live in a "post-facto" world: investigating leads and verifying facts take a lot of time, during which your rivals might publish the story and get all the eyeballs and therefore ad money. And if they get the facts wrong, or the entire story ends up being incorrect? No one really cares, because by then everyone has moved on to the next thing that is demanding their attention.
>>Pick up an article from the New Statesman, or The Economist, or The New York Times - compare that to the offal you get on Buzzfeed, or one of the billion other click-bait sites.
Buzzfeed is known for clickbaits, but it has some honest-to-god excellent long-form articles. Here is an example: https://www.buzzfeed.com/suzannecope/up-in-the-air-with-caro...
From what i gather so far, they're doing a wonderful job and expanding rapidly without losing money. I think there's plenty room for initiatives like that in specific niches as well.
My impression of NYT and The Economist and such is that while they're trying, they're still way too tethered to an older model which, among other things, requires more money for (relatively) more crap. And while on behalf of good journalism I lament the period of turmoil as they fight their fight but eventually disappear, I think it's necessary for more targeted, leaner journalism to take over.
How do you explain the success of vice?