But one man with a blog, no matter how determined, simply cannot afford to shoulder such costs on his own. When Schneider found out that certain tests he wanted to conduct on products with nano-particle coatings would cost $10,000 a pop, he was stuck. In the past, the tests would have been a matter of course. Now, they may never happen.

“For years, the mantra for many investigative reporters was: ‘So many stories, so little time,’” he said. “Now that we’re on our own it’s: ‘So many stories, so little time—and money.’”

And now that some investigative reports, like Schneider’s, are starting to appear on independent blogs without the backing and traffic of a mainstream newspaper, we may as well add: so little readership.

“It doesn’t do any good to write in a vacuum,” said Schneider, before he paused to ask a question: “Are you performing journalism if it is not being disseminated?”

Russ Juskalian is a contributor to The Observatory and a freelance writer.