Reinventing Journalism | CIR

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Reinventing Journalism | CIR

  1. 1. REINVENTINGJOURNALISMAN UNEXPECTED PERSONAL JOURNEY FROM JOURNALIST TO PUBLISHERROBERT J. ROSENTHAL
  2. 2. REINVENTING JOURNALISMAN UNEXPECTED PERSONAL JOURNEY FROM JOURNALIST TO PUBLISHER by Robert J. Rosenthal, Executive Director
  3. 3. Copyright © 2011 by the Center for Investigative ReportingAll rights reservedCover: Vjom (iStockphoto.com)ISBN: 978-1-61452-015-3Produced by Byliner Inc.San Francisco, Californiawww.byliner.comFor press inquiries, please contact marlene@mssassociates.com10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  4. 4. In the spirit of journalistic transparency, “Reinventing Journalism” isRobert J. Rosenthal’s account of assuming leadership of the Center forInvestigative Reporting and launching California Watch, its statewidereporting team. This report was written at the request of the John S. andJames L. Knight Foundation with the aim of helping fellow journalismorganizations, particularly nonprofit startups, learn from CIR’s experiences.Acknowledgements:Support for this report was provided by the John S. and James L. KnightFoundation. Christa Scharfenberg, Narda Zacchino and Mark Katchesprovided invaluable feedback and editing support.Thanks to Nikki Frick forcopy editing and Kate Jessup for organizing the sidebars and for her research.
  5. 5. PART ONE were encouraged to be ambitious and ence in these newsrooms that, likeSustaining take risks. We also believed we could produce the best journalism in the many others, were beginning an un- precedented struggle for survival. ButInvestigative country. It was a supportive system I was deeply frustrated by a lack of driven by stories, especially those vision, ambition and passion on the that could make a difference. And it business side that was throttling cre-Journalism was fun. The newsroom cultures of that era ativity and undermining the crucial role that journalism, and especiallyMeans Finding nurtured young, talented journalists. So many of them had worked their investigative reporting, play in our democracy.a New Model way up from copyboy or clerk jobs, through a system that rewarded hard As an editor, the priority was on con- tent – not profit.That was the respon- work and talent. It was an environ- sibility of the business side. I neverI’m not sure I would have become ment where young journalists were had to worry about raising a dime.the executive director of the Center taught by some of the most skilled Many conversations with publish-for Investigative Reporting in January and experienced men and women ers or corporate officers focused on2008 if I had really understood the in the business. The best editors gave money. I was never comfortable withchallenges ahead of me and had reporters room to flourish, guiding those discussions. Far too often, thesethought them out carefully; I had no and teaching along the way, and they conversations were about cutbacksidea what I was getting into. held us to rigorous standards. aimed not at maintaining profit, but increasing it at the expense of goodWhen CIR approached me, I was 59 I learned that the best editors, and the journalism.and unemployed. For the second time best newsrooms, cleared the way forin six years, I had left, or been asked you to succeed – while lending all the Once, on a visit to the Miami corpo-to leave, high-level editing positions support needed. This was vividly con- rate headquarters of Knight Ridderat large metropolitan newspapers. veyed by one of my most influential (the owner of the Inquirer), I walkedMost recently, I had been managing and powerful mentors, Gene Roberts, into an office to find two executiveseditor at the San Francisco Chronicle; then the editor of the Inquirer. He had dancing a jig. I stood there, embar-before that, I was editor of The Phil- just told me he was going to name rassed, while they laughed and ex-adelphia Inquirer. Nearly 40 years me foreign editor, my first editing plained that the share price had hit aworking in newsrooms left me with job. I asked him, “What do the best new high that day. They were aboutsolid core competencies. I knew a editors do?” to cash in some stock options.good story, I was passionate and I got “Well,” he drawled, “they are like a That scene stuck with me and was agreat personal reward from enabling blocking back in football. They go crude reminder of the disconnect intalented journalists do what they do through the line, knock somebody values between journalists and thebest. But many of these skills were not down, clear the way, and lie in the corporate office. There was nothingvery useful outside a newsroom. mud so the guy with the ball can step wrong with profit; those profits hadI could also look back, knowing that on their back and score.” supported the work of journalists,I had been privileged to be involved including cost-intensive investigative The image has stuck with me. Thewith great journalists and important reporting, for decades. But the de- most successful editors put their betsjournalism. As a 22-year-old, I was an mand for ever-increasing profit was on people who can deliver for them.editorial assistant at The New York the source of the difference between When a reporter proved he or sheTimes and was assigned to work on a creative, story-driven culture and a could produce a great story, the re-the Pentagon Papers team. At 25, as a numbers culture. ward was to get to do the next one.reporter at The Boston Globe, I was There was an adrenaline-filled ur- I relate that story because I see nowpart of a newspaper-wide effort that gency that made newsrooms crackle. that every defeat and every successwon the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for Those staffs rarely worried about I’ve had, from the first day I walkedpublic service. who was financially sustaining the into a newsroom in 1969 as a summerI later moved to the Inquirer, where I work. And they never imagined that intern to the day I exited as an editorwas a reporter and editor during that it might end. decades later, has informed my deci-newspaper’s golden age. It was a de- sions. These experiences have provid- At the Inquirer and the Chronicle, Imanding culture in which reporters ed the fuel to help me transform and believed that I could make a differ- CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 1
  6. 6. grow CIR and to create California CIR had journalistic credibility, creases when we become engagedWatch, our successful statewide re- and its board already had spent two in building something new insteadporting team. years looking for an executive direc- of feeling demoralized as institu- tor who had vision and the ability tions we once valued so highly are being destroyed by our own canni- to lead. It is the oldest independent,CIR, THE PETRI DISH balization. nonprofit investigative reporting or-Frustrated by the constraints of “cor- ganization in the country. But its fu- I have faith that new models ofporate media,” reporters Lowell Berg- ture was unclear. Taking this job was journalism are going to fly out ofman, Dan Noyes and David Weir this whirlpool of change and be a great risk. But it also provided anstarted CIR in 1977. Over three de- successful. Ten years ago, Google opportunity to build an organiza-cades, CIR’s fortunes had ebbed and wasn’t even in our vocabulary. tion. I had a clear idea of where to Ditto Craigslist and Facebook andflowed. It produced a great deal of go, but getting there was uncharted. MySpace and YouTube.award-winning work, much of it in In the summer of 2007, before CIRdocumentary films with partners like Journalism, as practiced at newspa- approached me, Nieman ReportsPBS’ “Frontline” and “60 Minutes.” pers, is not dead. But journalists will asked me to write a personal essay need to salvage what is essential,I was aware of CIR’s history and had about the “future” of journalism.That figure out how to transform it toworked with the organization on one process helped me focus my thoughts the new media, and become lead-story at the Chronicle, but that was about what kind of newsroom I ers in this period of upheaval. It willthe extent of my knowledge. When hoped to build. I was also just begin- take men and women of vision andI became executive director, the or- ning my work with the Chauncey deep pockets, whose primary cata-ganization was at risk. The nonprofit Bailey Project, a collaboration of lyst is not profit.investigative space is driven by values Bay Area journalism outlets. We had As journalists, we live in a timethat I have always had at my core, but joined efforts to try to solve the of crisis – offering the possibil-its survival is perilous. What I soon murder of slain Oakland Post Editor ity of historic change – as we wit-learned was that those of us who have Chauncey Bailey and to continue his ness a pillar of our democracy be- work. The essay for Nieman Reports ing wounded and withering away.taken on these new entrepreneurial was published in the 2007 winter edi- Great urgency and risk taking isand innovative roles in journalism called for to stem the collapse ofmust evolve. For me, the evolution tion. In it, I wrote: what newspapers have stood forwas into a role I never imagined play- in our country’s past. We have no The crucial element determin-ing – a publisher. ing success will be the strength other choice.Before I joined CIR, I understood of emerging relationships amongthat for the future models of jour- those whose money will support the journalistic enterprise and those I didn’t realize that a few monthsnalism to succeed, the “money side” after I wrote that essay, I would be who create the product.and the “creative side” would have given the opportunity to turn this vi-to align. And in CIR’s case, that They will need to arrive at a sense sion into reality. Linked in my mindalignment had to reside within me. of shared values and passion about what their journalistic enterprise to these cultural values was the idea is and the value it holds – not ex- that the new organization would be a pressed in monetary terms alone.To multi-platform content creator, eitherWhat I soon learned was use the term “news organization” through the expertise of its own staff does not begin to describe the po- or through collaborations with otherthat those of us who have tential opportunities I see ahead news organizations. for these new ventures. “Publish-taken on these new entre- ing” partnerships will be formed I used the image of a wheel’s spokespreneurial and innovative and collaborations among news to explain this new model of story- organizations – though these might telling. At the center of the wheel isroles in journalism must look very different than we think of the story, and each spoke represents them today – will be crucial. a different platform – most impor-evolve. For me, the evolu- tantly, a different way of telling the Creating these organizations – us-tion was into a role I never ing a new DNA – will be easier story – with each platform comple- than the slow transition we are menting the other. In this way, diverseimagined playing – witnessing today with the “old audiences would get the story in thea publisher. model” organizations. Energy in- platform or medium they were most comfortable with. CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 2
  7. 7. small number of high-quality proj- fornia, in addition, is not only big- ects annually, funding investigations ger than most countries, but is fertile individually. Some people thought it ground for investigative reporting. should remain that way. But the time The process of creating what would was right for change. become California Watch took off after that conversation. A little while THE QUEST FOR FUNDS later, I had my first meeting with staff How do you raise money? If there of the John S. and James L. Knight was a useful guidebook, I never found Foundation. I laid out a similar menu it. But what I did have was a passion and the multi-platform approach. for journalism, a vision, the credibil- They also responded positively. They ity of CIR’s 30-year history and sur- liked the idea about creating a jour- vival instincts. My first focus had to nalistic organization in which usingAt the center of our reporting and dis- be on sustaining CIR. I knew how to technology, engaging the public andtribution model is the story. The spokesrepresent the multi-platform production craft stories – and stories were what sustaining the effort were central toand distribution. most of the journalism funders were the mission. comfortable financing. So I began by We were interested in engaging theThis way of working was different framing pitches around projects. public in reporting, an evolving con-from how newsrooms traditionally I spent several rainy February days in cept. We realized that it was worthwere organized. Creating an entity that New York visiting major foundations exploring the question readers andcould produce this new kind of story- with Christa Scharfenberg, our as- viewers often ask after an investiga-telling, and also explaining it to poten- sociate director, who had been with tion has been published:What can wetial funders, was my first challenge. CIR for five years and had been act- do now? We wanted to find a way toMy transformation from journalist/ ing executive director for the year build that into the journalism, eveneditor to salesman/evangelical en- prior to my hiring. I explained the around the sensitive subjects that in-trepreneur began immediately in the multi-platform approach we want- vestigative reporting explores.winter of 2008, within weeks of join- ed to create and talked about a few How to manage and engage an audi-ing CIR. I was basically starting from major projects, including work as- ence was something we would havescratch with a staff of seven people sociated with Iraq and Afghanistan, to build into our planning. We want-and a budget around $1.5 million. human rights, the environment, and ed to create new strategies to shareMuch of that funding was dedicated state coverage of California. No one information, as well as explore newto a documentary film project. There jumped out of his or her seat with distribution models. Social mediawere no major funds in any pipeline. excitement. There were doubts and was exploding and offered some newThe nearly two-year-long search for challenging questions about the ne- pathways for public engagement andan executive director had been frus- cessity of creating new models out of distribution. The ability of stories andtrating and disappointing.When I was small existing nonprofits. video to go viral presented a clear op-hired, not all of the board members Then, weeks after the New York trip, portunity. We wanted to create com-supported my vision. The organiza- we met with the James Irvine Foun- munities of interest around subjectstion for many years had produced a dation. The program officer listened and geography. And we wanted to patiently to my multi-platform con- involve these communities to gather cept and to our story ideas, and then information and help find solutions.My transformation from she asked, “Can you do something At the same time that I was formulat-journalist/editor to that’s focused on California? Our ing a state concept, former San Fran- funding is focused on California.” cisco Chronicle staff writer Louissalesman/evangelical Freedberg had gotten seed money I was thrilled: A potential majorentrepreneur began funder was interested. Covering the from the Irvine Foundation and the state, with a clear focus on investiga- William and Flora Hewlett Founda-immediately in the winter tion to develop a similar program. tive reporting, did not intimidate me.of 2008, within weeks of I had been a statehouse reporter and Freedberg and I had several talks, and ran newsrooms where state and state- while we had differing visions, therejoining CIR. house coverage were priorities. Cali- was reason to share our plans.We both knew that funds were limited and that CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 3
  8. 8. it might be pointless to compete, es- THE CHAUNCEY BAILEY PROJECT “Informing Communities: Sustainingpecially in increasingly dire economic The Chauncey Bailey Project began under Democracy in the Digital Age”times. We decided that we would the leadership of Dori J. Maynard, presi- Knight Commission Report, 2009pursue our plans separately, but leave dent and CEO of the Robert C. Maynard PRAISE AND PRESS COVERAGE >>open the possibility of joining forces. Institute for Journalism Education in “Chauncey Bailey Project shows impact of Oakland, and Sandy Close, executive editorAround this time, a talented televi- investigative reporting” of New America Media in San Francisco.sion producer left CIR. Instead of re- Transcript of speech delivered by Eric New- Robert Rosenthal coordinated theplacing her with another journalist, I ton, senior adviser to the president of the investigation.decided to hire someone who could Knight Foundation, at the annual conven- The project was funded by the John S. and tion of Investigative Reporters and Editors,help pay the bills. We needed to raise James L. Knight Foundation, the Society June 11, 2011money. of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta “Justice written in ink” Chi Foundation, the UC Berkeley GraduateThrough a friend, I met someone The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, June 18, 2011 School of Journalism, the George Washing-with a strong fundraising résumé, “Q & A with Martin Reynolds: Oakland Tri- ton Williams Fellowship, the National Asso-including experience raising money ciation of Black Journalists, The Newspaper bune editor talks about The Chaunceyfor journalism, a rare combination Guild and The California Endowment. Tech- Bailey Project”given how few journalism-focused nical assistance was provided by Investiga- By Jane Kim, Columbia Journalism Review,nonprofits there were at the time. In tive Reporters and Editors, Inc. May 14, 2009what proved to be a crucial decision, CONTRIBUTING NEWS ORGANIZATIONS >> “Articles on Editor’s Killing MadeCherilyn Parsons was hired as a part- p Alameda Times-Star Bay a Difference”time development director. It was p Area Black Journalists Association By Tim Arango, The New York Times,also a key step in my evolution from p Center for Investigative Reporting Feb. 22, 2009editor to publisher. p Contra Costa Times AWARDS EARNED >>In my past role as editor of a big p East County Times McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage, p The (Fremont) Argusnewsroom, I resented when editorial University of Georgia, 2010 p Hayward Daily Reviewresources were cut while business Knight Award for Public Service and p Investigative Reporters and Editorsbudgets increased. But now, thinking p KGO Radio Investigative Journalism Award in themore like a publisher than an editor, p KGO-TV ABC 7 Small Site Category,I knew that replacing the departing p KQED Public Radio Online News Association, 2009journalist with another reporter was p KTVU-TV Community Service Award, Bay Areanot an option. I needed someone p Maynard Institute for Journalism Black Journalists Association, 2009who understood the world of foun- Education New Media Online Project: News anddations, their nuances and interests, p New America Media Investigative Reporting, 150,000 +and had a sensibility about our jour- p New Voices in Independent Journalism circulation, National Association of Blacknalistic mission. With 15 years of ex- p The Oakland Tribune Journalists, 2009perience in fundraising, much of it p San Francisco Bay Guardian p San Jose Mercury News Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award,with journalism nonprofits and the Columbia University Graduate School p San Mateo County TimesAnnenberg School for Communica- of Journalism, 2009 p Society of Professional Journaliststion & Journalism at the University Tri-Valley Herald p Community Service Award, Nationalof Southern California, Parsons was p UC Berkeley Graduate School Association of Black Journalists, 2009exactly what we needed. of Journalism Medium-sized newspapers (100,000 to p Valley Times 250,000), Investigative Reporters andLEARNING COLLABORATIVE SCHOLARLY AND INDUSTRY WHITE PAPERS >> Editors, 2009DISTRIBUTION “Partners of Necessity: The Case for Col- Best Practices Award, laboration in Local Investigative Reporting” National Association of Black Journalists,In the spring of 2008, reporters on Report by Sandy Rowe, Shorenstein Center 2008the Chauncey Bailey Project were Knight Fellow and former editor, of The Tom Renner Award,stationed in our small office. News Oregonian Investigative Reporters and Editors, 2008organizations throughout the BayArea had teamed up to produce and “Re-Imagining Journalism: Local News for a James Madison Freedom ofdistribute these stories. The success Networked World” Information Award,of that collaborative project would 2011 policy paper by Michael R. Fancher, Society of Professional Journalists North- former editor of The Seattle Times and ern California Chapter, 2008serve as a model for building Cali- co-convener of Journalism That Mattersfornia Watch, which was still in the Pacific Northwestplanning stages. CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 4
  9. 9. The Bailey Project’s model had gained PART TWO simultaneous modes: survival anda great deal of positive attention. Itwas clear that we had hit the tipping Diving into growth. In the mainstream journalism world, the gutting of newsrooms was the worldpoint – the point at which news or- accelerating and the global financialganizations with disparate skills and markets were beginning to destabilize.expertise and shrinking resourceswere better off working together. Weknew that we were doing great jour- of fundraising I had no experience writing a propos- al and never had been in a situation in which there were multiple potentialnalism, which felt good, but the col-laboration was necessary to keep theinvestigation going; it was producing brings many funders with differing mandates, pro- grammatic interests, personalities andstories that eventually led to convic-tions and reforms in the Oakland lessons idiosyncrasies. My experience with budgets and planning documents had been with publishers and corpo-Police Department. The Center for Investigative Report- rate executives. When I was editor ofWith the Chauncey Bailey Project, we ing was poised to undergo a dramatic The Philadelphia Inquirer, the news-learned that we could control distri- relaunch in the spring of 2008, tak- room had an array of resources thatbution through as many partner rela- ing us fully into the age of the In- seemed limitless compared withtionships as we could manage – print, ternet and beyond, but if you visited where I now was.television, radio, websites – and that our humble Berkeley office, it would And very important, by comparison,traditional concerns about exclusivity, have been impossible to imagine the I was used to dealing with one directeven with 15 or 20 organizations in- changes ahead. funding source, a publisher who ne-volved, were less relevant if a story was The CIR workplace was in what was gotiated with corporate bosses, occa-strong and compelling. While most once the loft of an old horse stable in sionally with me in the room. Wheneditors, including me, would have de- a mixed-use neighborhood near the those meetings were over, you knewmanded exclusivity in the past, they original Berkeley Bowl, a local land- where you stood. Still, as a journal-now preferred to be part of something mark.With no central heating system, ist, I was never trained for those kindsbig rather than be excluded. it could be brutally hot or cold. The of negotiations. In that world, whenEvery news organization involved in staff worked with scarves, fingerless revenue and profit numbers werethe Chauncey Bailey Project had the gloves and wool caps on cold days and met, there was relative tranquility. Butright to post each story on its web- in warm, blowing wind generated by when revenue and profits dropped,site at the same time.What this meant industrial fans, their cables crisscross- nothing else mattered but makingwas that if the embargo time was 10 ing the floor, in the warmer months. or adjusting the financial goals. Thatp.m., a story went live then across all We were a struggling nonprofit with environment was filled with anxiety,the news organizations. Television no frills. conflict, distrust and shortsighted so-stations with 10 p.m. broadcasts re- lutions, all driven by the bottom line.ported the story on air then. If their In the late spring, the staff began to pull together the detailed plans for a Money-driven conversations werebroadcast was at 11 p.m., it was live new California project, a plan to cre- never comfortable for me, but theyon their website earlier and aired on ate a statewide investigative reporting were now the central and most crucialTV later. For newspapers, it meant team covering major issues like educa- element of my role in moving Cali-web first, print in the morning. For tion, the environment and health care. fornia Watch and CIR forward. Un-radio, generally, it was websites first The job of putting the funding pro- like the newspaper industry, however,and broadcast at drive time in the posals together fell to Associate Direc- dealing with foundations was nevermorning. We could time the release tor Christa Scharfenberg and Devel- about making a number; it was aboutand coordinate it with many news opment Officer Cherilyn Parsons. As convincing them that you could leadorganizations in different media. It CIR’s executive director, I did a final an organization that could make asounds simple today, but in 2008, it edit and review, but their knowledge difference, and, specifically, convinc-was innovative. And it worked. and experience in grant writing and ing them to invest in the CaliforniaThe Chauncey Bailey Project’s sto- foundation interests were invaluable. project. A friend told me, “You areries saturated the Bay Area. It was a the product.” That it rested so heavilytremendous, positive lesson, not only At the same time, we were trying to on me to sell the idea and visionfor the project, but for the profession keep CIR alive, funding other po- to potential funders was unsettling.of journalism. The project shaped tential projects and managing exist-where we were about to go next. ing editorial work. We were in two… CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 5
  10. 10. With foundations, I was soon to learn, and CIR’s future were as reliant on “You,” he said. “You need the supportyou operated on their cycle and at their skills and persistence as anyone’s. around you to do what you can do.”their pace. They have many suitors. Around this time, in the spring of I did not realize it at the moment, butThey have internal dynamics, con- 2008, I had my first one-on-one con- he got the vision. As a businessmanflicts and staff changes that can alter versations with philanthropists. The and entrepreneur, Hellman under-your organization’s life, for better or first step is getting in the door. Some- stood the concepts I was laying out,worse. But as I was reminded again times, the door can be opened by and he was thinking about how toand again, the job of foundations is chance or by contact made through support them, and me.to give away money. My job was to board members, friends or acquain-present a strong organization and ar- I came out of the meeting with a tances. Other times, the door nevergument for their investments. good feeling. I liked Hellman, and he opens. There is no real training for wanted to meet again. I had been toldThere was a herky-jerky rhythm to this.You are selling your wits, person- that “developing” an individual do-the various foundation funding cycles ality, passion and vision; chemistry is nor could be a lengthy process. It wasand board schedules, which left very essential. about relationship building, and herelittle time for me to do almost any- A friend who had secured funding it was in practice.thing else at CIR. “Face time” with from George Soros for a business proj-funders, which required the mun- Over the next few months, I met ect years ago told me that in meet-dane scheduling and confirming of with Hellman several times. He said ing a potential grantee, Soros wouldmany meetings, was as essential as he would help and made a $100,000 know in a couple of minutes whetherunderstanding the interests of each gift from his family foundation. More he would fund you. He said Sorosfoundation. I traveled frequently to important, he offered to host a lun- made those decisions with his gut.meet with foundation staff members, cheon in his office for potential do- Through another friend, I was ablewhich often involved three-day cross- nors, some of his friends and anyone to meet San Francisco philanthropistcountry trips with as many as five I wanted to invite. This was a big op- and billionaire financier Warren Hell-meetings a day. Getting in the door portunity. His advice to me was not man.When I asked more experiencedwas not always easy. The experience to talk about stories, but about the fundraisers how I should prepare forof Scharfenberg and Parsons was cru- new model. that meeting, the consensus was “becial to opening doors. But the meet- yourself.” On the morning of the luncheon,ings were imperative to developinga rapport with very busy program the Hearst Corp. announced that I went to Hellman’s office. His clothesofficers. it might sell or close the San Fran- were rumpled; his shoes were worn cisco Chronicle. When I walked into and comfortable-looking. He took offI was a novice at this, but every step Hellman’s boardroom, he walked up his sports jacket and, without looking,was a new lesson. to me, grabbed my elbow, pulled me tossed it in a heap on a corner chair. aside, looked me in the eye and asked,FACE TIME WITH A BILLIONAIRE I’d never met anyone with his wealth, “Should I buy the Chronicle?”PHILANTHROPIST and I knew he had the capacity to be I told him I didn’t think it would be aThe most effective face-to-face meet- a financial game changer for CIR. I good investment.ings occurred when I was able to con- immediately felt comfortable withvey our vision and mission and relay him; I told him about my back- As he got more involved in seeingmy personal story as a journalist. Par- ground, we talked sports, and I even- how he could help stabilize San Fran-sons had to be present at many of the tually launched into where I hoped cisco journalism, Hellman’s interest inmeetings to coordinate follow-up and to take CIR and the kinds of journal- CIR waned (though he did continuedraft the proposals. Juggling multiple ism we would do. I did not feel like his generous support for two morefoundation requests and proposals a salesman, though I suppose that’s years), and his focus went to fundingmeant setting up a rigorous manage- what I was. his own startup project, The Bay Cit-ment system for which Scharfenberg izen, a San Francisco online news site. After a few minutes of my “visionand Parsons had responsibility. They talk,” Hellman stopped me. I understood his thinking, and Ihad my trust, and they had my back. greatly appreciated his support. LargeVery important for me, they pushed “We have to fund the mother,” he said. individual gifts are a crucial pillar ofback, asked questions, understood our “The mother?” I responded. I had no the sustainability formula for CIRmission and turned that vision into idea what he meant. and all successful nonprofits. I nowclear prose. The California project knew that I could make a positive im- CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 6
  11. 11. pression on individual philanthropists. the focus of our growth strategy. an important role in our democracy,But I also had learned that building and that role had to evolve and be As the financial crisis exploded, ourthese relationships wouldn’t always supported going forward. anxiety mounted, as did pressure ontranslate into support that could pro- newsrooms. Our primary argument The passion that pushed us at CIRvide the type of financial resources for the state project had been the was also born out of personal convic-we needed to reach our vision. precipitous decline in the number tions. My father had started the jour-As the Hellman interlude unfolded of journalists covering Sacramento. nalism program at The City Collegeand unraveled, we also were work- By the fall of 2008, the number of of New York in the 1930s. He dieding with many foundations, large and reporters in California’s capital had at age 95 in the spring of 2008, a fewsmall. It is important to have many been more than halved in five years. months after I started at CIR. As Ilines out and be ready to evolve and Every news organization in the state went though his files after his death, Iadjust your thinking and strategies. was undergoing dramatic cuts. And found a yellowed piece of paper with when cutting is the focus, innovation two typewritten paragraphs:For example, in initial conversations is nearly impossible.during the spring of 2008, we were “Why should freedom of speech and free-talking about creating a “destination We had to think and act differently. dom of press be allowed? Why shouldwebsite” for the California project. And for me, the Chauncey Bailey government, which is doing what it be-We were considering the idea of be- Project continued to be a guide. Dur- lieves to be right, allow itself to be criti-ing the go-to site for in-depth Cali- ing this time, CIR board members cized? It would not allow oppositionfornia news, including our own in- were watching. They were not active- by lethal weapons. Ideas are much morevestigations and aggregated content ly engaged in formulating a strategy fatal things than guns. Why should anyfrom around the state. or raising money, but they were 100 man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions cal-But at the same time, the Chaunc- culated to embarrass the government?”ey Bailey Project demonstrated thestrength of collaborative reporting The collaborative model, -Nikolai Lenin, 1920and distribution. We had created the publishing through many “The basis of our governments being theconsistent ability to reach large au- opinion of the people, the very first ob-diences through many simultaneous partners simultaneously, ject should be to keep that right; and werepublishing and broadcast partners. It became central to the vi- it left to me to decide whether we shouldwould have been foolish to ignore have a government without newspapers,that successful learning experience. sion for CIR and California or newspapers without a government, IThrough the project – which re- Watch. should not hesitate a moment to choosevealed a shoddy police investigation the latter.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1787and led to two murder convictions in percent supportive of the concept2011 – we saw that large audiences and our efforts. By the end of 2008, We were in a different world fromcould be reached through the multi- though we had proposals under way, when those statements were made,platform, multi-partner approach. the future of CIR and the California but the words resonated with me andThat experience ultimately steered project were very uncertain. still rang true.us from the destination website idea.The collaborative model, publishing The complexity of our collaborative, During this time, former San Francis-through many partners simultane- multi-platform multimedia model co Chronicle reporter Louis Freed-ously, became central to the vision for was going to be a challenge to cre- berg was having conversations theCIR and California Watch. ate and manage. Adding to the chal- William and Flora Hewlett Founda- lenge was the fact that we still had no tion regarding his own California ini-NAILING DOWN FOUNDATION GRANTS guarantee of funding. But the conver- tiative, and I had been asked by theWork with the program officers and gence of the collapse of legacy media, Irvine Foundation to consider work-consultants with the John S. and the availability of talented yet frus- ing with him. He and I had talkedJames L. Knight Foundation and the trated journalists, advances in tech- about this earlier and now decided toJames Irvine Foundation accelerated nology and interested funders created work together rather than competeafter the summer of 2008. In the fall, opportunity. for shrinking funds. Funders clearlywe received a planning grant from the prefer collaboration among poten- The underpinning of that opportuni-Irvine Foundation that supported more tial grantees – another lesson quickly ty was a shared belief that journalistsstaff, as the California project became learned. and investigative reporting had played CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 7
  12. 12. The narrative for our proposal was longtime journalist and former UC diately from Milwaukee during histaking shape as we honed key prin- Berkeley Graduate School of Journal- weekends and evenings to finalizeciples. To develop and test this model, ism staff member Marcia Parker was staffing and budget.the California project would: hired to help with the startup. Knight, because of the chaos in the financial BUILDING THE TEAMp Develop collaboration as a key markets, deferred a decision until its strategy for the news operations of Katches and Freedberg came from June 2009 board meeting. We decid- the future very different backgrounds, but they ed to begin planning to launch the shared the belief that there was an op-p Implement multimedia distribution project, but not to actually launch it portunity and need for a new kind of as part of every story and test new or make further hires until we knew journalism organization in California digital technologies our full funding commitment. that would serve the interests of thep Develop innovative, replicable Knight was pushing us to be as in- state’s citizens. Each had envisioned strategies that can generate novative as possible around distribu- his own model for how this organiza- revenue from multimedia content tion, engagement and sustainability. tion might work. and help sustain operations I agreed with those core strategies, though I also believed our ability toDuring the last quarter of 2008, we generate strong stories would be thesubmitted the proposals to the Irvine, basis of our success and core compe- ... we announced that weHewlett and Knight foundations. The tency. I wanted to establish the proj- were hiring six reporterstotal original budget for the first year ect’s journalistic credibility as quicklyof California Watch was nearly $1.5 as possible. That meant we needed and two multimediamillion. That would have covered14 positions and a portion of CIR’s strong editorial leadership. As word producers. Nearly 700 spread of our good fortune withcore staff. We had been working very the Irvine and Hewlett foundations, journalists applied.closely with program officers at all of journalists began contacting us.the foundations. Each had its own an-gle of interest in the project. Irvine’s Mark Katches, a Californian who had Katches, who started his career in themission is to expand “opportunity for been hired by the Milwaukee Jour- Bay Area and also worked in Sacra-the people of California to participate nal Sentinel in 2006 to create and run mento and Southern California, wasin a vibrant, successful and inclusive an investigative reporting team, and I considered one of the best investiga-society.” Thus, that foundation saw made contact shortly after the Irvine tive editors in the country. He had athe decline of state reporting as a seri- grant was approved. He also sent me strong personality and was extremelyous threat. We worked with the edu- a proposal that he had put together organized. Although he had a securecation program at Hewlett, which was on his own months before for an in- position in Milwaukee, coming offseeking increased coverage of educa- vestigative reporting project based in a Pulitzer Prize win for his staff, histion issues. Knight is the single largest Sacramento. His thinking, derived family grew tired of the harsh Wis-funder of journalism in the United from years of reporting and editing consin winters. He was ready to getStates, with a keen interest in high- in California and Sacramento, mainly back to his home state and be part ofquality journalism, new technologies for The Orange County Register, was building a new model of journalism.and community engagement. remarkably similar to ours. He called Freedberg, an anti-apartheid South his plan California Watch and hadEach of the potential funders knew Africa native, had seen injustice first- already bought the domain name –of the others’ interest in the project, hand. He had a long career in Califor- which he later transferred to CIR.and they all conferred about our proj- nia journalism as well, most recentlyect.That allowed us to ensure that the Our leadership team met with Katch- at the Chronicle. He had left thatthree proposals complemented each es, and he was a clear choice to run newspaper hoping to create a mediaother and provided comprehensive the project if we secured funding. In “collaborative” in California. He hadand staggered support over the proj- June, the Knight Foundation awarded worked in the nonprofit journalismect’s first three years. CIR a two-year $1.3 million grant sector as a young man, including with for California Watch, bringing the the legendary Sandy Close, executiveBy the end of 2008, Irvine had agreed total funding for the project to $3.7 editor of Pacific News Service and itsto a $1.2 million grant over three years. million over three years. Katches was offspring – the ethnic media collab-In March 2009, Hewlett matched Ir- hired with a start date of Aug. 1. But oratives New California Media andvine. Freedberg began working with he began working with us imme- New America Media.us as director of the project, and CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 8
  13. 13. In early July, we were ready to start journalists were interested in being PART THREEhiring. While we had a large amountof money, it had to stretch over three part of building something new. Even with our uncertain future, applicants California Watchyears. The budget was tight, and we were willing to be part of what we allneeded to maximize it. We were set- saw as a noble experiment.ting out to cover the largest state inthe country. Through journalism em-ployment websites, we announced Our new team would need the ability to adapt to changes and opportuni- ties in technology. I did not want a Comesthat we were hiring six reporters andtwo multimedia producers. Nearly700 journalists applied. Marcia Parker change-resistant culture wedded to past practices. We needed to have a to Life flexible and nimble organization. Wemanaged the onslaught. As we be- As reporters and editors began to ar- needed to be constantly looking out-gan our early strategy sessions and rive from around the country in Au- ward to the audience and our part-thought about the qualities we were gust 2009, we had the energy, and the ners’ needs.seeking in new staff members, there chaos, of a startup.was agreement that we would be cre- Katches came on the scene with theating a multi-platform, collaborative authority to shape the editorial team, In all my years as an editor at news-news organization where everyone which would be reporting to him. He papers, I never had been involved inhad to think of himself or herself as a had the experience, credentials and a strategy that actually added staff.potential entrepreneur in addition to reputation to build the unit. In the Suddenly, the Center for Investiga-being a journalist. end, we hired the team we had envi- tive Reporting was exploding, and sioned: from veteran California jour- so were the challenges and rewardsIn conversations with senior staff, all of managing growth. As executive nalists Lance Williams (San Franciscoof whom were involved in the inter- director, I preferred this scenario, Chronicle) and Robert Salladay (Losview process, we stressed the need to but I quickly learned that managing Angeles Times); to younger reportersbe clear with applicants that this was a growth is as challenging as managing Erica Perez (Milwaukee Journal Sen-fragile, but great, opportunity to build cutbacks. Downsizing creates an en- tinel), Christina Jewett (ProPublica),something unique. We also empha- vironment of gloom and a sense of Corey G. Johnson (The Fayettevillesized that everyone would be part of failure in newsrooms. It is emotional- Observer) and Chase Davis (Desthe evolution of the project, and they ly distressing for everyone, and it was Moines Register); to multimedia pro-had to be open to, and comfortable personally brutal for me. But when ducers Mark Luckie (10,000 Words)with, collaboration internally and ex- you are building and more than dou- and Lisa Pickoff-White (freelancer);ternally. We also were determined to bling your organization, the sudden to data analyst Agustin Armendarizhire a diverse team. addition of staff creates an exhilarat- (The San Diego Union-Tribune).The range of applicants was striking, ing but complicated brew. Issues and In July 2010, California Watch was problems come flying at you from sofrom multiple Pulitzer Prize winners found by the American Society of many directions that decisions have tofrom legacy newspapers to younger News Editors to be one of the most be made quickly using both your gutjournalists who had worked only diverse online newsrooms in the and your head.for web-based news organizations. country.Katches, who had been on the board My role during this initial period wasof Investigative Reporters and Edi- We were poised to take off, but there to instill confidence and trust in thetors and involved with its mentoring would be bumps and challenges ahead. new team and to somehow make sureprogram, also had connections to a … the culture we were creating was asnetwork of young, talented and am- open and flexible as we envisioned.bitious journalists. This may sound easy, but I knew howThere was an abundance of new unpredictable things could be, as withmultimedia journalists on our list and any team, when you factor in person-strong computer-assisted reporting alities and egos.applicants. We also were looking for While we were hiring and getting thepeople who had multiple-platform new staff in place, Louis Freedberg,storytelling skills and were comfort- who was part of the management staffable users of social media and new of California Watch, traveled to vari-technologies. It was clear that many ous parts of the state to discuss our CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 9
  14. 14. plans with editors and news directors Close’s New America Media (NAM)and to assess their potential interest in had with ethnic media. Another les- CALIFORNIA WATCH LAUNCHour stories. There was plenty of in- son we were putting into practice was PRESS COVERAGE >>terest – mixed with skepticism about not to duplicate something that an- “California Watch Says ‘Yes’ tohow our new model would fit in the other organization already did well. Open, Networked Investigativetraditional journalism world – but no And NAM does what it does really Reports”commitments. well. NAM’s staff would translate our PBS’ “MediaShift,” Dec. 17, 2009 stories, sometimes for a fee, and dis-Through the Chauncey Bailey Proj- “Filling the Gap: California Watch, tribute them to their network. Theyect, I had gotten to know key lead- a new investigative reporting don’t do this for every story, and go-ers at KQED. The influential public venture, is launching a beefed-up ing forward, we can do a better job ofbroadcasting radio station in the Bay online operation” working with them on reporting. ButArea has statewide reach, as well as American Journalism Review, the times we’ve worked together havestrong ties to National Public Radio. August/September, 2009 been successful.We approached KQED’s manage- “California Watch’s revenue model:ment with an idea: Would they be All of this activity – the new deal- Charge news outlets, target donors”willing to partner and work full time making, the opportunities and growth Nieman Journalism Lab, Nov. 17,with California Watch? A proposal – was like a shot of adrenaline. Our 2009was made that we split the salary and small loft was abuzz with energy. Itexpenses for Michael Montgomery, was exciting and crowded. Everyone “California Watch’s Revenue Model”a veteran radio producer who had a could hear each other’s phone calls; The Nonprofit Road, Nov. 17, 2009history of working with both orga- “internal communications” literally “Public TV, Radio Stations to In-nizations. We wanted him to have full meant calling across the room. When crease Local Investigative Coverageaccess to our investigations. California consultant Marcia Parker pushed as Columbia Report Advised”Watch and KQED would collabora- back her chair from her desk, she Poynter Online, Nov. 12, 2009tively make the decisions on which hit the chair of our chief fundraiser, “Amid Newsroom Cutbacks Are ‘stories to pursue. Cherilyn Parsons. The refrigerator Watchdogs’ Still Awake? And Can was overflowing. Outsiders Fill the Gaps?”We would not impose creative con- Editor & Publisher, Oct. 29, 2009trol over radio; our reporters and edi- LAUNCHING CALIFORNIA WATCHtors would work together, and CIRwould have the opportunity to re- From the beginning, I knew we could story, which would be pegged to theview final scripts to make sure that all not create two distinct cultures with- anniversary of Sept. 11, offered a solidof our facts matched and that impor- in CIR – the national reporting desk, roadmap for testing our collaborativetant interviews conducted for radio where we had a few projects under model. While Schulz could write thecould be woven into print versions of way, and California Watch – though it overall story for the state, he also hadstories. Montgomery would work out was challenging to integrate the two detailed data for almost any county orof both our office and KQED’s, but entities. There had to be a symbiosis locality, which offered a great avenueneeded to be in KQED’s studios to between CIR and our potentially for partnering with media outletsrecord his work. (Current newspaper formidable baby. throughout California to localize thecovered the collaboration.) What better way to do this than larger investigation.The partnership with KQED was through our inaugural California Now we had to figure out distri-a tremendous opportunity for us to Watch story? G.W. Schulz, a CIR bution. Would editors be open to aconsistently work with a highly re- staff member, had been working on ready-made, unique 9/11 anniversaryspected media partner and reach a a project on state-level homeland story? Would they demand exclusiv-statewide broadcast audience in the security activities and spending. He ity? Would we charge for the story?millions. (KQED syndicates its “Cali- had gathered extensive information We decided we would establish a feefornia Report” to every public radio and data on every state. As a way to if a newspaper wanted to publish ourstation in the state.) quickly launch California Watch, even work. If we worked together with as the new staff was settling in, we a news outlet from inception, weWe also wanted to reach beyond the decided to break out a story focused would not charge.state’s English-speaking residents. on California, looking at waste andWe knew we could not develop the abuse within the multimillion-dollar As we began to notify potential part-relationships or stature that Sandy homeland security grant system. This ners in late August, I thought we CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 10
  15. 15. would be fortunate if we got two to We began making as many calls as we in Los Angeles translated the storyfour news organizations to sign on. could, describing California Watch into Spanish, published the story andFreedberg, Parker, California Watch and CIR to editors.We explained that allowed us to distribute their transla-Editorial Director Mark Katches and we had a story in which they might tion to other Spanish-language out-I divided up news organizations in be interested, describing how it could lets, an arrangement we have contin-the state on the basis of personal rela- be localized, letting them know that ued. We did not charge any of thesetionships. Between us, we knew many we were offering it to others around key partners in exchange for theirof those we would call or e-mail. We the state, possibly even other media contributions to the project.needed distribution. So what if some- in their market, telling them we were Coordinating the release was a lo-one said they would not or could not charging (cringe), and describing gistical feat. The embargo was set topay? Did distribution trump revenue? timing and plans for release. the time of the KGO-TV eveningThere was internal disagreement broadcast, with all news outlets freeabout this. Some felt we should es- to post to their sites and then publishtablish market value. Others felt weshould try to reach the broadest audi- Schulz’s story ran on the or broadcast on their own schedule. No one complained. In fact, the onlyence possible, which would mean ne- front page of about two criticism was from some news organi-gotiating lower prices if news outlets dozen newspapers, reach- zations asking why they hadn’t beenbalked. We would ask that the story part of it. We were stunned. News or-be published on websites as well, with ing more than 1.8 million ganizations wanted to be part of this.links back to our site for supportingstories or data. subscribers, and on televi- What was surprising to us was how sion, radio, news websites the need for exclusivity, once so sac-Several factors helped us succeed in rosanct throughout print as well asthis initial distribution challenge. Per-sonal relationships mattered. We each and in ethnic media outlets broadcast, fell by the wayside. Our new model was being widely ac-could get editors to respond to us throughout the state. cepted and, better yet, adopted. Audi-nearly all of the time, and CIR had ences were so fragmented that newscredibility and a positive reputation organizations would rather share awithin editing circles for accurate, We had no idea if this would work, good, unique story than not have itcredible reporting. As we all came but it did. Schulz’s story ran on the and cede it to their competition. Andfrom traditional news organizations, front page of about two dozen news- in this era of shrinking revenues, mostwe were sensitive to the needs and is- papers, reaching more than 1.8 mil- media could not afford to finance thesues of these newsrooms whose edi- lion subscribers, and on television, depth of reporting CIR and Cali-tors we were contacting. We wanted radio, news websites and in ethnic fornia Watch wanted to do. That firstto make this process as easy as possible media outlets throughout the state.for our clients. The process was time We produced the print story at threeconsuming but crucial. different lengths and edited customFreedberg, Katches and I had dif- versions for several news organiza- CALIFORNIA WATCH IN 2010fering comfort levels with the “sales tions. In San Francisco, KGO-TV SELECTED PRESS COVERAGE >>pitch.” We established a rough pric- produced a 5-minute piece based on “California Watch Editorial Director:ing structure that was flexible when our reporting and featuring our re- Exclusives No Longer That Important”it came to pushback. The pricing porter; they were even able to con- Mediabistro, July 28, 2010was based on circulation of newspa- duct a key interview that we were “California Watch Launches Site topers and ranged from $50 to $350 for unable to get, which helped strength- Track Gov Candidates’ Statements”the story. (We have since increased en the entire investigation. Mediabistro, June 21, 2010our fees significantly.) News web- The Marin Independent Journal as- “The New Investigators”sites would get the story for free, as signed one of its photographers to the Columbia Journalism Review,would other nonprofits and KQED. story and then allowed us to distrib- May/June 2010With hindsight, the amount of back ute those photos to all of our part- “Can newspaper muckraking carryand forth and our anxiety over “the ners. Through our partnership with on in nonprofits?”sales pitch” was comical, given the New America Media, the story was Associated Press, Jan. 17, 2010relatively small amounts of money we translated and distributed in Chinese,were seeking. But it was outside of Vietnamese and Korean. La Opinionour journalistic comfort zone. CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 11
  16. 16. story taught us a great deal about not freelancers had more than 35 inves- there was so much more we wantedbeing afraid to try new things and to tigations under way. With help from to be able to do with each story –take risks. Our clients – news orga- consultant Susan Mernit, we also but there was only so much our staffnizations – and their content users launched the California Watch web- could do. Some skills were lacking.would let us know what worked. site. It featured close to 20 searchable We had no photographer or graphic databases and daily blogging by our artist on our team, for instance.REACHING WIDER AUDIENCES reporters and editors. We also es- The effort to think with about visuals,As thrilled as we were with the reach tablished an aggressive social media multimedia and audio involved a cul-of our first story, it also gave us a look strategy. Our model was to continue tural re-education for some of ourat one of our primary challenges go- to distribute through others, but we reporters. We needed to shed theing into the future: how to engage wanted our site to showcase our work traditional media practice of keep-and capture our audiences. By pub- and not be dormant between investi- ing stories “secret” from all but toplishing through dozens of other out- gative stories. editors before publication. Instead, welets, we had limited knowledge about, We were in a period of relative fund- wanted everyone to embrace a rou-or access to, our readers, viewers and ing stability, and we moved in January tine of presenting stories-in-progresslisteners. Moving forward, our stories to a larger office in Berkeley, with the to a group of colleagues who couldoften would be the most read and modern conveniences of heating and help build interactive graphics, video,e-mailed on other news sites, amass- air conditioning, sufficient bandwidth radio and animation. The broadering hundreds of reader comments to keep our computers from crash- team would not only ask questions,and tens of thousands of page views. ing, and a desk for everyone. Our new but also think of ways to take the factsThe blessing and curse of our wide home is less expensive than San Fran- and data and use them to tell the sto-and nonexclusive distribution net- cisco office space, which we also con- ry in their specialty. This was vital towork is that it takes full advantage of sidered, and is close to UC Berkeley producing multi-faceted stories acrossthe web and new media: Our stories and its Graduate School of Journal- various platforms so that each ele-travel, so they reach huge audiences, ism. Our proximity to the journalism ment could be in process simultane-but it is extremely difficult to quan- school has enabled some of us to teach ously as we headed to a release date.tify, capture and engage those people or guest lecture there – and to findwhen they essentially “belong to” It was much easier to create and shape ways to collaborate with students.other outlets. We’ve become more this model from the beginning thansophisticated in tracking the reach of While signing a five-year lease at our it would have been to transform anour content. But we still need to get new location gave us a lower rate, entrenched legacy newsroom, wherebetter at it so that we can accurately there was also an element of risk; change was typically met with resis-measure our audience. Knowing who there is no certainty of funding that tance. In this new model, any ques-our readers, viewers and listeners are far into the future. It was a roll of the tion was a good question, and staffhelps us engage with our audience dice. More and more, I was learning members had to be reminded and en-directly. It’s also an important metric that there’s a lot of crapshooting in couraged to take risks and think dif-for our funders. the decision making of a nonprofit ferently about storytelling and reach- leader. Yet, without taking risks, you ing disparate audiences.The distribution of our first story ex- cannot grow.ceeded our wildest expectations. We More and more of my time was in-followed up with two more packages As we adjusted to our new workspace, volved in fundraising and internalin the fall of 2009 – one in November our team’s personalities, strengths issues mainly related to managingon the failure of a program to reduce and weaknesses became clearer. We personalities, egos and the conflictsclass sizes in K-12 schools and anoth- focused on stories and creating the that did arise, as they would in anyer in December on the an influen- model and, most important, a culture growing workplace. I felt fortunatetial campaign donor. We also opened in which multiple platforms and skills that I had management experienceour four-person Sacramento bureau, were at the table from the beginning in dealing with personnel issues inbased in KQED’s capital office. Sac- of a project. But our gaps were evi- my past roles, albeit in much largerramento veteran Bob Salladay works dent. Every newspaper editor has had organizations. In a smaller work-as CIR’s senior editor there with re- the experience of having a deeply re- place, such issues are magnifiedporters Corey G. Johnson, Christina ported story come to a close when and must be dealt with swiftlyJewett and Chase Davis. someone asks, “Where are the photos or they can become poisonous. and graphics?” Despite our all-out at-By January 2010, our investigative tempt to cover our multimedia bases,reporters and a stable of outstanding CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING : REINVENTING JOURNALISM : 12

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