A Budding Investigative News Network

Posted on 14. Jul, 2009 by in News Ecosystem, Not-For-Profit

p1000899Watchdog journalism has a viable future.

Twenty-five nonprofit news organizations recently came together to form the beginnings of an investigative news network to fill in the growing void left by newspapers.

Some of the budding network’s members include Bill Buzenberg, executive director of The Center for Public Integrity, and Leonard Downie, Jr., former executive editor of The Washington Post.

The network’s first conference at the Pocantico Estate in New York established a shared aim to foster the “highest quality investigative journalism,” and addressed more personal concerns for the reporters and editors involved, i.e. employee benefits, health care, and general liability insurance — aspects of journalism you don’t hear about too often these days.

Neiman Lab talks about some of the finer points behind the network’s creation, including ProPublica’s decision to remain outside.

While there’s plenty of work to be done before the network begins bird-dogging the bad guys, several key questions were raised during their initial conference:

  • Should there be a website that aggregates content from network partners?
  • Should alignments be by geography or subject area or both?
  • Should the frame definitely be “investigative” reporting? Or “public affairs”?
  • Who signs off on a story?

So, as we prepare for an upcoming Q&A with Trent Seibert of Texas Watchdog — one of the 25 organizations at the Pocantico conference — we will also continue to track the network’s ongoing development.

In the meantime, you can read their lofty declaration on the conference’s home page. Or click here for a more layman summary.

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