independent journalism

The Huffington Post features InvestigateWest in an article about life after newspapers

Bill Lucey of The Huffington Post featured InvestigateWest in an article about nonprofit investigative journalism in an age of declining for-profit newsrooms.

Lucey, a former South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter, began the interview by asking what it was like to watch the Seattle Post-Intelligencer close.  To be frank, it was horrible.  

But I've replaced that memory with a year of hard work at InvestigateWest. InvestigateWest has already published in-depth stories about the environment with MSNBC.com and about social justice with seattlepi.com, KUOW-FM and the Spokesman-Review.  

We've received support from some of the most sterling foundations out there -- from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation for our Pacific Northwest Network, from The Bullitt Foundation for our environmental reporting, from the Fund for Investigative Journalism for an upcoming story about government mishandling of our most treasured lands, and from KUOW's Program Venture Fund about Native efforts to stem the tide of drug abuse.  

Rita Hibbard's picture

InvestigateWest featured in AP story on nonprofit investigative journalism

InvestigateWest's mission is to make sure investigative journalism continues, despite a cratering news industry that has seen massive layoffs among newspapers and other news organizations and budget cutbacks that have seriously curtailed the depth of coverage among remaining staff.

rita_hibbardwebAnd we continue to get recognized as among a small vanguard of media organizations leading the way toward an evolving future.

When national Associated Press business writer Andrew Vanacore wrote recently about whether investigative journalism can continue in nonprofit organizations as cutbacks occur in the for-profit model, he interviewed the big players in the independent scene - ProPublica based in New York, the Center for Investigative Reporting in California and the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., and InvestigateWest in Seattle. The difference is that ProPublica has a newsroom budget of $10 million, most of it coming from the Sandler Foundation, backed by financiers Herbert and Marion Sandler. CPI and CIR are veterans of the nonprofit, investigative world, having done their good work for 20 years or more. InvestigateWest is an upstart, six months old, scrappy and working hard to earn its keep.

Andrew and I talked a few days before InvestigateWest reporter Robert McClure had a story featured on msnbc.com, which drew 400,000 pageviews during its time in the lead position on Jan. 12.

InvestigateWest Copenhagen climate-treaty coverage points up need for independent journalism

Whew! Fifty-one posts -- all but three in just the last two weeks. Dateline Earth readers got to hear from an Arctic tribal elder, an Indian-turned-American nature photographer, Ethiopian political activists, native-rights campaigners from the Amazon and the grassy plains of Ecuador – as well as the European and American officials who dominate this country’s news diet.
rm iwest mugWe stretched. The InvestigateWest team’s coverage of the global climate treaty negotiations that just wrapped up in Copenhagen was a mammoth undertaking for our small start-up news agency – but one that amply demonstrated the need for independent journalism. It was an effort worth every bleary-eyed late-night hour, every marathon Skype session, every up-before-December’s-dawn morning.

It’s unlikely InvestigateWest will be dashing off to a lot of international meetings. We were fortunate in this case to have the assistance of four able young journalists who raised the funds to get themselves to Denmark. Then they went on to deliver journalism that wasn’t available from many – and in a few cases, any – of the thousands of other journalists who covered the talks.

They did this despite being denied access to the conference center where international delegates were meeting until the last day of the two-week conference.  

[caption id="attachment_7653" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow is arrested for the second time. He was held for 10 hours.