I’m Christa Scharfenberg, CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting, the organization behind Reveal.

I joined CIR in 2003, when we were one of the only nonprofit investigative news organizations in the country. Since then, we’ve grown from a small team reporting a few stories a year to one of the largest investigative newsrooms in the nation with a steady flow of high-impact stories; our own radio show – now airing on 500 public radio stations across the country – and podcast co-produced with PRX; ambitious television and documentary film projects; a deep commitment to data-driven reporting; and a visionary model for helping to strengthen public-service accountability reporting in local communities throughout the country.

Today, our democracy is facing unprecedented threats. We are inundated every day with disinformation and opinion masquerading as fact. And in many communities, there is no in-depth journalism left to counter that flood, to provide you with the information you need to effectively participate in the democratic process. 

My colleagues – 65 passionate, relentlessly curious, justice-seeking journalists (and those of us who support them) – work obsessively to get to the bottom of the most vexing stories and to reveal information that can make our world and our communities more empathetic, fair and just.

These stories can take months, sometimes years, to report. The work is expensive and time consuming and requires a strong backbone to take on powerful interests. We cannot do this work without support from the people who most value our work. People like you.

If you choose to invest in us, we’ll work hard throughout the year to earn your trust.

Here’s what you can expect: fact-based stories on every platform that reveal uncomfortable truths, hold the powerful accountable and make the world a better place.

Here’s what you won’t see from us: more opinion (we think there’s enough of that out there already) and sponsored content (the stuff advertisers pay for and news outlets camouflage as real news).

Here’s what else you should know about us: We’re a nonprofit. That means we have no profit motive and are not beholden to (or funded by) any deep-pocketed owner or advertiser.

It also means you are essential to our success.

That’s why I hope you’ll donate today. Any amount will help.

In return for your donation, we’ll give you surprising, truthful, memorable stories you can’t find anywhere else. And special member benefits, such as opportunities to engage with our reporters online and in person and, on occasion, cool swag that tells the world you share our commitment to truth and facts.

I hope you will consider becoming a sustaining member by setting up a recurring donation. Together, we can keep the pressure on powerful people, institutions and interests.

Thank you,

Christa Scharfenberg


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Christa Scharfenberg

Christa Scharfenberg is a former CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting. She joined CIR in 2003 as communications manager and has been a leader in its growth from a small nonprofit news organization, producing a handful of stories a year, to a multiplatform newsroom that reaches millions of people monthly through public radio, podcasts, documentaries, social media and the web. She managed the launch and growth of Reveal, CIR's Peabody Award and duPont-Columbia University Award-winning national public radio show and podcast, produced with PRX. She has been an executive or senior producer of documentaries for CIR, including the Academy Award-nominated film “Heroin(e),” numerous FRONTLINE co-productions and the independent film “Banished,” which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Scharfenberg is a member of the Poynter Institute's National Advisory Board and was a 2014 Punch Sulzberger Program fellow at Columbia University Journalism School. Prior to joining CIR, she was associate director of the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco.