California Watch, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, today launched the California Watch Media Network and announced its first members, which include some of the state’s largest and most reputable news organizations.

Joining the network are the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union Tribune, Orange County Register, Bakersfield Californian, and the Fresno Bee.

The news organizations that are part of the California Watch Media Network will receive stories and daily news posts from California Watch, the state’s largest investigative reporting team. The new group also will work to find ways to collaborate together on investigative reporting projects.

“This new network represents a step forward in terms of how we market and distribute our content,” said California Watch Editorial Director Mark Katches. “It’s our hope that many more news organizations, both large and small, will join us in the coming months.”

Katches added that the goal of the network extends beyond distributing California Watch stories.

“It sets the table for more collaborative relationships,” Katches said. “That’s the most exciting part about it. We hope it will create even more opportunities for news organizations to work together on investigative projects.”

Membership fees to join the network are determined by circulation and audience reach of news outlets. For print publications, rates are based on Sunday Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) statistics. For broadcast members, rates are based on market size. Members also will have select content featured on the California Watch website at

“We were thrilled to join the California Watch Media Network,” said Steve Proctor, managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. “California Watch is doing first-rate investigative journalism, a critical component of any newspaper. Our partnership has been extremely important to the Chronicle and its readers and we look forward to collaborating on more great work in the future.”

Since launching in late 2009, California Watch has developed a unique distribution model, charging news organizations fees for the rights to publish content. California Watch also typically edits multiple versions of stories to appeal to local news markets.

“We have to find ways to generate revenue. It’s an important part of our business strategy,” said Robert J. Rosenthal, executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting. “The high-caliber news organizations that have already joined our network helps to illustrate the value of our journalism.”

Stories will also be offered to news organizations outside the network and California Watch will continue its successful partnership with KQED Public Radio.

For more information about the benefits of joining the California Watch Media Network, editors should contact Distribution and Online Community Manager Meghann Farnsworth at or 510-809-2213.


About California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting

California Watch, the largest investigative team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). Priority areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process. The goal is to expose hidden truths, prompt debate and spark change. California Watch receives funding from The James Irvine Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the California Endowment. California Watch received a general excellence award from the Online News Association in 2010. Its staff also was named “Journalists of the Year” by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation’s oldest nonprofit investigative news organization. CIR reports have reached the public through television, print, radio and the web, appearing in outlets such as 60 Minutes, PBS Frontline, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Politico and U.S. News & World Report. CIR stories have received numerous journalism awards including the Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Award, Emmy Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and National Magazine Award for Reporting Excellence. More importantly, its reports have sparked congressional hearings and legislation, United Nations resolutions, public interest lawsuits and change in corporate policies. CIR founded California Watch to help create a new model for regional investigative and other high-impact reporting.

Press Contact:
Marlene Saritzky
California Watch/Center for Investigative Reporting

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