At its most fundamental, great journalism should make a difference in our world. Great journalism is also about the power of the story and how it’s told to the world.

Our new collaboration with San Francisco’s Tides Theatre was conceived very simply: Let’s bring some of our storytelling, especially our powerful narratives, to the stage.

This is not a new concept; it’s happened elsewhere. Novels, films, documentaries, all have at one time grown from a one-paragraph news brief that piques the interest of a writer, journalist, filmmaker or playwright and then expanded into blockbusters that engage readers, moviegoers and TV watchers alike.

It’s a simple question that sparks bigger things: What’s the story here? Who were the people or characters involved? Why did it happen? Curiosity drives the pursuit of the story.

With that in mind, we’re taking some of CIR’s work to the stage to tell our stories in a new way, reach a new audience on issues that matter and, hopefully, form a powerful connection with the audience.

We’re excited to head to the theater to see what’s next for high-impact reporting and storytelling.

Robert J. Rosenthal

Robert J. Rosenthal is a board member at The Center for Investigative Reporting. An award-winning journalist, Rosenthal has worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming its executive editor in 1998. He became managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in late 2002, and joined CIR as executive director in 2008. Before joining the Inquirer in 1979, Rosenthal worked as a reporter for six years at The Boston Globe and three-and-a-half years at The New York Times, where he was a news assistant on the foreign desk and an editorial assistant on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pentagon Papers project. As a reporter, Rosenthal won numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award for magazine writing, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence, and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for Third World Reporting. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting. Rosenthal was a Pulitzer Prize judge four times. He has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.