We’re airborne, and this is a jamming little office here at California Watch. Jamming and cramming in our too small digs. Thankfully, we are moving in two weeks. Another disruption for us but our new home looks great, and we will have some breathing room.
Meanwhile this week has been exhilarating for all of us here. There has been no let up in the pace. It has only intensified as our California Watch site went live. Our blogs and Data Center have been excellent, if I don’t say so, and our next California Watch story about stimulus spending is set for a bunch of newspapers and other media partners across California this coming Sunday.
We will have strong major investigative stories every week this month and more are in the pipeline. We spent a chunk of this week looking at the site and thinking of ways to make it more user-friendly and accessible. We will be tweaking, and we welcome feedback from you. The positive feedback we have seen from bloggers and media commentators has given us more fuel to go forward.
Seeing editorial commentary off our story last weekend on both the Democrats and Republicans moving money around the state feels good, and the decision by the Fair Political Practices Commission to look into some of the money movements Chase Davis detailed is the type of scrutiny we hope to provoke regularly. And we’re mostly having fun, which is what journalists in the day were also about.
So there’s something old, but something very new happening at California Watch.
Robert J. Rosenthal is the chief executive officer at The Center for Investigative Reporting. Rosenthal was the executive director of CIR from January 2008 to spring 2017. When he joined CIR, it had a staff of seven and when he left, it had a staff of nearly 70 and was recognized as one of the leading nonprofit newsrooms in the country. He is an award-winning journalist and worked for some of the most respected newspapers in the country, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The 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 left in 2007. During this time, he led the investigation into the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey. That work became known as the award-winning Chauncey Bailey Project. Before joining The Inquirer in 1979, Rosenthal worked for six years as a reporter 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 Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for Third World reporting. He was a Pulitzer finalist in international reporting and was a Pulitzer judge four times. He has been an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Rosenthal is also currently advising or on the board of multiple journalism nonprofits. In 2018, Rosenthal was named a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists for his “extraordinary contribution to the profession of journalism.”
More by Robert J. Rosenthal