If you’re sipping your mocha at a coffee shop somewhere in California on Thursday, keep an ear out for the furious tapping on the keyboard. It could be one of us blogging or tweeting, building multimedia packages or pounding out the next big story.

Members of the California Watch and Center for Investigative Reporting staffs will be fanning out around the state and working in coffee shops with WiFi access on Jan. 21 as part of our first “Open Newsroom.”

Here’s how the idea came about: For most of this week, our operations are being disrupted by an office move. We’re packing up and transporting the whole shebang from our existing location on Newbury Street to a beautifully remodeled landmark building on Center Street in downtown Berkeley. Our Internet connection went down Friday at our old location, and we don’t have a place to sit in the new space. If you’re trying to call right now, our phones are unattended, if they’re plugged in at all. After the holiday today, we’re mostly going to be working from home until Jan. 25 when the doors open at our new digs.

We figured we should turn this temporary inconvenience into an opportunity. So we decided to set up shop on Thursday at various WiFi hotspots.

The Open Newsroom concept is part of a goal to connect with readers and get out of the office. We’re hoping it will be a regular part of what we do. On Thursday, please stop by to say hello. We’re looking forward to meeting you. And if you have any great story tips, we’ll be there to listen. 

The locations and hours to find us are on the map below.

California Watch is a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting and is now the largest investigative reporting team operating in the state. Visit the Web site at www.californiawatch.org for in-depth coverage of K-12 schools, higher education, money and politics, health and welfare, public safety and the environment.

Mark Katches is a past editorial director for The Center for Investigative Reporting. He is currently editor of the Oregonian and vice president of content for the Oregonian Media Group. Previously, he built and ran investigative teams at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Orange County Register. Mark was the primary editor of Pulitzer Prize-winning projects in both 2008 and 2010 and edited or managed five other stories that were Pulitzer finalists. Projects he edited or directed also have won the George Polk Award, the IRE award and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Award as well as the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize, the Sigma Delta Chi Award and the National Headliner Award. Multiplatform projects produced by CIR staff under Mark's guidance won a national News & Documentary Emmy, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, a George Foster Peabody Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award. He has overseen projects or websites that have won four Online Journalism Awards in the last decade, in addition to logging more than a dozen OJA finalists. In 2001, he was part of a reporting team that won the Gerald Loeb and IRE awards for a series of stories detailing the rising profits from the human tissue trade. He completed a Punch Sulzberger Fellowship at Columbia University in 2013 and has taught reporting classes as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford University. Mark served on the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors for four years and oversaw the IRE mentorship program for six years.