In response to the downsizing of California newsrooms, as well as the economic crises facing the state, the Center for Investigative Reporting is launching a new reporting initiative on issues of crucial importance to California and its future.

The initiative will be supported by a range of sources, including major grants from The James Irvine Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. With a team of experienced journalists at its core, it will produce in-depth, high-impact investigative reporting in multimedia formats on issues ranging from education to the economic crisis, to immigration, public safety and the environment. We will place a major emphasis on solution-oriented reporting intended to have an impact on the quality of life for Californians and the communities where they live.

This new venture will combine the experience and resources of CIR, the oldest nonprofit investigative reporting organization in the country, and the talents and resources of the California Media Collaborative, based at the Commonwealth Club of California, established in 2007 to devise strategies to improve coverage of key statewide issues. It will embrace four central principles:

  • We will work collaboratively with news organizations, journalism schools and research and public policy institutions to expand and deepen our reporting. We will engage citizens interactively to generate story ideas and inform our understanding of concerns facing Californians in their own communities.
  • We will deliver our reporting on multiple media platforms through existing and new media outlets to maximize the impact of our work. Outlets will range from major newspapers and broadcast outlets to smaller ethnic media and local on-line news sites. We also will test new technologies, delivering our content in innovative ways through our own website and via mobile platforms.
  • We will develop new revenue streams in order to sustain the initiative, in partnership with technology companies, digital outlets, and other media innovators.
  • We will use state and federal data in creative ways to localize our reporting and show Californians how state-level issues have an impact on their daily lives and on local government and other institutions.

>> For more information, read the press release.

>> To discuss partnerships, please contact Robert Rosenthal at or Louis Freedberg at

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