An article on Salon.com surveyed editors at successful nonprofit news organizations about the benefits and challenges of their business model. CIR’s Executive Director Robert Rosenthal weighed in:

“The watchdog role is disappearing at the county, city and state level,” says Robert Rosenthal, executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting, in Berkeley, Calif. He was the former executive editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Center for Investigative Reporting signals one way forward for nonprofit journalism. Founded in 1977, it has a long history of collaborating with other news organizations, including Salon, to conduct and publish original reporting. Its annual budget is $2.5 million. Recent stories have included immigration sweeps, sex trafficking and the Mexican drug war. It funds reporting that finds a home in multiple outlets — on the Web, in print, and on TV and radio. And it’s now starting a California-focused reporting initiative to try to pick up the slack as Golden State newspapers shrink.

>> Read “Spare change for news” on Salon.com.