More than 40 media partners have carried California Watch stories – a pretty extraordinary number given that we haven’t been around that long. You can see the names of all our partners if you scroll about half way down our About page.

Here’s the scoop on how we partner up with news organizations. First we look for geographic symmetry. If a story has a strong tie to say, Ventura County, it’s a no brainer for us to approach the Ventura County Star. That’s just one example. Newsroom leaders up and down the state have told us they are especially interested in our content provided the stories have a strong local hook.

We also know that stories about statewide politics will appeal to the Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle. Other newsrooms have told us they like these stories too, but without a local connection, they probably won’t bite.

Some newsroom leaders have told us that environment and higher education top their lists of topics of interest. Others say public safety and health and welfare coverage matter most.

That works for us. We have plans to cover all of these topics.

Our goal is to reach as broad an audience as we can. But we also understand that individual stories we produce will not appeal to every news outlet in the state. We can live with that. The trick is to find the news outlets that do want the work we’re trying to place. We have a lot of balls in the air and couldn’t be happier with the response we’re receiving from newspapers, TV and radio and online outlets.

Collaboration can take many forms. In some cases, we will partner early with news organizations to tailor our project to regional interests. With the largest investigative team in California on our staff, more often we hope to develop stories that are ready to publish.We are also working in unique ways to partner with ethnic media outlets. So far, our stories have been translated into four languages.

In most ways, my job is no different than the last two places I worked and where I built investigative teams. I manage and edit projects and prepare them for publication. But where things change radically is toward the end of the process. That can mean editing multiple versions of a story and then working with my boss Robert Rosenthal and colleague Louis Freedberg to distribute the stories and find partners who want our work. Each stage of the process has its thrills and its frustrations. But it’s a new world we’ve embraced here at California Watch – a new world with enormous possibilities.

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 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.