Calvan comes to CIR from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. that funds and supports independent investigative journalists. As operations manager, Calvan oversees FIJ’s mentoring program, provides guidance to grant recipients and works to expand opportunities for journalists of color and women in investigative journalism.
Previously, Calvan was a statehouse reporter for The Associated Press in Helena, Montana, a national political reporter for The Boston Globe and a health care reporter for The Sacramento Bee.
In 2014-15, he led the Heartland Project, a yearlong Ford Foundation-funded program to boost coverage of communities of color and LGBT issues in Nebraska. That project resulted in more than 40 print, radio and television stories in collaboration with newsrooms across the state. During that year, Calvan also was a journalist-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, coaching reporters and editors on strategies to be more inclusive in their reporting.
He was a reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists in 2011, reporting from Laos on the millions of unexploded bombs that are legacies of the U.S. war waged four decades ago in Indochina. He also did a tour reporting on the Iraq war for McClatchy Newspapers in fall 2007, where he helped direct a staff of more than a dozen Iraqi journalists and security staff.
A native of the Philippines, Calvan grew up on a dairy farm at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains in Waimanalo, Hawaii, and has traveled widely, including to all 50 American states. He has a legal studies degree from UC Berkeley and is fluent in Ilocano, a major Filipino dialect.
“Our communities are stronger because of quality journalism,” Calvan said. “I look forward to helping local newsrooms build the partnerships that will empower their communities.”
“We believe strongly in the power of local watchdog journalism to effect change and Bobby brings a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge to this important new position,” said Amy Pyle, CIR’s editor in chief. “We’re eager to work alongside him to make the project a huge success.”
CIR will launch Reveal Local Labs this summer to help local newsrooms produce important investigations and harness the power of public engagement to improve trust with local audiences. It will use the lessons learned over the past three years through its Reveal Labs model and other media partnerships to invest deeply in capacity building and community outreach. Results will be documented closely to share best practices with others.
Many notable efforts to place and train reporters in local news outlets are underway across the country. Reveal Local Labs will leverage insights from these efforts, too, with a particular focus on helping newsrooms forge news partnerships to ensure lasting impact of this work.
Through the initiative, CIR will identify existing strengths and potential resources, provide investigative training and mentorship, coach journalists in working together across platforms, and bring in a cross section of the community to inform investigations along the way. The resulting work will be published and aired locally, and brought to Reveal’s national audiences.
If you’re a news outlet interested in learning more, contact Senior Editor Ziva Branstetter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CIR is also hiring a community engagement specialist to help partners ensure their investigations reach key audiences locally and nationally. For more information about that, contact Audience Director Hannah Young at email@example.com.
CIR’s local capacity building initiatives are generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, News Integrity Initiative, and the Reva and David Logan Foundation, among others.