California Watch releases “Reinventing Journalism,” Executive Director Robert J. Rosenthal’s account of joining the Center for Investigative Reporting and launching California Watch.
I’ve learned many lessons in my time at the Center for Investigative Reporting. Some I knew already. Others I had forgotten. And then there were some new things I should have known and had to learn the hard way.
As 2011 began, the Center for Investigative Reporting and its robust new creation, California Watch, were in good shape. We had received a great deal of positive publicity the previous year and earned recognition within the journalism community, which helped with fundraising.
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As reporters and editors began to arrive from around the country in August 2009, we had the energy, and the chaos, of a startup.
The Center for Investigative Reporting was poised to undergo a dramatic relaunch in the spring of 2008, taking us fully into the age of the Internet and beyond, but if you visited our humble Berkeley office, it would have been impossible to imagine the changes ahead.
I’m not sure I would have become the executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting in January 2008 if I had really understood the challenges ahead of me and had thought them out carefully; I had no idea what I was getting into.