News for Digital Journalists

Posts tagged with: Investigative Reporting

March 27, 2012

Bay Citizen, Center for Investigative Reporting merge

Today they made it official: two major California-Based nonprofit news organizations—The Bay Citizen and the Center for Investigative Reporting—will merge…

The combined organization will have a staff of 70 in one newsroom, location to be determined. Former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein will serve as executive board chairman. Robert J. Rosenthal will continue as executive director of CIR. The focus will be on investigative and accountability journalism, published under three brands:

  • The Bay Citizen: Local Bay Area coverage
  • California Watch: Statewide reporting
  • CIR: National-level journalism


Writing for the Bay Citizen, Dan Fost noted: “While technically a merger, a similar deal in the corporate world would be termed an acquisition, with Berkeley-based CIR assuming a dominant role on the board and in the management of the combined organization. No one from The Bay Citizen’s current senior editorial or technology management teams will have a leadership role in the expanded organization.”

Also: “The Bay Citizen will likely no longer cover breaking news or culture, as CIR leaders have said they see those as commodities that don’t fit the expanded organization’s core mission.”

There’s a lot of money behind this operation—but how sustainable is it? According to CIR, the combined organization will have a budget of $10.5 million in 2012. But with a staff of 70, plus offices and other expenses, CIR could easily burn through well over half of its budget this year alone. Bay Citizen patron Warren Hellman passed away last year, and so far his family foundation is continuing to support the project with a new infusion of $4 million. Both CIR and Bay Citizen also have an existing base of donors.

Susan Mernit, founder of Oakland Local (a Bay Area community news/views site) observed that there’s some poetic justice in this merger.

“In 2008, when Warren Hellman was planning The Bay Citizen, Bronstein and Rosenthal were the people he consulted,” said Mernit. “But then Hellman hired an entirely different team, led by Lisa Frazier. So it’s a bit of neat symmetry—after Hellman’s death, the organization he started will be continued by the people who shaped his thinking.”

August 30, 2012

RTNDA/Gannett award for innovative community watchdog journalism

The Radio Television Digital News Association is teaming with the Gannett Foundation to offer a $5000 prize recognizing groundbreaking TV, radio, or online watchdog journalism that creatively uses digital tools. Special consideration is given to journalism that helps a community understand and address important issues…

Criteria for evaluating innovation include interactivity, creation of new tools, innovative adaptation of existing tools, and creative use of any digital medium. An entry can consist of a single story, series or package on a single subject.

Each entry must have appeared between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. Audio or video entries must not exceed 15 minutes. Print-only work is not eligible.

Learn more and enter now
Deadline: September 24