Caption: Data visualization by California Watch shows earthquake hazards near schools.
Berkeley, CA – California Watch, a project of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting, launched a new feature-rich web site today (www.californiawatch.org) that offers readers access to the state’s largest investigative reporting team, their ongoing reporting, and the databases and research that fuel their work. Readers can use the site to dig down to the local level of their region, city or town on a number of topics – and take action.
California Watch opened bureaus in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento this fall, employing a diverse 13-person editorial team that includes veteran, award-winning reporters, such as Lance Williams, formerly of the San Francisco Chronicle and journalists from the digital media world, including Mark Luckie, author of the popular 10,000 Words blog. The reporters are assigned to beats ranging from education and heath care to government accountability.
“We’ve created an investigative reporting team for California that will not only expose corruption and wrongdoing, but will spark debate and give people the tools to learn more and identify solutions that will hopefully improve the quality of life in the state,” said CIR Executive Director Robert Rosenthal. “California Watch is the next logical step for CIR. We will continue to produce high-quality investigative journalism on national and international issues, and at the same time dedicate significant resources to uncovering stories that are critical to the people of
The California Watch website launched today in conjunction with a new investigative story revealing that California politicians are relying on their political parties to funnel contributions to them, allowing politicians to avoid campaign limits. Chase Davis, who wrote the story, and the California Watch investigative team of reporters launched their lively daily blog that focuses on news items related to their core
The groups’ investigative stories will be released on a regular basis and will be launched alongside a comprehensive set of online tools including, “MyWatchdog,” a home page for users to launch their own investigations; “React and Act,” a database with contact information for public officials, organizations and key stakeholders for the issues on which California Watch reports; “Chats and Forums” where reporters and experts will engage in conversation with the public after stories are published; a searchable “Data Center” where users can search stimulus contracts, lobbying and campaign finance records, FBI Crime statistics, high school graduation and college attendance rates by county, and environmental clean up sites, among many other topics; “Inside the Newsroom” where reporters discuss the news gathering process via blogs and videos; and “Bill Trackers” which lists relevant bills being moved through Sacramento. Click http://blip.tv/play/hKxHgbfFSAI%2Em4v for a video overview of California Watch, including interviews with the editorial team.
In addition to publishing through its own website, California Watch stories are widely distributed through collaborative relationships with local and regional news organizations, including KQED FM/The California Report, dozens of newspapers throughout the state, television stations, New America Media with it’s network of ethnic media outlets, and The Associated Press.
Go to www.CaliforniaWatch.org to learn more.
California Watch, the largest investigative team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). The mission of California Watch is to expose injustice, waste, mismanagement, wrongdoing, questionable practices, and corruption so that those responsible can be held to account and so the public is armed with the information needed to debate solutions and spark change.. Priority areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process. California Watch receives funding from The James Irvine Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Founded in 1977, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization. Its mission is to produce and distribute multimedia reporting that reveals injustice and abuse of power, has an impact, and is relevant to people's lives. CIR reports have reached the public through television, print, radio and the web, appearing in outlets such as 60 Minutes, PBS Frontline, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Politico and U.S. News & World Report. CIR stories have received numerous journalism awards including the Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Award, Emmy Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and National Magazine Award for Reporting Excellence. More importantly, its reports have sparked congressional hearings and legislation, United Nations resolutions, public interest lawsuits and change in corporate policies. CIR founded California Watch to help create a new model for regional investigative reporting.
Contact: Lisa Cohen, 310-395-2544
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.