The best watchdog journalism exposes problems. But it can be frustrating for readers when investigative stories leave them feeling hopeless – like nothing can be done about a bad situation.
At California Watch, we hope that our stories will be the starting point – a catalyst for discussion debate and change. We want to facilitate that to the extent that we can by providing a venue or forum about the key topics we’re writing about. We want readers to feel engaged and empowered to be part of the solution. We’re going to try to make that as easy as possible with our React and Act features that will accompany most of our stories. You can find the feature on the right rail of our story pages.
We plan to give you the names, numbers and e-mail addresses of major stakeholders who can make a difference. We used React and Act on our story about stimulus funding going to companies with histories of environmental pollution and other legal woes. We also used React and Act for our story about party central committees sidestepping campaign limits. Check out the way we did it. I think it’s pretty cool.
We’ll also be hosting chats with key players – a sort of "virtual round table" discussion set around important issues. After the chats are completed, I’d like our chat moderators to review the chat transcripts and develop talking points from those conversations that policy leaders can use as a roadmap for reform. We’ll also make it easy for you to track the changes that come as a result of our investigative reporting. And we’ll be exploring other ways to help readers engage.
As always, let us know how we’re doing. We’re going to count on feedback from our readers to make refinements and improvements.
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.