From June 29 – July 1, 2009, nearly thirty investigative news organizations came together to strategize the creation of an investigative news network. At the conference, representatives from CIR, ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, Huffington Post, Investigative Reporters and Editors, The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, and many others explored new models for watchdog journalism at the Pocantico Conference Center in New York.
The event was sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Surdna Foundation, and The William Penn Foundation.
Today, the participants posted “The Pocantico Declaration: Creating a Nonprofit Investigative News Network”:
Resolved, that we, representatives of nonprofit news organizations, gather at a time when investigative reporting, so crucial to a functioning democracy, is under threat. There is an urgent need to nourish and sustain the emerging investigative journalism ecosystem to better serve the public.
Recognizing, that there are many forms of potential collaboration: Editorial, which at the least could be doing joint accountability journalism projects, publishing on the same day on multiple websites with other, multimedia partners, which would entail efficient, shared information, reporting and synchronous editing; Administrative, exchanging information about necessary organizational “back office” functions such as employee benefits, health care and general liability insurance, libel review and insurance, directors and officers insurance, etc., and perhaps even centralizing some of these functions to increase efficiencies; and Financial, at a minimum, exchanging development-related information and even jointly fundraising, at the most, pioneering new economic models to help to monetize the shared, combined content of the member organizations, in order to achieve a more sustainable journalism.