I’m Amy Pyle, the editor in chief at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.
This is a dream-come-true job for me, after a couple of decades at newspapers.
Why? Because we have one very focused goal: impact. You can help us reach that goal.
People ask me all the time whether it’s depressing to run an all-investigative newsroom, where we are constantly uncovering some pretty gnarly problems. Some people call that negative news. But I see it differently: What could be more positive than exposing problems and who’s responsible, creating a roadmap for change?
That’s exactly what we do out of our headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our reporters are charged with unearthing unique, important national issues. Then, once they find them, we give them the time and resources to thoroughly investigate.
Deciding which stories to greenlight is one of my biggest challenges. I find myself saying no–a lot! To help us choose, the editing team developed a checklist to ensure maximum impact from our work. Here are a few examples of what we ask ourselves about every story idea:
- IMPORTANT: Will this story expose a hidden problem or tell our audience something new? Will it make a difference?
- INTERESTING: Why should someone read or listen to it? Is it timely, newsy, in the zeitgeist?
- FOCUS: Who is being harmed and how? Who is responsible and can we prove it?
- APPROACH: How will we humanize it? Who are some primary characters: a whistleblower, a victim, a bad guy?
In the coming weeks, I’ll write again to tell you about some of the impact we have had this year. But until then, give some thought to the value you place on this kind of reporting and on strong journalism in general. We believe in offering you our work for free, but it’s not free to produce.
Please consider joining our new membership program to show your support for our mission to make a difference.
Also, feel free to get in touch with feedback about our work – we are always looking to learn from you, too.
Editor in Chief