The loss of local news coverage in many communities around the country is weakening American democracy. Since the beginning of 2019 alone, more than 2,000 journalists have lost their jobs. Local news outlets – consistently the most trusted of all sources – are disappearing rapidly or falling victim to failing business models. Independent, nonpartisan, fact-based journalism is imperiled.
Even within this disruption, though, there are signs of promise. Many local newsrooms are pursuing important stories, finding innovative ways to fill information gaps and engaging their communities to develop reporting that responds to pressing needs. We recognize that local reporters, not national news organizations like us, are best positioned to do deep and sustained coverage in their cities and we want to help.
Key to everything The Center for Investigative Reporting does is a deep commitment to collaboration with other newsrooms. Local partnerships allow us to dramatically expand our reporting capabilities, ensure the impact of our work and engage with people affected by our reporting, all while helping our local partners form their own collaborations, deepen their reporting and find answers to their communities’ most vexing questions. These mutually beneficial initiatives include co-productions with other newsrooms for the Reveal radio show and podcast, reporting networks that provide local outlets with data and reporting resources, fellowships that build capacity for investigative reporting among communities and journalists traditionally underrepresented in our sector, and a model for strengthening local news ecosystems through building capacity for investigative reporting in select local communities.