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InvestigateWest

This looks good, if they can sustain it – always the difficulty.

A group of former reporters for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (journalists not at the online version) have launched a site called InvestigateWest, aimed at offering investigative reporting, with a “focus on stories involving the environment, health and social justice.” We’ll be checking in regularly on it.

From its launch press release:

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) to conduct journalism for the public trust, InvestigateWest last week became a founding member of the nonprofit Investigative News Network aligning more than 25 investigative news organizations. Funding strategies, news distribution and administrative costs could be pooled among partners like the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and newer ventures such as the New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism in Madison.

InvestigateWest has received a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, in-kind contributions from major firms, including the K&L Gates law firm and Point B Solutions Group in Seattle, and donations from individual donors, and is actively fundraising from individuals and foundations. Our journalists are already reporting a number of stories for which we are developing media partnerships and seeking funding. Those interested in making a tax-deductible donation can send donations to InvestigateWest at 600 N. 36th St., Suite 316, Seattle, WA, 98103.

It’s hoping for a budget of around $1.3 million; according to the P-I, about $3,000 has come in so far. The intent is to run a major investigation out each month, but the site also has a couple of blogs going for more frequent output.

In theory at least, the web should be a great place for investigative reporting. Even many overtly political sites have done some fine investigative work, leveraging not only electronic newsgathering and fast delivery but also the mass of information that audiences know, but in the past wouldn’t have been able or willing to contribute. If it works, it cold be one of the answers people in journalism have been looking for.

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