A Good Thing for California

You may have noticed that we aren’t really in love with the state of the Sacramento press around here. Not that they aren’t trying, but given their workload and the amount of resources the press corps as a whole is given, it’s just a herculean task.  So, any new addition is a welcome one.

California Watch, a project of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting, launched a new feature-rich Web site today California Watch offers readers access to the state’s largest investigative reporting team, their ongoing reporting, and the databases and research that fuel their work. Readers can use the site to dig down to the local level of their region, city or town on a number of topics – and take action.

California Watch opened bureaus in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento this fall, employing a diverse 13-person editorial team that includes veteran, award-winning reporters, such as Lance Williams, formerly of the San Francisco Chronicle, and journalists from the digital media world, including Mark Luckie, author of the popular 10,000 Words blog. The reporters are assigned to beats ranging from education to heath care to government accountability.

“We’ve created an investigative reporting team for California that will not only expose corruption and wrongdoing, but will spark debate and give people the tools to learn more and identify solutions that will hopefully improve the quality of life in the state,” said CIR Executive Director Robert Rosenthal.  “California Watch is the next logical step for CIR. We will continue to produce high-quality investigative journalism on national and international issues, and at the same time dedicate significant resources to uncovering stories that are critical to the people of California.”

The CIR Model has been pretty successful across the country, from the Washington Independent to various successful state based sites like the Colorado Independent and the Michigan Messenger.

They’ve already had a prolific start, launching with several interesting articles. There’s a look at Sen. Gloria Romero’s back and forth relationship with WalMart, an article about the use of county parties to circumvent election finance law, a story about Stuart Resnick’s involvement in the water dispute as a means to make bigger bucks from his water interests, and a piece about the challenges foster youth face trying to get a college education. I’ll certainly be adding the CaliforniaWatch feed to my RSS reader.

One thought on “A Good Thing for California”

  1. This is what a lot of erstwhile citizen journalists wish we could do, but lack the funding and have to make a living doing other things.  Of all those who have made an impact doing investigative journalism, there are very, very few that deliver.

    Norman Oder of the Atlantic Yard Report is a journalist by trade and it shows.  Whoever writes the stuff at AntiCorruption Republican also provide extensive documentation to back up what he? she? says. Dennis Greenia delivered with many of his Abramoff posts at DailyKos. But the list is not very long.  

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