October 20, 2010

Investigative News Network Doubles Membership in One Year

With the addition of four news organizations this week, the Investigative News Network (INN) is now an alliance of 51 nonprofit news organizations located across the U.S. and Canada, CEO Kevin Davis said today.

Speaking at the Online News Association annual conference, Davis said INN has effectively doubled its membership since it was formed last year during a meeting in Pocantico, N.Y.

Initially funded by four foundations and a major philanthropist, INN pool resources among its members, widens distribution of their work, works on sustainable business models, and fosters the highest quality investigative journalism.

“The INN train has left the station,” said Davis, who joined INN in June. “We are moving into the next phase of development, focused on innovation in production and publishing of content, and generating a sustainable revenue stream for our members.”

Brant Houston, chair of INN’s board of directors, said the continued support of foundations and the hiring of veteran digital publisher Davis has accelerated the pace of INN’s development. Funds for INN have come from San Diego philanthropist Buzz Woolley, the Open Society Institute, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the McCormick Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“Member organizations are seeing the exponential power of working together,” Houston said.

As more journalists enter the landscape of entrepreneurial newsrooms, the question of sustainability is critical. In recent months, INN has focused on creating programs that give members tangible cost savings and revenue generation. In addition, INN is making it easier for members, who for the most part are online news operations, to collaborate on investigations and share information and best practices.

Members have collaborated on multiple investigative projects over the past year, partnered with many traditional newsrooms and distributed their work to state and national print and broadcast outlets.

The newest members of the Investigative News Network are:

There are at least ten more applications for new membership pending and qualified organizations can apply at http://www.inn.org/

To qualify for membership and receive the extensive benefits and services of INN, members must be nonprofit news organizations that are transparent in their funding and non-partisan in their approach to investigative and public service reporting.