California Watch Reveals Public Schools’ Seismic Safety Issues

After a 19-month investigation, the California Watch staff produced a three-day series “On Shaky Ground” exposing how nearly 1,100 school building projects remained structurally unsound despite supervisors’ warnings. The first part of the series showed how top officials at the Division of the State Architect failed to enforce the Field Act, which guaranteed buildings were sound the day students stepped into the school. http://californiawatch.org/k-12/lax-oversight-school-construction-raises-doubts-about-earthquake-safety-9537

Part two explained how nearly two-thirds of inspectors who had work-related deficiencies kept their jobs and worse yet, these inspectors missed crucial safety defects. http://californiawatch.org/k-12/troubled-school-inspectors-slip-through-state-s-oversight-9457

The final part of the series illustrated how schools cannot access money to fix their buildings because of bureaucratic issues. http://californiawatch.org/node/9535/

The story initially began as a safety issues piece remembering the 20th anniversary of the Loma Pieta earthquake. But after scouring thousands of PDFs, creating a database and receiving confidential records, the California Watch creating the series that included nearly 20,000 words of text and over a dozen videos. California Watch is a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Davis Leaving INN

INN will continue to support digital and innovative technologies, networking among its members, and the pooling of resources for cost efficiencies among its members. It will also continue to promote the highest standards in journalism.

FairWarning Receives Grant from Charles Evans Foundation

FairWarning, the Los Angeles-based investigative news organization that focuses on issues of public safety and health, government and business, has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Charles Evans Foundation. “The Evans Foundation has been a fantastic supporter of our efforts to produce strong, public interest journalism,” said Myron Levin, executive director of FairWarning in a press release earlier this week. “They have come through for us once again, for which we are deeply grateful.”

Since FairWarning’s launch in March, 2010, its reports and commentaries have appeared in more than 35 news outlets across the U.S., including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian, The Kansas City Star, Mother Jones, the Orange County Register, the Houston Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News. The Evans Foundation has supported a wide range of causes, ranging from fire safety and public health to projects to assist the disadvantaged. FairWarning has also received support from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, The Renaissance Foundation and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication.

Four New Members Join INN

The additional members signal growth in the organization of more than 100 nonprofit news organizations that produce a diverse range of journalism from local, state and regional news to single-subject enterprise reporting.

INN Announces New Member Focusing on Juvenile Justice Issues

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has joined the Investigative News Network, a growing consortium of some 60 news organizations in North America. JJIE is a news source and conversation hub for juvenile justice and the related areas of child welfare, mental health and public education. Since its launch in 2010, JJIE.org has grown into a national powerhouse for convening informed conversations around youth justice issues. “We are excited about having JJIE and Kennesaw State University as part of the network,” said Kevin Davis, CEO and Executive Director of INN. “Juvenile justice issues are chronically underreported by the mainstream media and we are delighted to help bring high quality and persistent coverage of this important area.”

JJIE.org’s goal is to help the general public, practitioners, educators, parents, youth, policymakers and lawmakers better understand juvenile justice issues both singularly and as a part of the larger child welfare, mental health and educational ecosystem.

INN Days 2017

Join us for INN DAYS 2017 - two+ days of intensive business training for news organization who want to move to the next level.

INN Is Now the Institute for Nonprofit News

Encino, California — The Investigative News Network, a 501(c)3 membership organization of over 100 nonprofit news organization, announced today that it is refining its mission and changing its name to the Institute for Nonprofit News effective immediately.

INN Members Speak at Global Conference

A strong contingent of INN members participated in the recent Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Kiev, Ukraine, speaking on panels, marketing training opportunities, and meeting one on one and in groups with other participants. The global conference, the seventh of its kind, drew more than 500 journalists from 80 countries despite extensive visa problems for journalists from Africa and Latin America. The conference spanned five days, with the first day devoted to a trip to Chernobyl, the site of one the world's worst nuclear plant disasters. Among the INN members attending and speaking were Chuck Lewis of the Investigative Reporting Workshop; Mark Horvit of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting; Joe Bergantino of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting; Bill Buzenberg of the Center for Public Integrity and many of his staff; Chase Davis of the Center for Investigative Reporting; Jennifer LaFleur of ProPublica; Sheila Coronel of the Stabile Center for Investigative Reporting; and Brant Houston of the Investigative News Network. Handouts and tip sheets from the conference will be posted the Global Investigative Journalism Network Web site, gijn.org, as they become available.

INN Welcomes New Member Oklahoma Watch

The Investigative News Network is pleased to announce the acceptance of Oklahoma Watch into the growing network of nonprofit, non-partisan investigative news outlets that produce high quality journalism in the public interest. "We are very pleased to welcome Oklahoma Watch to the Network," said Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of the Investigative News Network. "Oklahoma Watch represents a new breed of news organization that is not-for-profit, targeted on serving the information needs of the public in a key region and collaborates to produce journalism of the highest quality." Oklahoma Watch is an independent, non-profit reporting team that has forged a unique collaboration with news organizations and higher education in Oklahoma to produce multi-media content that focuses on critical state issues. Its current topics include "Women in Prison: why Oklahoma leads the nation," "Tax Breaks and Their Consequences" and "Immigration, Jobs and Citizenship."

INN, IRE to Hold Pre-Day Nonprofit News Event at 2012 Conference

Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and the Investigative News Network (INN) are partnering to host Best Practices for Nonprofit Newsrooms: A day of hands-on sharing and learning at the IRE Conference in Boston on June 14, 2012. This all-day program will focus on three areas that are vital to nonprofit investigative centers: collaboration, legal issues, and best practices in operations. All INN members are encouraged to attend. Additional conference details are available on IRE's website. The agenda for June 14 includes:

9:45 a.m. Welcome remarks Kevin Davis, INN CEO

10 a.m. Collaboration Workshop Evelyn Larrubia, INN Editorial Director

As collaborations between newsrooms flourish, how do you handle serious journalistic disagreements, such as how a story’s findings are described in the nutgraph?

Investigative News Network Awarded Prestigious Manship Prize

Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication has awarded the Investigative News Network (INN) with the 2011 Manship Prize for the innovative use of media to encourage civic engagement. The prize was presented to INN CEO Kevin Davis and chair of INN’s board of directors Brant Houston at Manship’s annual 1913 dinner on Sept. 9 in Baton Rouge. "This prize reflects both the role that nonprofit news has begun to play in informing the public and the unique and innovative role that INN plays in representing the nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative sector," Davis said. The Manship Prize is one of the school’s most prestigious awards and the only national award of its kind.  First presented in 1998, past recipients have included Michael Bloomberg of Bloomberg News, editor Bill Adair of PolitiFact, political strategist Joe Trippi and others.

Investigative News Network Now Has 60 Member Organizations

The Investigative News Network (INN) announced today that it has reached 60 member news organizations with the addition of VTDigger, Catalyst Chicago and 100Reporters. “With the addition of the three latest member organizations, INN has hit a milestone that not only demonstrates the strength of the nonprofit, non-partisan investigative journalism sector, but also the wide range in types of organizations that comprise our journalistic community," said Kevin Davis, INN CEO & executive director. 100Reporters, which plans to launch this month, focuses on such issues as financial malfeasance and despotism in Africa and around the Globe. VTDigger focuses its reporting on issues faced by communities in Vermont, and Catalyst Chicago focuses on urban education and school improvement. The news comes on the heels of last week's announcement that Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica, one of the largest nonprofit investigative newsrooms in the country, has also come aboard.

Investigative News Network secures grant from Rockefeller Brothers Fund

The Investigative News Network (INN) is proud to announce that it has received a $140,000 grant over two years from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The general support grant will support INN's efforts to create efficiencies and economies of scale for the many of its smaller, regionally focused nonprofit news organizations.  The grant also will encourage collaboration amongst its more than 50 member organizations and help broaden the reach of the Network's content across multiple digital platforms and new and dynamic distribution methods. "We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund," said Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of INN.  "The Rockefeller Brothers Fund was instrumental in facilitating the initial meeting from which the Network was born.

Investigative Nonprofit ChicagoTalks Joins INN

ChicagoTalks has joined the Investigative News Network, a national organization of more than 50 nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations that produce journalism critical to local communities across the country. "We’re excited to be joining a national network of nonprofits committed to doing the same high-quality investigative work that we are,” said Suzanne McBride, co-founder and co-publisher of ChicagoTalks. Launched in February 2007, ChicagoTalks has produced hundreds of stories about issues, and events that take place in the nation’s third-largest city. Its investigative work has won national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as Investigative Reporters and Editors, and been honored by the Chicago Headline Club and the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. McBride, associate chair of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago, and colleague, Dr. Barbara K. Iverson, started ChicagoTalks with a New Voices grant from J-Lab: The Institute of Interactive Journalism.

IRS Awards 501(c)3 Status to San Francisco Public Press

After more than two and a half years, the IRS has awarded 501(c)3 nonprofit status to the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial local news organization that publishes in-depth public-interest news daily online at sfpublicpress.org and quarterly in a print newspaper.

MacArthur Foundation Awards Multi-year Grant to the Investigative News Network

The Investigative News Network (INN) is pleased to announce that it has received a $300,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The grant will be used over three years to build INN’s organizational capacity and to support the Network’s efforts to provide editorial, technological and cost-saving services to the member organizations. “We are extremely grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for their generous support of our Network,” said Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of INN.  “This support will allow INN to increase our efforts to ensure the sustainability of our member organizations and reach the widest audience possible.”

Created in 2009, INN has doubled its membership since then and fostered editorial collaborations among its members, negotiated significant cost-savings for media insurance, and recently entered into a global syndication agreement with Thomson Reuters. INN is a growing consortium of 53 non-profit news organizations in North America that produce nonpartisan investigative and public service journalism on a local, regional and national basis. It is composed of news organizations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico that create long-form and ongoing stories that keep communities informed on the issues they most care about.

McCormick Foundation Provides an Additional Two-Year Grant to INN

The Investigative News Network is pleased to announce that it has received a two-year $225,000 grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. This two-year grant will be used for joint reporting projects and support services for INN’s growing network of 60-members

The funds will also finance a second training seminar for INN members in partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting. The seminar will be held April 2012 in Berkeley, Calif.,  prior to the annual Logan Symposium on Investigative Reporting. "We are very grateful to the McCormick Foundation for their continued support of our consortium," said Kevin Davis, CEO and Executive Director of INN.  "Thanks to this generous grant, INN can increase the level and impact of the editorial collaborations across the Network, while increasing the business capabilities of our member organizations. The grant is part of the nearly $5 million in McCormick funding approved for 22 organizations dedicated to news literacy, press freedoms and excellence in journalism over the course of the next two years.

Message To Members From The INN Board

We do wish we could have had a less abrupt transition and we were unable to achieve that. But also we know that INN is far more important than one staff member or one board, and we know we need to focus on our future and INN's next phase.

New INN Program Supports Emerging Leaders in Nonprofit News

LOS ANGELES -- Feb. 27, 2017 -- The Institute for Nonprofit News is launching a new program to support leadership and skills development for future leaders of nonprofit news organizations. The INN Emerging Leaders Council will provide training, professional development and peer support for 10 mid-career individuals in nonprofit news who have demonstrated the potential to become top executives and leaders of the nonprofit news media sector in the U.S.

Nonprofit news organizations have grown rapidly across the U.S. About 10 percent of INN’s 120 member organizations reported in 2016 that they were in the process of or had recently completed succession planning to name new leaders, often replacing the founding journalists. “Succession is a milestone in ensuring these newsrooms are here for the long haul and can keep serving and informing their communities,” said INN Executive Director & CEO Sue Cross. “We are excited to encourage and support these emerging leaders who can take the helm of nonprofit news organizations in the future.”

The Emerging Leaders Council is funded by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, part of EEJF’s generous support of INN programs to advance investigative reporting and professional development for journalists.

Nonprofit Best Practices: INN Member Presentations at IRE 2012

At the IRE conference in Boston this month, several INN members shared their experience and expertise on a number of topics that are vital to nonprofit and independent news organizations. The topics range from best practices in shooting video to tracking a news organization's impact. We’ve compiled the presentations into a resource. Thanks to all the INN members who participated. Descriptions and links to video and the slides from each of the presentations is listed here.

ProPublica Joins the Investigative News Network

ProPublica, one of the largest non-profit investigative newsrooms in the U.S., has joined the Investigative News Network (INN), a growing consortium of nearly 60 nonprofit news organizations in North America. “We are delighted to have ProPublica become a member of our community of nonprofit and nonpartisan newsrooms,” says Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of INN.  “ProPublica is a leading organization in the nonprofit journalism sector that consistently demonstrates both the need and the ability for these newsrooms to create high quality public interest journalism.”
ProPublica was created in 2007 and has one of the largest investigative newsrooms in the U.S.  In 2010, ProPublica was the first online news organization to win a Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, ProPublica won the first Pulitzer awarded to a body of work that did not appear in print. ”ProPublica is very pleased to be joining INN,” said Richard Tofel, General Manager of ProPublica.  We’re proud to have already published stories in partnership with seven INN members (as well as more than 70 other news organizations), have worked closely with other INN members, and look forward to collaborating with even more.  We’re very enthusiastic about Kevin Davis’s leadership of INN and have already realized significant cost savings through our INN association.”

ProPublica is supported primarily by philanthropy and provides the articles it produces, free of charge, both through its own website and to leading news organizations selected with an eye toward maximizing the impact of each article. INN was founded in 2009 to help the increasing number of nonprofit newsrooms to pool resources, promote editorial collaborations and get wider distribution of their work.

Stabile Center Reports on the Overmedication of Foster Children

Orphan earmarks, drugged cops and overmedicated children in foster care: These were the subjects of investigations published by students of Columbia University’s Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism this past month. USA Today led its Jan. 5 edition with a Stabile Center investigation into how congressional earmarks have cost states $7.5 billion dollars in lost highway funding over the last 20 years. Stabile Center student Cezary Podkul began researching  “orphan earmarks” last summer and found over 7,000 congressionally directed highway projects in which the money, or a good portion of it, remains unspent for various reasons. At least 3,600 of these haven’t been spent at all because of typographical or other errors.  But states cannot reallocate these unspent earmarks, which are counted against their share of federal highway funds.

Ten Selected for INN Emerging Leaders Council

LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2017 — Ten mid-career professionals have been selected for the first INN Emerging Leaders Council, a peer group of leading business and news leaders who will meet for a year to work on news industry challenges, build support networks and develop professional skills. INN congratulates:

Jahna Berry, Director of News Products, Mother Jones
Natalie Choate, Director, Media Relations and Partnerships, The Texas Tribune
Lauren Fuhrmann, Associate Director, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
Sarah Garland, Executive Editor, The Hechinger Report
Dave Levinthal, Politics Reporting Team Leader, The Center for Public Integrity
Ben Nishimoto, Director of Philanthropy, Honolulu Civil Beat
Brad Racino, Assistant Director, inewsource
Amber Rivera, Engagement Editor, Inside Energy
Paula Saha, Director, Audience & Donor Development, NJ Spotlight
Halle Stockton, Managing Editor, PublicSource
Jason Alcorn, council coordinator and nonprofit news advisor

Council members are mid-career professionals nominated by their organizations for demonstrating potential to lead their organizations and the growing nonprofit news sector. “The range of entrepreneurial talent rising in nonprofit news to create new types of journalism is  incredibly exciting for the future of news,” said INN Executive Director & CEO Sue Cross. “We saw a very strong field of candidates and will work to expand this program to meet the breadth of interest and ability among our members.”

The group will be led by peer and member Jason Alcorn, a nonprofit news consultant and advisor. “We need insightful, innovative leadership that represents the diversity of news and diversity of the communities we serve, and this group reflects that,” said Alcorn.

The Investigative News Network to Offer Health Insurance Portal to Nonprofit Member Organizations

The Investigative News Network is pleased to announce a new insurance program that will allow our members and their employees, volunteers, freelancers and family members to purchase a variety of personal insurance policies. The portal gives members the ability to shop conveniently for health insurance, dental insurance, term life insurance, and short-term and international medical insurance. In addition to the online portal at inn.healthinsurance.com, members may call 866.924.1933 and speak with a licensed agent to discuss their insurance options. "Acquiring personal insurance can be daunting and challenging to journalists who are not employed by a large company," said INN CEO Kevin Davis. "The ability to secure an insurance policy is important to these news entrepreneurs who have set out to build their own independent organizations."

Tucson Sentinel Joins the Investigative News Network

TucsonSentinel.com has joined the Investigative News Network, a national organization of more than 50 nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations that produce high-quality journalism. "As a local news site, we're proud to partner with so many accomplished peers from around the country," said TucsonSentinel.com Editor and Publisher Dylan Smith. "We look forward to increasing our collaborations with other independent news organizations, to better report news that impacts Southern Arizonans." Launched in January 2010, TucsonSentinel.com is a local independent nonprofit news organization that offers professional reporting and community conversation on issues that affect Tucson. To date, TucsonSentinel.com has been funded solely by local sponsors and donors. TucsonSentinel.com is led by Editor and Publisher Dylan Smith, formerly the Online Editor of the now-shuttered Tucson Citizen.

Watchdog Institute Changes Name, Watchdog Mission Remains Strong

The Watchdog Institute is launching a name change and a formal partnership today with KPBS, the PBS-NPR affiliate in San Diego. The partnership underscores a new level of collaboration between the organizations, which over the past year have investigated the whooping cough epidemic and inequities in K-12 school funding in California. The Institute, which opened its doors in San Diego State University’s School of Journalism & Media Studies in 2009, is now known as Investigative Newsource. Founder and executive director Lorie Hearn said the new name “ is a natural outgrowth of the evolutionary process we’ve gone through as a young startup. Investigative Newsource better defines who we are, and plainly reflects our quest to be a source of credible, investigative, nonpartisan journalism.”

Hearn said the partnership with KPBS strengthens the commitment of both organizations to public service journalism in the region, particularly as KPBS debuts a nightly, half-hour television news show this week.  “By sharing our expertise and resources, we can provide more and deeper projects of importance to the community,” she said.

What wouldn’t you know, if not for nonprofit news media?

Across America over the last year, reporters in nonprofit newsrooms broke thousands of stories while pursuing journalism in the public interest. Here are some of the best from the 120 member newsrooms of INN: Fact-based and community-focused. Transparent and non-partisan. Reporting for you. Reporting by InDepthNH.org in New Hampshire helped free a man who was locked up for seven years even though he wasn't convicted of a crime — with most of those years spent in the state prison's psychiatric unit.