Monday, June 07, 2010
Yet another on-line investigative journalism website to challenge established media
by Larry Geller
An Iowa journalism professor, along with student journalists, have launched a new, non-profit investigative journalism project scheduled to debut this Fall.
“Commercial news outlets have a tremendous and extremely valuable duty to conduct routine coverage -- council meetings, crime and spot news, feature stories -- and with fewer resources, that has to be their priority,” said IowaWatch Co-founder and Editor Stephen Berry. “But someone still has to carry out the watchdog function of journalism, and that’s where IowaWatch comes in.”
“Stories on IowaWatch will meet the standards a major metropolitan newspaper would require. We will mix modern multimedia journalism with traditional journalism values, and our staff will be held to the highest performance and ethical standards,” Berry said. “Our mission is to produce quality investigative and explanatory journalism for the benefit of our readers, the people of Iowa, and to train journalists by supervising and directing their efforts.” [newswise, Iowa Journalists Launch Independent Investigative News Outlet, IowaWatch.org, 6/3/2010]
The fiscal sponsor for this non-profit venture will be WisconsinWatch, produced by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Check out their website, it’s an impressive project. My eye was caught by their coverage of an immigration issue in this article, but there is much more to like.
Of course, both WisconsinWatch and IowaWatch provide their news to the community for free, using the non-profit model. All of the websites I’ve highlighted here use a pretty standard layout, easy-to-read black-on-white, and standard navigation. What distinguishes them is the quality and relevance of their work to the communities they serve.