Another American city is getting a nonprofit journalism group that will work with the local media in producing and publishing stories, reports the American Journalism Review. The Watchdog Institute in San Diego will be led by Lorie Hearn, 56, a former senior editor of the city’s Union-Tribune. She is converting the newspaper’s investigative team into a nonprofit that seeks to form partnerships with various San Diego media outlets. The Union-Tribune, which is making the largest investment in the venture, is the institute’s lead partner.
As layoffs, buyouts and budget cuts threaten investigative teams across the country, Hearn’s initiative marks the first time that a nonprofit journalism organization is debuting with a mainstream media partnership already established. She got the idea from the opening of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, the latest in a string of inventive investigative reporting ventures that have taken root across the country. In June, nearly 40 journalists and nonprofit news representatives met in New York and created the Investigative News Network. Though a steering committee is sorting out the specifics, the network will offer administrative support and opportunities for collaboration among nonprofits.