The New Journalism Ecosystem

Charles Lewis, founder and executive director of the Investigative Journalism Workshop at American University, issued a report at the Online News Association conference about the growing number of nonprofit, investigative journalism centers throughout the United States.

The report examined 60 non-profits, 41 of them INN members.  “They seem to be proliferating like rabbits,” Lewis said.  It examined the demographics of non-profit employees, the financial transparency of the funding of these organizations, and whether than information is available to the public.

Lewis was also a founding member of the Investigative News Network.  He says, “The Investigative News Network has more than doubled in size since the Pocantico Declaration and meeting in July 2009. Literally we have gone from 20 organizations to 51 now, and climbing. And in The New Journalism Ecosystem report just published by the Investigative Reporting Workshop, examining 60 nonprofit organizations nationwide and placing it all in context, 41 organizations are members of INN.”

Lewis added: “The increase in the number of nonprofit news publishers nationwide and in the phenomenal growth of INN itself are, of course, directly related. This important work is filling a wide public void, and the inexorable pattern of growth will continue for the foreseeable future, in the U.S. and around the world. And with that comes a growing need and culture of collaboration between organizations, editorially, financially, administratively.”

Some “fast facts” from Charles Lewis’ report:

  • Number of full-time employees within these organizations: 658
  • Number of full-time employees with prior professional journalism experience: 443 (67 percent)
  • Number of organizations that disclose their donors on their websites: 47 (78 percent)
  • Cumulative total of the annual budgets of these organizations: $79,724,577