Last year, California Watch – a watchdog reporting initiative launched in 2009 by Berkeley’s non-profit Center for Investigative Reporting – sold stories on an individual basis to 80 different news outlets.
This year, they are aiming for more of a package deal, partnering with a limited number of media outlets to offer a set number of investigative stories and access to daily posts. They’re calling the new initiative the California Media Watch Network and announced the participation today of the Orange County Register, the San Diego Tribune, the Sacramento Bee, the Bakersfield Californian, the Fresno Bee and the San Francisco Chronicle. California Watch editorial director Mark Katches writes that more newspapers members are forthcoming and that the organization is looking to dynamically involve its network partners:
We want to find more opportunities to work from the ground up with reporters and editors in Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno or Southern California. We’ve already begun discussions with network partners to explore more ways to work together. And we had a conference call last week about one such story that we hope to pursue with at least two network members.
Sounds like Katches and the “largest investigative reporting team in California” are quickly figuring out a business model for the new millennium. Not to mention setting the stage for a great two-year anniversary party.