AP to distribute journalism by 4 nonprofits, including CIR and ProPublica

Editor and Publisher:

The Associated Press will announce today that on July 1 it will begin distributing the work of four nonprofit groups devoted to investigative journalism.

This is aimed at vastly expanding their audience -- and partly filling the gap left by cutbacks in the newsroom. The newspapers can publish the stories for free.

The four groups are ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

According to a New York Times article today, "The A.P. called the arrangement a six-month experiment that could later be broadened to include other investigative nonprofits, and to serve its nonmember clients, which include broadcast and Internet outlets.

“It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time, since part of our mission is to enable our members to share material with each other,” said Sue Cross, a senior vice president of The A.P., in the Times story.

That story points out, "As they sharply reduce their staffs, many newspapers have cut back on investigations or given them up entirely. When there are barely enough reporters to cover the daily news from the local courthouse and the school board, it is harder to justify assigning someone to an in-depth project that might take weeks or months.

"At the same time, independent groups doing investigative journalism have grown in number and size, fueled by foundations and wealthy patrons, and are offering their work to newspapers, magazines, television and radio news programs, and news Web sites. ProPublica was created in 2007 and the Investigative Reporting Workshop in 2008. The Center for Investigative Reporting has operated for more than three decades, and is doubling in size. The four groups combined have more than 50 professional journalists."

Each group operates a little differently, but in general they have made deals one by one with outlets that wanted to use their work. (Though ProPublica’s Web home page also has a tab that urges “Steal Our Stories.”) But soon, their projects will be part of the stream of material The A.P. delivers to its members, and a single project could be published by dozens of newspapers.E&P Staff

Published: June 13, 2009 8:45 AM ET

NEW YORK The Associated Press will announce today that on July 1 it will begin distributing the work of four nonprofit groups devoted to investigative journalism.

This is aimed at vastly expanding their audience -- and partly filling the gap left by cutbacks in the newsroom. The newspapers can publish the stories for free.

The four groups are ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, and the Center for Investigative Reporting.

According to a New York Times article today, "The A.P. called the arrangement a six-month experiment that could later be broadened to include other investigative nonprofits, and to serve its nonmember clients, which include broadcast and Internet outlets.

“It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time, since part of our mission is to enable our members to share material with each other,” said Sue Cross, a senior vice president of The A.P., in the Times story.

That story points out, "As they sharply reduce their staffs, many newspapers have cut back on investigations or given them up entirely. When there are barely enough reporters to cover the daily news from the local courthouse and the school board, it is harder to justify assigning someone to an in-depth project that might take weeks or months.

"At the same time, independent groups doing investigative journalism have grown in number and size, fueled by foundations and wealthy patrons, and are offering their work to newspapers, magazines, television and radio news programs, and news Web sites. ProPublica was created in 2007 and the Investigative Reporting Workshop in 2008. The Center for Investigative Reporting has operated for more than three decades, and is doubling in size. The four groups combined have more than 50 professional journalists."

Each group operates a little differently, but in general they have made deals one by one with outlets that wanted to use their work. (Though ProPublica’s Web home page also has a tab that urges “Steal Our Stories.”) But soon, their projects will be part of the stream of material The A.P. delivers to its members, and a single project could be published by dozens of newspapers.

article originally published at Editor and Publisher.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey