Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
With a year of guides to a better life, The New York Times hopes to convert more readers to subscribers
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
July 9, 2009, 7:41 a.m.

Nonprofits mull “mobile strike force” of journalists

There were plenty of proposals for collaboration at the summit of nonprofit news organizations that I wrote about on Monday, but one idea is worthy of Rambo: a “mobile strike force” of investigative journalists, ready to deploy at any moment, anywhere in the country, to dig into scandal, cover natural disasters, or otherwise power up a local news outlet.

It’s still just an intriguing concept but could become part of the nascent Nonprofit Investigative News Network formed at the meeting in Pocantico, N.Y.

“Frankly, if there’s a story down here in Houston, Texas that’s beyond my grasp,” said Trent Seibert of Texas Watchdog, “a pool of experts that might be able to descend on Houston to take on a big issue would be helpful.”

The idea of deploying a group of investigative journalists isn’t without precedent. When Arizona reporter Don Bolles was killed by a car bomb in 1976, nearly 40 journalists, sponsored by Investigative Reporters and Editors, converged on Arizona to investigate his death and continue his reporting on organized crime. The Arizona Project was followed by the Chauncey Bailey Project in 2007 to continue the work of a murdered Oakland Post editor.

Still, as Chuck Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, told me: “The idea of swarm coverage using investigative reporters is a novel concept. We think of most investigative reporting as sort of project oriented, many months, painstaking culling of information.” Of the “mobile strike force” idea, Lewis said, “I think there would be great excitement, not only from the member organizations. I think the public would appreciate it deeply and I think there would be funding that would materialize.”

Where do I sign up?

POSTED     July 9, 2009, 7:41 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
 
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
With a year of guides to a better life, The New York Times hopes to convert more readers to subscribers
“This is all about how we can provide subscribers with the type of content that makes them feel like they’re getting insight they’re not getting anywhere else.” It’s also a bet on keeping some content subscriber-only, not subject to its five-articles-a-month metered paywall.
Will moving to radio put a strain on what makes The Daily work so well as a podcast?
Plus: The daily news podcast space gets a little more crowded, The Guardian experiments with an augmented player, and Amazon wants to turn your blog into a podcast.
Are news publishers directly liable for embedding tweets that contain images not created by that tweeter?
A New York federal judge ruled that when publishers from The Boston Globe to Vox Media to Breitbart “caused the embedded tweets to appear on their websites, their actions violated plaintiff’s exclusive display right.”