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The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit news organization based in Washington, D.C., that produces investigative journalism on public-interest issues.
The center was founded by Charles Lewis in 1989, who was its director until 2005. Its staff has fluctuated between 25 to more than 50 throughout the 2000s and 2010s; most recently, it laid off 14 staff members in 2011. It is funded by a variety of grants and donations, including the MacArthur, Park and Ford foundations, as well as the Carnegie Corp, and it also sells its work to various organizations. The center has won numerous awards for its investigative reports.
The center primarily publishes its own articles and books in print on its website, and it runs a blog on investigative projects. It also collaborates with news organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Financial Times to produce stories that run in those publications. The center has been doing such collaborations for years, though they have increased in recent years.
The center absorbed the Huffington Post Investigative Fund in 2010, around which time it embarked on a new business plan centered on producing its own daily investigative news and dramatically increasing its budget and advertising sales. It launched a new site, iWatch, in early 2011, though its traffic and revenue were lower than expected. It shut down the site and reverted to its original name in August 2012.
The center also runs the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a group of 100 journalists in 50 countries that collaborates on international investigations. The consortium was founded in 1997.
In 2010, the center began experimenting with crowdfunding investigations through the social micropayment service Kachingle, as well distributing its content through the AP’s non-profit investigative news wire, both to lackluster result. It has also published some works under a Creative Commons license to encourage other outlets to reprint them.
Honolulu Civil Beat is a for-profit online news organization covering Hawaii. Civil Beat is a project of Peer News, a company founded in 2008 by eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar and Randy Ching. It was announced in November 2009 and launched in May 2010. It has a staff of 12, initially led by John Temple,…