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The site was launched in July 2009 by former Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalists. It has three full-time editorial employees, along with several contributors and interns, and it primarily syndicates its work to other news outlets, such as The Oregonian and SeattlePI.com.
Its planned $1.35 million first-year budget was intended to be funded by a variety of grants and donations from foundations, businesses, and individuals. Though almost none of that funding was in place at its founding, the site would ultimately receive grants from the Bullitt Foundation and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and later from the Brainerd Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2014, the site announced $200,000 in grants from three different foundations.
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a nonprofit investigative news organization that produces WisconsinWatch.org and focuses on statewide public-interest journalism. The Madison-based center was founded in January 2009 with one full-time staff member. It had initial partnerships with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and The Center for Public Integrity….