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Nov. 14, 2009, 4:41 p.m.

Coalition of non-profit news organizations gets funding

The Investigative News Network, a coalition of nonprofit news organizations that met for the first time this summer, is getting closer to launch: They’ve raised more than $500,000, one of the group’s leaders said today.

We first wrote about INN after their meeting in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., where the leaders of more than 20 nonprofits discussed ways they could collaborate on journalism, fundraising, and back-office operations. At a Yale Law School conference today, Bill Buzenberg, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, told me that INN had received funding commitments from a variety of sources, including six-figure donations from the Knight Foundation, Open Society Institute, and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

Buzz Woolley, a one-time venture capitalist who helped found the Voice of San Diego, has also pledged two annual gifts of $100,000. With other, smaller funders, the total amounts to more than a half-million dollars, Buzenberg said.

Lois Beckett explained some of INN’s ambitions after the Pocantico meeting:

The network’s back-office collaborations may include teaming up for payroll and accounting, health care, libel insurance, web development, or legal and other services, as well as creating common templates for time-consuming documents like a memorandum of understanding. The collaborations, in addition to aiding exisiting news sites, could make it easier for startups to enter the field.

At Yale today, Buzenberg put it this way: “We can be the back office. We can create economies of scale.”

POSTED     Nov. 14, 2009, 4:41 p.m.
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