Can partnerships among key institutions support local, investigative journalism? That's the question Sandy Rowe, former editor of The Oregonian, sought to answer as the Knight Fellow this year at the Shorenstein Center for the Press, Politics and Policy at Harvard University.
Her report, published last week, features two Knight Community Information Challenge projects - I-News - the Rocky Mountain News Network and Oklahoma Watch - that are part of a growing breed of independent, nonprofit, investigative news organizations that have start up support from local foundations.
In her paper, "Partners of Necessity: The Case for Collaboration in Local Investigative Reporting," Rowe argues that partnerships between foundations, universities, traditional news outlets and other institutions may provide sustainable sources for important local watchdog reporting as traditional sources wane.
"The sprouting of more than 50 investigative news sites in the last four years has nurtured hope that they will fill the substantial gaps in accountability reporting. Today, however, most of these budding local only cycle away from hitting their own version of the wall. Some are taking root, many others will not. Anyone who thinks there’s an easy rescue in sight for rebuilding...