I can remember as part of my journalism program at ASU, learning about investigative journalism. How a reporter or team of reporters would spend months taking a deep dive into a particular topic. Such things as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing, for instance. In Arizona, we have some very talented investigative journalists that have looked at polygamy, the Hatbox baby and high-profile murders.
And thanks to an effort by ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization, we’re going to see even more investigative reports coming from our state.
ProPublica has announced that it will be dramatically scaling up its commitment to local investigative journalism with the launch of three regional reporting hubs, including a six-person reporting unit based in Phoenix to cover the Southwest, including New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and possibly Colorado.
“The need for local accountability journalism is more acute than ever, as newspapers across the country contract and in some cases collapse,” said Charles Ornstein, ProPublica managing editor for local. “The rapid decline of local reporting is a crisis challenging democracy itself, leaving communities without information that is critical to their ability to hold powerful interests and decision-makers accountable. Through this transformative expansion of ProPublica’s local initiatives, we believe we can create a sustainable infrastructure that will meaningfully address these widening gaps.”
ProPublica’s local initiatives have grown each year since 2017 which currently publishes yearlong projects with more than 20 local news organizations, including the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star.