Monday, June 15, 2009

A.P. in Deal to Deliver Nonprofits' Journalism

A.P. in Deal to Deliver Nonprofits' Journalism


New York Times

June 13, 2009


Four nonprofit groups devoted to investigative

journalism will have their work distributed by The

Associated Press, The A.P. will announce on Saturday,

greatly expanding their potential audience and helping

newspapers fill the gap left by their own shrinking resources.


Starting on July 1, the A.P. will deliver work by the

Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting

Workshop at American University, the Center for

Investigative Reporting, and ProPublica to the 1,500

American newspapers that are A.P. members, which will be

free to publish the material.


The A.P. called the arrangement a six-month experiment

that could later be broadened to include other

investigative nonprofits, and to serve its nonmember

clients, which include broadcast and Internet outlets.


"It's something we've talked about for a long time,

since part of our mission is to enable our members to

share material with each other," said Sue Cross, a

senior vice president of The A.P. She said the

development in 2006 of an Internet-based system for

members to receive A.P. material made it easier to do

that kind of sharing, and to offer new products like the

investigative service.


As they sharply reduce their staffs, many newspapers

have cut back on investigations or given them up

entirely. When there are barely enough reporters to

cover the daily news from the local courthouse and the

school board, it is harder to justify assigning someone

to an in-depth project that might take weeks or months.


At the same time, independent groups doing investigative

journalism have grown in number and size, fueled by

foundations and wealthy patrons, and are offering their

work to newspapers, magazines, television and radio news

programs, and news Web sites. ProPublica was created in

2007 and the Investigative Reporting Workshop in 2008.

The Center for Investigative Reporting has operated for

more than three decades, and is doubling in size. The

four groups combined have more than 50 professional journalists.


Each group operates a little differently, but in general

they have made deals one by one with outlets that wanted

to use their work. (Though ProPublica's Web home page

also has a tab that urges "Steal Our Stories.") But

soon, their projects will be part of the stream of

material The A.P. delivers to its members, and a single

project could be published by dozens of newspapers.


"Our goal here is getting more eyeballs on what we do,

and the nonprofit sector is really picking up steam,"

said Robert Rosenthal, executive director of the Center

for Investigative Reporting, based in Berkeley, Calif.


In some cases, he said, the nonprofit groups might still

make exclusive arrangements with a partner in

traditional media, in which case the work would not

immediately go out to A.P. members.




No comments: