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inewsource, a nonprofit investigative center at San Diego State University, will revive the tradition that exposed Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s criminal dishonesty by opening a Washington D.C. bureau in early September.

Experienced investigative journalist Brooke Williams will track and report on the region’s Congressional delegation. This kind of accountability journalism once was done by local media with Washington-based reporters. Most of those bureaus have closed or been downsized in cost cuts to newsrooms over the past two years.

inewsource’s Washington initiative will include making Congressional and campaign finance databases more accessible on its Web site so the public can quickly look up campaign contributions, lobbying activities, sponsorship of bills, financial disclosures and other information about their representatives.

The capitol bureau is one of several advances at inewsource, which is approaching its first anniversary. Other developments include expanding media partnerships, the creation of a data center, and more training for journalism professionals and students.

inewsource is dedicated to investigative journalism, which it distributes in collaboration with regional media. Its mission also is to mentor and train the next generation of investigative journalists at SDSU’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, which houses inewsource.

In addition to the publication of several major investigative pieces, highlights of the coming year will be:

  • A Data Center on the Web site that will augment inewsource’s investigations and encourage community interaction. Developed by LongCreative, a Phoenix-based group of journalists who are data analysts, programmers and Web designers, the Center will make public data simple to search and examine.
  • Building on media collaborations and partnerships. Although the contract with The San Diego Union-Tribune, which helped start inewsource, will end on Sept. 30, inewsource will continue to collaborate with news organizations, including KGTV Channel 10, KPBS, the Union-Tribune, and The Imperial Valley Press.
  • Announcement of a substantial grant from a national foundation in the coming weeks that will lend support to inewsource’s investigative journalism and invigorate its fundraising efforts in traditional areas of national and local grants, local philanthropy and community donors.
  • Expanded training of students and professional journalists. inewsource’s executive director will continue teaching Investigative Journalism to SDSU students. In addition, inewsource is hosting a computer-assisted reporting boot camp this month on campus with the nationally recognized Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) organization. Earlier this year, inewsource co-sponsored a bilingual watchdog journalism seminar with IRE.
  • Paid internships in investigative reporting for SDSU students.

inewsource’s Board of Directors includes prominent members of San Diego’s business and academic communities, as well as two journalists known globally for their work to preserve investigative journalism. inewsource is incorporated as a nonprofit in California and is awaiting IRS approval of its application for 501c3 status. The Center for Public Integrity in Washington D.C. continues to act as its fiscal agent.

For more information contact Executive Director Lorie Hearn, 619-594-5100.

Lorie Hearn is the chief executive officer and editor of inewsource. She is a lifelong news-aholic who started her reporting career writing her Girl Scout newsletter at age 12. High school and college were filled with school newspaper work, and after graduation, she worked as a reporter for newspapers...