Name Changes but Watchdog Mission Remains Strong

inewsource, a nonprofit journalism center specializing in in-depth, data-driven projects, launched a formal partnership with KPBS today with the debut of the station’s nightly news show. The partnership underscores a new level of collaboration between the organizations, which over the past year have investigated the whooping cough epidemic and inequities in K-12 school funding in California.

inewsource opened its doors in San Diego State University’s School of Journalism & Media Studies in 2009 under the name Watchdog Institute. Since that time, the center has published dozens of stories in collaboration with major national and local media outlets, and taught and trained students and media professionals in investigative reporting tools and standards.

Founder and executive director Lorie Hearn said the partnership with KPBS, the combined NPR and PBS affiliate in San Diego, strengthens the commitment of both organizations to public service journalism in the region. “By sharing our expertise and resources, we can provide more and deeper projects of importance to the community,” she said.

The institute’s new name “ is a natural outgrowth of the evolutionary process we’ve gone through as a young startup. We’re part of an emerging trend in nonprofit journalism centers that have opened across the country in response to cutbacks in traditional newsrooms.

inewsource better defines who we are, and plainly reflects our quest to be a source of credible, investigative, nonpartisan journalism.”

“The term watchdog is powerful but ubiquitous,” Hearn added. “Partisans and independents alike more and more often use it to describe themselves and their agendas,” she said. “inewsource leaves no confusion about our mission or about who we are.”

inewsource reporting staff will move into KPBS’ newly renovated newsroom, also located on the SDSU campus, in October. The closer working relationship will be particularly evident in investigative projects that involve data analysis, and in-depth content about local congressional delegates being covered by the inewsource’s Washington, D.C. bureau.

The projects will be offered for KPBS’ multi-platform distribution – television, radio and online and to inewsource‘s local and regional print collaborators, including the UT, the North County Times, the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Orange County Register, as well as to KGTV-Channel 10.

inewsource, under the Watchdog Institute name, was incorporated in California in August 2009. The organization is recognized by the IRS as a tax-deductible nonprofit. For information about inewsource and its projects, visit: www.inewsource.org.

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