A New Destination for Investigative Journalism
Welcome to RealClearInvestigations. It is both the latest addition to the RealClear family and an original new voice in investigative journalism.
Our mission is three-fold: curate the best investigative reporting found anywhere, produce our own in-depth journalism, and make this original work available to other news organizations. Our work is supported by the RealClearFoundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
That last detail reflects a continuing shift in how news is financed and produced: from profit-based models to donor-supported nonprofit endeavors. The area most affected by this transformation is investigative news -- journalism’s most vital work, and typically its most expensive and labor-intensive.
Since the Internet’s disruption of media revenue streams, newspapers and other legacy news outfits have cut back drastically on the kind of in-depth, long-form reporting that distinguished them in their glory days. Donors have stepped into this void, using tax-deductible contributions to finance a robust new marketplace of nonprofit news startups, many with an investigative focus.
ProPublica, The Marshall Project and the Government Accountability Institute are examples that have already become well-known, at least among journalists, and they have partnered with traditional media outlets.
In addition, advocacy groups are increasingly using the tools of investigative reporting – especially freedom of information act requests – to uncover government secrets and drive news coverage.
All this ferment creates the need for a trusted arbiter of investigative news, whether reported by newspapers or digital upstarts. Enter RealClear, with 16 years of balanced, widely admired news aggregation under its belt.
RealClearInvestigations will be more than a seasoned observer of the action on the field. It will also be a player. Its vantage point leaves it well-placed to identify and fill gaps in investigative coverage, including blind spots in media itself.
After spending 28 years as an editor at the New York Times, I am excited about the opportunity to create a new brand that will both highlight and produce the time-honored work that attracts reporters, editors and readers to quality journalism.
The more people feel bewildered by what is happening to the world around them, or betrayed by those they trusted, the more we need investigative journalists to ask hard questions and insist on real, clear answers.