Food and Environment Reporting Network Joins INN

FERN’s Managing Editor and Founding Director Paula Crossfield said her principal motivation to join INN is for the opportunity to collaborate with other nonprofit newsrooms. Founded in October 2009, FERN began operations in September 2010 and is based in New York City. Its recent investigations have exposed questionable government subsidies for crop insurance and the effect of plastic contamination of food.

Four New Members Join INN

The additional members signal growth in the organization of more than 100 nonprofit news organizations that produce a diverse range of journalism from local, state and regional news to single-subject enterprise reporting.

INN Announces New Member Focusing on Juvenile Justice Issues

The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange has joined the Investigative News Network, a growing consortium of some 60 news organizations in North America. JJIE is a news source and conversation hub for juvenile justice and the related areas of child welfare, mental health and public education. Since its launch in 2010, has grown into a national powerhouse for convening informed conversations around youth justice issues. “We are excited about having JJIE and Kennesaw State University as part of the network,” said Kevin Davis, CEO and Executive Director of INN. “Juvenile justice issues are chronically underreported by the mainstream media and we are delighted to help bring high quality and persistent coverage of this important area.”’s goal is to help the general public, practitioners, educators, parents, youth, policymakers and lawmakers better understand juvenile justice issues both singularly and as a part of the larger child welfare, mental health and educational ecosystem.

INN Welcomes New Member Oklahoma Watch

The Investigative News Network is pleased to announce the acceptance of Oklahoma Watch into the growing network of nonprofit, non-partisan investigative news outlets that produce high quality journalism in the public interest. "We are very pleased to welcome Oklahoma Watch to the Network," said Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of the Investigative News Network. "Oklahoma Watch represents a new breed of news organization that is not-for-profit, targeted on serving the information needs of the public in a key region and collaborates to produce journalism of the highest quality." Oklahoma Watch is an independent, non-profit reporting team that has forged a unique collaboration with news organizations and higher education in Oklahoma to produce multi-media content that focuses on critical state issues. Its current topics include "Women in Prison: why Oklahoma leads the nation," "Tax Breaks and Their Consequences" and "Immigration, Jobs and Citizenship."

INN’s Preferred Errors & Omissions Insurance Program

The Investigative News Network is very pleased to announce a new member benefit program designed to provide all our member organizations access to affordable media insurance that is tailored to the specific needs of journalistic organizations.  After working with several potential providers, INN selected Think Risk due to their experience in this field and their keen understanding of the needs of independent newsrooms.

Leveraging the size of the Network, INN has also worked with Think Risk to provide an easy application process as well as a preferred rate structure that we expect will save most members no less than (and in some cases more than) 10% of comparable programs.

That said, we understand that you have choices and encourage each member to seek out the best program  and provider suited to each of your particular needs.   We also strongly urge members with existing policies to carefully read their existing documentation before making the decision to switch.  It may be that it would be most cost-effective to wait until the end of your current policy term. There are no time limits, minimums or deadlines for participating in this member benefit program.

Introducing INN Index 2018: The state of nonprofit news

INN announced the release of the most comprehensive study of nonprofit news today, INN Index, thanks to generous support from Democracy Fund and the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The study was based on a survey of INN members conducted in the spring of 2018. Key findings from the study are: single-subject news is one of the fastest-growing sectors of nonprofit media, more than half of nonprofit newsrooms are generating more than $500,000 in revenue a year and are starting to diversify revenue sources, and two-thirds of resources typically go to editorial operations. The study also found opportunities for the industry: diversifying revenue sources, investing in business development and growing targeted audiences. To view the executive summary and read the full key findings, visit or download the PDF here.

Investigative News Network Now Has 60 Member Organizations

The Investigative News Network (INN) announced today that it has reached 60 member news organizations with the addition of VTDigger, Catalyst Chicago and 100Reporters. “With the addition of the three latest member organizations, INN has hit a milestone that not only demonstrates the strength of the nonprofit, non-partisan investigative journalism sector, but also the wide range in types of organizations that comprise our journalistic community," said Kevin Davis, INN CEO & executive director. 100Reporters, which plans to launch this month, focuses on such issues as financial malfeasance and despotism in Africa and around the Globe. VTDigger focuses its reporting on issues faced by communities in Vermont, and Catalyst Chicago focuses on urban education and school improvement. The news comes on the heels of last week's announcement that Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica, one of the largest nonprofit investigative newsrooms in the country, has also come aboard.

Investigative Nonprofit ChicagoTalks Joins INN

ChicagoTalks has joined the Investigative News Network, a national organization of more than 50 nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations that produce journalism critical to local communities across the country. "We’re excited to be joining a national network of nonprofits committed to doing the same high-quality investigative work that we are,” said Suzanne McBride, co-founder and co-publisher of ChicagoTalks. Launched in February 2007, ChicagoTalks has produced hundreds of stories about issues, and events that take place in the nation’s third-largest city. Its investigative work has won national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as Investigative Reporters and Editors, and been honored by the Chicago Headline Club and the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. McBride, associate chair of the Journalism Department at Columbia College Chicago, and colleague, Dr. Barbara K. Iverson, started ChicagoTalks with a New Voices grant from J-Lab: The Institute of Interactive Journalism.

MapLight, The Investigative Fund Join the Investigative News Network

MapLight and The Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute have joined the Investigative News Network (INN), increasing the consortium’s reach into data analysis of politics and into social justice reporting. MapLight is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization – based in San Francisco - that reveals money's influence on politics through data analysis. It has already worked with INN members on several journalism projects. The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute "is dedicated to improving the scope and overall quality of investigative reporting in the independent press and beyond." Based in New York City, it supports important and often award-winning investigative stories with the potential for social impact, particularly on issues that may be overlooked by mainstream media.

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service seeks to change perspective on neighborhoods

For the past seven years, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service (NNS) has been reporting on under-represented, low-income, minority neighborhoods in Milwaukee's central city. The organization's mission is to change negative perceptions of these neighborhoods—which are often perpetuated by traditional media coverage related to crime and drugs—by providing a more balanced picture. NNS tells stories of people and organizations working hard to improve the quality of life for themselves and their neighbors, in some of the most challenged communities in the country. 
NNS doesn’t shy away from covering these challenges. Its in-depth reporting includes pieces on topics such as sex trafficking, opioid use, prostitution, mass incarceration and reckless driving. The organization also recently won some awards, including the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Regional Award and gold Milwaukee Press Club award for “Last Call: Neighborhood taverns fading out on Milwaukee’s South Side,” by Edgar Mendez.

Nonprofit Best Practices: INN Member Presentations at IRE 2012

At the IRE conference in Boston this month, several INN members shared their experience and expertise on a number of topics that are vital to nonprofit and independent news organizations. The topics range from best practices in shooting video to tracking a news organization's impact. We’ve compiled the presentations into a resource. Thanks to all the INN members who participated. Descriptions and links to video and the slides from each of the presentations is listed here.

ProPublica Joins the Investigative News Network

ProPublica, one of the largest non-profit investigative newsrooms in the U.S., has joined the Investigative News Network (INN), a growing consortium of nearly 60 nonprofit news organizations in North America. “We are delighted to have ProPublica become a member of our community of nonprofit and nonpartisan newsrooms,” says Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of INN.  “ProPublica is a leading organization in the nonprofit journalism sector that consistently demonstrates both the need and the ability for these newsrooms to create high quality public interest journalism.”
ProPublica was created in 2007 and has one of the largest investigative newsrooms in the U.S.  In 2010, ProPublica was the first online news organization to win a Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, ProPublica won the first Pulitzer awarded to a body of work that did not appear in print. ”ProPublica is very pleased to be joining INN,” said Richard Tofel, General Manager of ProPublica.  We’re proud to have already published stories in partnership with seven INN members (as well as more than 70 other news organizations), have worked closely with other INN members, and look forward to collaborating with even more.  We’re very enthusiastic about Kevin Davis’s leadership of INN and have already realized significant cost savings through our INN association.”

ProPublica is supported primarily by philanthropy and provides the articles it produces, free of charge, both through its own website and to leading news organizations selected with an eye toward maximizing the impact of each article. INN was founded in 2009 to help the increasing number of nonprofit newsrooms to pool resources, promote editorial collaborations and get wider distribution of their work.

Six newsletter tweaks now can pay off at year’s end

News nonprofits focusing on end-of-year fundraising should check their email newsletter setups now. An audit of INN member newsletters this summer found that four out of five member news organizations have newsletters that could benefit from one or more quick-hit areas for improvement that we identified. Addressing them can increase your email list, open rates and donations. While we recommend addressing these now, they can be done any time during the year. INN audited member newsletters to understand what email newsletter tools and training could help newsrooms year-round.

Sunlight Foundation Joins the Investigative News Network

“In joining INN, we hope to make our journalism, our data and our training more widely available,” said Sunlight’s Managing Editor Kathy Kiely. “We believe that non-profits are a crucial part of the information ecosystem at a time when the economic models for traditional journalism are collapsing.”

The Investigative News Network to Offer Health Insurance Portal to Nonprofit Member Organizations

The Investigative News Network is pleased to announce a new insurance program that will allow our members and their employees, volunteers, freelancers and family members to purchase a variety of personal insurance policies. The portal gives members the ability to shop conveniently for health insurance, dental insurance, term life insurance, and short-term and international medical insurance. In addition to the online portal at, members may call 866.924.1933 and speak with a licensed agent to discuss their insurance options. "Acquiring personal insurance can be daunting and challenging to journalists who are not employed by a large company," said INN CEO Kevin Davis. "The ability to secure an insurance policy is important to these news entrepreneurs who have set out to build their own independent organizations."

Tucson Sentinel Joins the Investigative News Network has joined the Investigative News Network, a national organization of more than 50 nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations that produce high-quality journalism. "As a local news site, we're proud to partner with so many accomplished peers from around the country," said Editor and Publisher Dylan Smith. "We look forward to increasing our collaborations with other independent news organizations, to better report news that impacts Southern Arizonans." Launched in January 2010, is a local independent nonprofit news organization that offers professional reporting and community conversation on issues that affect Tucson. To date, has been funded solely by local sponsors and donors. is led by Editor and Publisher Dylan Smith, formerly the Online Editor of the now-shuttered Tucson Citizen.

Watchdog Institute Changes Name, Watchdog Mission Remains Strong

The Watchdog Institute is launching a name change and a formal partnership today with KPBS, the PBS-NPR affiliate in San Diego. 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. The Institute, which opened its doors in San Diego State University’s School of Journalism & Media Studies in 2009, is now known as Investigative Newsource. Founder and executive director Lorie Hearn said the new name “ is a natural outgrowth of the evolutionary process we’ve gone through as a young startup. Investigative Newsource better defines who we are, and plainly reflects our quest to be a source of credible, investigative, nonpartisan journalism.”

Hearn said the partnership with KPBS strengthens the commitment of both organizations to public service journalism in the region, particularly as KPBS debuts a nightly, half-hour television news show this week.  “By sharing our expertise and resources, we can provide more and deeper projects of importance to the community,” she said.

Texas Observer

Welcome Back, Texas Observer

INN would like to welcome back member Texas Observer, an Austin-based nonprofit news organization known for its investigative reporting, narrative storytelling and sophisticated cultural criticism about all things Texan.