Bay Citizen Executive Managing Editor: Deal With NY Times Ending Apr 29

Tweeted today by Bay Citizen Executive Managing Editor Jeanne Carstensen…

The Center For Investigative Reporting is a Berkeley-based non-profit journalism organization co-founded in 1977 by Lowell Bergman, and the Bay Citizen is an online-only local news site launched in 2010. (Note: The Center of Investigative Reporting’s California Watch project is a KQED news partner.) The two announced a merger at the end of March.

In February, as the two organizations explored joining forces, Steve Myers of Poynter.org, rounded up speculation from other media watchers and explored the possibility that the merger with CIR would spell the end of the Bay Citizen’s partnership with the New York Times. That deal has given the Times twice-weekly Bay Area coverage from the Citizen for the Times’ print and online publications. Myers cited this post from PBS’ MediaShift:

…(C)ritics have suggested that the Times’ partnerships offer as many drawbacks as they do benefits.

“We have our identity online that’s completely different than what we’re doing in the Times,” Steve Fainaru, former acting editor in chief of the Bay Citizen, said last November in an interview with NetNewsCheck.com, a website focused on digital media. “We want to be more innovative. We want to be experimental. We want to have a different voice than we have in the Times.”

[The] announcement could finally give the Bay Citizen the opportunity to do that. The Bay Citizen’s contract with The Times is scheduled to renew in October unless terminated by either party with 60 days’ notice, according to the news startup. In a presentation to the Bay Citizen’s board in late January, Bronstein notably left out discussion of the organization’s contract with the Times, Lewis wrote in a blog post on the Bay Citizen’s site. Bronstein said the agreement could possibly conflict with partnerships that CIR has with dozens of other print partners, according to Lewis.

Also today, the Center For Investigative Journalism made the following announcement:

The Center for Investigative Reporting announced today it will launch a new investigative news channel on YouTube that will be a hub of investigative journalism, with $800,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

CIR, the nonprofit investigative reporting organization that has produced numerous award-winning investigations, will curate the YouTube channel, which is expected to launch in July 2012. Journalists will be trained in audience engagement and other best practices for online video. The Investigative News Network (INN) will also be responsible for working with its member organizations to leverage the channel to reach new audiences and increase the amount of earned revenue to subsidize their public-interest journalism. Full press release

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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