October 16, 2009

Letter to Our Community

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Oct. 16, 2009

Dear community member,

Welcome to InvestigateWest, a home for investigative and narrative journalism about the West.

Our site is the home of our two daily blogs, Dateline Earth, which spotlights environmental news with perspective, and Western Exposure, with a focus on health, social justice and environmental news from around the West.  Both blogs have become a daily habit for a lot of readers here in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, and we hope you will join their ranks. In addition, InvestigateWest journalists are out there right now, working on hard-hitting, investigative stories about issues that matter to you and your community. Our focus is the Pacific Northwest, Cascadia and beyond. We look at the stories that resonate across the West.

InvestigateWest is proud to be the recent recipient of a grant from the Bullitt Foundation. We are grateful to the foundation for recognizing that this is a time of transition in the media ecosystem, and the way in which the public learns about issues that are important and necessary to civic growth and empowerment. InvestigateWest is part of that new ecosystem. Our goal is to produce journalism that empowers citizens and changes institutions. We will measure our success by the impact of our stories.

We also are grateful to the Fund for Investigative Journalism, which honored us early in our formation with funding which allowed InvestigateWest environmental journalist Robert McClure to begin reporting our first story. We thank also our many community donors. Their donations support independent, investigative journalism, and we value their support tremendously.

In a recent edition of the New York Review of Books, author Michael Massing included InvestigateWest as one of the “new buds” in the blackened landscape of the newspaper wars — devastation wracked by debt, the collapse of advertising and the decline of paid circulation. But the appetite for news and information, for the product journalists deliver, remains strong, he wrote, noting that Internet users spent 53 minutes a week reading news online, up from 41 minutes in 2007.

At InvestigateWest, we aim to continue in our efforts to build community in the Pacific Northwest and West through powerful, insightful reporting. We are dedicated to preserving the legacy and power of change-making journalism and the craft of those who know how to wield that power, enhanced by the muscle of today’s technology and fueled by citizen journalists who broaden our scope and widen our lens. That’s what we’re about. And we hope you’ll help us accomplish those goals.

Explore the site, give us your ideas and feedback, and make sure to come back and see us again.

Thanks for visiting.

Rita Hibbard
Executive Director and Editor

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