Looking for the latest stories? We're now at cironline.org

Building a new model for investigative reporting

In the summer of 2009, the independent, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting launched a new reporting initiative called California Watch, the largest group of journalists dedicated to investigative reporting in the state.

The team at California Watch pursues in-depth, high-impact reporting on issues such as education, public safety, health care and the environment. Our reporters also produce stories that hold those in power accountable, while tracking government waste and the misspending of taxpayer resources.

We distribute our stories as widely as possible through collaborative relationships with local and regional news organizations and through social media. California Watch has established working relationships with California news organizations of all kinds — newspapers, online publications, television, radio, ethnic media and other new forms of media — to help localize and distribute our reporting. In 2010, we launched the California Watch Media Network, which includes some of the largest newspapers and TV stations in the state.

We have a unique relationship with KQED Public Radio, which shares the costs of a reporter working for both news organizations. We also publish unique, original content on our website that isn't available anywhere else. Many of our stories are translated into other languages — including Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese.

California Watch is supported by major grants from the James Irvine Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The California Endowment, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation. We have offices in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Southern California.

Founded in 1977, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization.

Awards and recognition

  • 2013 winner, George Polk Award, State Reporting (Broken Shield)
  • 2012 winner, Online News Association, Best Investigative Reporting (Broken Shield)
  • 2012 finalist, Pulitzer Prize, Local Reporting (On Shaky Ground)
  • 2011 winner, George Polk Award, Medical Reporting (Decoding Prime)
  • 2011 winner, Scripps Howard Award, Roy W. Howard Award for Public Service (On Shaky Ground)
  • 2011 winner IRE Gannett Award for Innovation in Investigative Reporting (On Shaky Ground)
  • 2011 winner, Investigative Reporters and Editors, IRE Medal (On Shaky Ground)
  • 2011 and 2010 winner, National Headliner Award, Best Online-Only Website
  • 2010 winner, Online News Association, General Excellence
  • 2010 winner, Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Journalists of the Year
  • 2010 winner, Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, "Investigative Reporting"

Tax document

Download the Center for Investigative Reporting's 2010 IRS form 990

CIR board members

Lowell Bergman, Emeritus Board Member
David Boardman, The Seattle Times
Phil Bronstein (Executive Chair), Center for Investigative Reporting
Stephen Davis, Banneker Partners
Sandra R. Hernández (Vice Chair), San Francisco Foundation
Susan Hirsch, Susan Hirsch and Associates
Tom Lockard, Stone & Youngberg
Jon Logan (Vice Chair), Reva and David Logan Foundation
Dan Noyes, Emeritus Board Member
Justin Nyweide, HMI Capital
Susan F. Sachs (Secretary), Common Sense Media Board Member
Christian Selchau-Hansen, Zynga
Gabriel Stricker, Twitter
Jeff Ubben (Vice Chair), ValueAct
David Weir, Emeritus Board Member
Howard Zack, Private Investor


Read "Reinventing Journalism"

Executive Director Robert J. Rosenthal describes the history of California Watch and his leadership at the Center for Investigative Reporting.

California Watch's distribution partners

Bakersfield Californian
Cali Daily
Center for Public Integrity
Contra Costa Times
CSU Long Beach Daily 49er
El Nuevo Herald
Epoch Times
Eureka Times Standard
Houston Chronicle
Huffington Post
Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Flash Report
Fremont Argus
Fresno Bee
Hayward Daily Review
International Daily News
KABC—Los Angeles
KCRA-TV (Sacramento)
KCBS Radio (San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose)
KGO-TV (San Francisco)
KNTV (Bay Area)
Korea Times
KQED-FM, The California Report
La Opinión
Lodi News Sentinel
Long Beach Press Telegram
Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Times
Manteca Bulletin
Marin Independent Journal
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Modesto Bee
Monterey Herald
Mother Jones
National Public Radio
New America Media
New York Times
Nguoi Viet
North County Times
Oakland Local
Oakland Tribune
One Viet
Orange County Register
Redding Searchlight
Riverside Press-Enterprise
Sacramento Bee
San Diego Union Tribune
San Francisco Chronicle
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
San Jose Mercury News
San Mateo County Times
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sing Tao Daily
Stanford Daily
Stockton Record
Torrance Daily Breeze
Tracy Press
Tri-Valley Herald
Tulare Advance-Register
USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism
Vacaville Reporter
Vallejo Times Herald
Ventura County Star
Viet Tribune
Visalia Times-Delta
Voice of OC
Voice of San Diego
Whittier Daily News
World Journal

© 2013 California Watch   /  development:  Happy Snowman Tech   /  design: