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Community Toolkits put investigations, info in readers’ hands

From its inception in 2009, California Watch has emphasized in-depth, high-impact reporting that delves not only into the issues Californians face, but also potential solutions. We understand that problems do not begin and end with a story’s publication, so we’re always trying to offer tools and resources that will allow our readers to become their own advocates. We’re especially focused on the communities that are immediately affected by an issue and those who are in a position to effect change.

To that end, we have created a React & Act feature for most of our larger investigations. These supplemental resource guides include contact information for key players and break down issues to make them easier to understand. We’ve even gone so far as to create coloring books for children. But we want to do more.

So we’ve taken a cue from our readers. At multiple community events, people asked for printed versions of our stories (also distributed through our California Watch Media Network) and DVDs of multimedia elements. In Maywood, residents said that even though they had been living with contaminated water for years, it was hard to get people to take them or their concerns seriously. That changed, though, when they held a California Watch report in their hands and demanded respect.

Inspired by these requests, we have created California Watch Community Toolkits.

These packets, which are in English and Spanish, include a copy of the investigation, a primer on the issue, a DVD loaded with multimedia components, a guide to working with the media and an introduction to California Watch and our parent organization, the Center for Investigative Reporting. And, starting today, you can also download or order them online. To learn more, click here.

Filed under: Inside the Newsroom

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