California Watch built a team of seven investigative reporters, two editors and two multimedia producers. In the spring we will add two investigative reporters to what is already the largest investigative team operating in California.
But that’s not even the half of it. We currently have several freelance projects underway and at least three class projects with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Those three projects involve nearly 50 university journalism students.
Next semester we hope to launch another student project with Sacramento State University. We’re also talking to other universities about potential collaborations. There’s a limit to how many freelance and university-based projects we can take on. We want to make sure that we have the time to manage and edit these projects carefully. But there are several terrific benefits to having student journalists involved. It puts more eyes and ears on the ground gathering up facts, data and documents. And it’s a tremendous learning experience for the students.
All of our student projects are being managed by current or former professional journalists who teach at USC. We are pretty excited to see what the students come up with. The plan is to start rolling out some of these projects soon.
If these projects are successful, we may attempt in the future to build a larger reporting network of students, community bloggers, journalists and average citizens to pursue reporting projects that a traditional newsroom couldn't begin to pursue. We're not ready to go there yet. That type of bold, ambitious undertaking will require some more thought and input. Let us know if you have any ideas or thoughts on the matter.