InvestigateWest is a new model for investigative journalism for on the Pacific Northwest. We are a nonprofit studio founded in 2009 to strengthen communities, engage citizens in civic life, and help set the policy agenda through powerful, independent journalism.
The old model that supported rigorous public service reporting has collapsed. Thousands of reporting jobs have simply vanished in the Northwest, and along with them the in-depth, investigative reporting and memorable storytelling that keeps citizens informed about the issues that shape their lives and equipped with the information to do something about it.
Investigative reporting takes time, resources and talent that many traditional news outlets can no longer afford. We continue that work in new, innovative ways.
Our accomplished staff and contributors combine a passion for watchdog journalism with a rich fluency in how modern technology is creating new ways to connect with the public and, yes, pay for public interest reporting. InvestigateWest is supported by a diverse stream of revenue from individual donors, licensing frees from news outlets, and national and local foundations.
Since 2009, our reporting has directly brought about three new public safety laws in Washington State, new sexual assault policies at Reed College, and more than a dozen significant actions by city, state and federal agencies.
In 2012, more than 1.25 million people read, watched or listened to stories that we produced or published.
InvestigateWest is also committed to the future of watchdog journalism. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with reporters in public and commercial newsrooms to increase their capacity for watchdog reporting and maintain an active internship program with local universities.
The Pacific Northwest, for those of us who live here now, or whose spirits remain here even if we’ve moved elsewhere, is a unique place of enormous diversity, fragile beauty, and complex history. Beyond a place, it is also an identity. The fault lines that underlie our geography also lace us and our fates together. The people who call this region home have always relied on a rich tradition of storytelling.
At InvestigateWest, we tell the story of the Pacific Northwest for the 21st Century.
Wealth & Poverty | February 2013
“It was just common knowledge – when you turn 18, you’re done,” Sharayah Lane said. “After the checks stopped coming, we all went our separate ways."
End of the Line is a new series by Claudia Rowe asking what happens when teens get too old for foster care in Washington State.
Photo Credit: Jon Connell/Flickr
Environment | January 2013
Meet America's newest sharecroppers. Guys like Jared Bright who vie for control of the Pacific fishing industry's lower rungs, the only rungs that seem to be left. They don't own the halibut, not even when it lands in their boats.
Lee van der Voo uncovers absentee landlords, brokers and bankers, and fish quota that costs more than your house — realities that fly in the face of more official, rosy portrayals.
Health | November 2012
Kids with multiple sclerosis, historically an adult disorder, offer researchers a set of intriguing new clues about the disease that could lead, eventually, to better treatments.
With adolescent MS on the rise in the Northwest, Carol Smith meets a young patient who is learning to live with the disease at the age of 16, and the doctors and scientists trying to keep her healthy.
Environment | October 2012
In 1972, Congress enacted legislation to end water pollution. Forty years later, American rivers and lakes are still badly contaminated, and new threats to clean water are outpacing the Act's enforcers. Follow along as InvestigateWest and EarthFix investigate.
Environment | June 2012
As local governments trade away public parkland, the safeguards put in place by the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect that land are full of holes.
Public Health | January 2012
The Prescription Epidemic
As Washington enacts the strongest prescription drug law in the country, InvestigateWest presents a six-month investigation into the origins of the prescription epidemic, the challenge it poses for communities, and what lessons other states might learn.