From the Field

Changes at InvestigateWest

By October 12, 2011March 19th, 2015No Comments

InvestigateWest is announcing some exciting new changes!

With the departure next month of Executive Director and Editor Rita Hibbard, the InvestigateWest board is pleased to announce the Robert McClure, a co-founder as well as an award-winning environmental journalist, is succeeding Hibbard as acting Executive Director.

At the same time, Carol Smith, a co-founder and acclaimed social issues and health journalist, is moving into the role of acting Executive Editor.

“Robert will guide a growing, stable and exciting news organization into its next phase,” said Hibbard, who is leaving to pursue other projects long put on hold by the demands of a thriving nonprofit newsroom. “As a co-founder, he profoundly understands the importance of what we do, and is in a great position to push it forward.”

InvestigateWest is an independent, nonprofit investigative news organization founded in 2009 and based in Seattle. It is staffed by journalists with a track record of producing in-depth stories that produce change in public policy and practice.  It has received funding from both national and regional foundations.

InvestigateWest’s work resulted in three laws passed by the state Legislature in 2011, including two establishing worker safety and health rules after the publication of a story linking exposure of chemotherapy drugs to illness and death among health care workers, and another banning carcinogenic pavement sealant after InvestigateWest wrote about their widespread use.

 “Carol also will bring her investigative and narrative skills to the fore in her new role,” said Hibbard, who has been at the helm since InvestigateWest’s launch. “She’s a wonderful writer and journalist who will contribute hugely to the new organizational structure.”

InvestigateWest board members are examining exciting, new opportunities for digital growth and revenue over the next three to five years.  The board will hold a strategic planning session to map out InvestigateWest’s editorial direction and deeper move into digital entrepreneurship, said Board President Brian Reich.

“There are some incredible opportunities for InvestigateWest to thrive and grow,” Reich said. “Right now, you have an opportunity to do things differently and see a better result, and to expand our reach and deepen our impact. The timing to make these dramatic shifts in how organizations operate and interact has never been better.”

Board member Brant Houston said the board is looking to the future.

“Rita has been a tremendous leader of InvestigateWest and we will deeply miss her,” said board member Brant Houston. “But she has created a solid news organization and we look forward the next phase.”

InvestigateWest distributes its stories on its own web site, through social media and in partnership with a wide variety of print, broadcast and online news organizations. This month InvestigateWest is moving into new quarters in the offices of KCTS. InvestigateWest and KCTS9 have partnered on two previous investigations and have others underway.

Rita Hibbard

Rita Hibbard


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