Foster care reporting led to six new state laws, $48 million in funding

InvestigateWest’s sustained in-depth coverage of a crisis of historic proportions in Washington state’s foster care system was instrumental in spurring six new state laws, including one setting up a new state agency to renew state efforts to help abused and neglected children and teenagers. The work also spurred $48 million in new state funding for the foster care system.

Celebrating 10 years of journalism that’s making a difference

InvestigateWest focuses on the environment, public health and government accountability, producing deeply reported news stories while also exploring potential solutions. Our work has resulted in new laws in Washington to protect health care workers, the environment and foster kids, and was cited in 2017 by the Washington Post as influencing a wide-ranging new law in Oregon intended to promote justice for minorities.

What is the future of local news in Tacoma?

Hundreds of U.S. newspapers have closed, yet most Americans surveyed believe local news outlets are in good financial shape and relatively few pay for local news. InvestigateWest Executive Director Robert McClure spoke on a panel on “The Future of Our Local Press” at the University of Puget Sound, sponsored by the City Club of Tacoma and the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County.

Trump is not the only one cutting Puget Sound funding

President Trump’s proposed $28 million cut of Puget Sound restoration funding has provoked an outcry. But loss of federal funding is not the only cause for concern. State funding, which pays for a much larger share of those restoration costs, also is facing cuts, leaving the fate of Puget Sound restoration funding up in the air.

Fish habitat protection program stirs controversy

The Washington Legislature is considering a bill on whether and how to strengthen one of the state’s oldest natural resource permits and the only one dedicated to protecting fish habitat. But the threat of lawsuits, potential budget cuts, and a decades old jurisdiction debate may prevent it from passing.

Unequal Justice project weds teamwork with big numbers

I’m tickled that I finally get to write about the Unequal Justice series collaboration today, one of our most ambitious partnerships to date and, certainly, the largest data project InvestigateWest has ever been involved with. I love this project. Mostly because it combines the two things that we do best at IW’s Oregon shop: drill down on numbers and work with our media partners. I alluded to its impending release back in September, in my note about the strength of collaboration, and again in October when I wrote to you about the power of data in journalism. Now I get to dish the backstory.