So much has been said, posted, and shared in the past week, and InvestigateWest must add our voice to both document this moment as journalists and bear witness as human beings. Americans George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor died because the systems created to protect citizens were not built for people with their skin color. They were not the first to die, and tragically, they will not be the last. We need to make change, now. Here are our promised next steps:
InvestigateWest will continue to provide strong investigative coverage of social justice stories about people of color, but rededicate ourselves to coverage more widely and frequently, and in conversation with the communities we cover.
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.
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.
InvestigateWest’s in-depth, fact-based reporting has impacted public policy and corporate practice on topics including toxic coal-tar sealants, water quality standards, the preservation of open spaces, crude oil imports, salmon culverts and the effects of toxic road pollution on children’s health.
Finding Fixes, InvestigateWest’s podcast that seeks out solutions to the opioid addiction crisis, debuts its second season today (10/15/19). It is set in Western Washington as well as in Gloucester, Mass., and Philadelphia. Radio journalists Anna Boiko-Weyrauch and Kyle Norris are behind the podcast, which was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition and drew attention from as far away as France.
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.
InvestigateWest’s work resulted in 13 laws being passed in Washington and Oregon this year, and $48 million in foster care funding being appropriated in Washington. News partners involved in the coverage include Crosscut.com, KCTS9 TV and Pamplin Media Group.
Three bills that “substantially weaken” Washington state’s Growth Management Act were passed this year. Democrats largely went along with the concerns that traditionally have been embodied in Republican critiques of the law, in an attempt to close an extremely lenient loophole for developers. But Republicans refused to reciprocate.
Americans – along with Europeans – account for 2/3 of world imports of seafood. Here we describe America’s battleplan for keeping seafood legal in the U.S. and helping American consumers avoid being a driver of the $23 billion annual market for illegal seafood.
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.
Fake news. It’s not just all over social media, bungling up elections, and poisoning public debate – it’s also a significant issue worldwide. But the good news for us, and for you, our members, is that our audience is key to helping legitimize the work we do.