As mass media continues to decentralize and transform, two leading journalism membership organizations are investing in data to help nonprofit newsrooms collaborate and increase impact.
The Investigative News Network and Investigative Reporters and Editors have teamed up to offer dedicated data-analysis services to INN's membership of more than 80 nonprofit investigative news organizations.
Denise Malan, formerly the investigative and data editor at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, has joined INN in her new role as Director of Data Services. She will facilitate INN member access to the IRE Data Library, and was formally introduced to INN and IRE members on June 20 at IRE’s annual conference in San Antonio.
"Many INN members are focused on similar topics, sometimes without realizing it," Malan said. "My role will be to learn the needs of members, identify which stories make sense to collaborate on, and help them work together."
Malan will focus primarily on obtaining and analyzing data sets that can be used by INN members; the data will also ultimately be archived in IRE's library.
“INN is focused on providing its membership with the best data, tools and people to facilitate editorial collaboration and increase the relevance and impact of our member organizations' journalism," said Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of the Investigative News Network. "We also believe in collaborating with and leveraging the best resources in the business, which is why we are delighted to be working strategically with IRE to provide this unique and valuable resource.”
The position represents the latest collaboration between the two organizations. IRE was involved in the planning for the creation of INN, and the Network holds a daylong workshop each year at the IRE Conference for its members and others interested in nonprofit investigative reporting.
“We're excited about the partnership," IRE Executive Director Mark Horvit said. "The members of INN provide a vital service to their communities, and many have been involved with IRE for years. We see this as a natural extension of the work our Data Library has done for more than 20 years.”
Malan said she is looking forward to helping the two organizations cross-pollinate more effectively.
"My dual role with IRE will also help members plug into the many resources there," she said. "The IRE/NICAR database library is filled with interesting data sets that would make fantastic collaborative projects. I can help INN members dig into the data, find the stories in it and work together to bring these stories to light."
The Investigative News Network is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps nonprofit news agencies produce and distribute important stories, share resources and achieve financial sustainability. INN facilitates collaborations, provides technology and infrastructure support, advances best practices across the sector, and helps raise the profile and impacts of its members. Learn more at www.investigativenewsnetwork.org.
Investigative Reporters and Editors is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. IRE was formed in 1975 to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, newsgathering techniques and news sources. IRE provides members access to thousands of reporting tip sheets and other materials through its resource center and hosts conferences and specialized training throughout the country. Learn more at www.ire.org/.
[This article has been updated since its publication on June 14, 2013.]