CIR rebrands California Watch, Bay Citizen

The Center for Investigative Reporting

Content from California Watch and The Bay Citizen will be published under the Center for Investigative Reporting brand beginning May 29, CIR’s executive director Robert J. Rosenthal announced Monday.

Initially, the different brands separated our national and international, California and local San Francisco Bay Area reporting. Over the past year, we have found that more of our stories transcend geography.


Rosenthal also writes that the nonprofit news organization as currently configured spends “countless hours managing three websites and 12 social media accounts and publishing our stories with different branding depending on the partner outlet. As a nonprofit organization, resource allocation matters.”

CIR and The Bay Citizen announced last March they would merge.

In a separate post, CIR Editorial Director Mark Katches writes about how the consolidation will affect editorial policy:

First and foremost, we have rededicated ourselves to high-impact investigative reporting – stories that matter. We’ve largely stopped covering routine stories and breaking news, which got in the way of this core mission. Last year, we generated about 1,000 stories. By choice, we expect to produce about 200 stories this year. But the stories we go after will be the ones we think can make a difference.

The newsroom will also rethink the scope of its coverage:

Last year, about 95 percent of the stories generated out of this newsroom were either focused on the Bay Area or the state of California. That left a small fraction of our work focused on national or international issues or produced in a way that would appeal to an audience outside California’s borders.

Katches says CIR “absolutely, emphatically, will be doing more stories such as” California Watch’s Broken Shield series.

Among other changes, CIR’s consolidating its Twitter accounts, Meghann Farnsworth writes: @CIRonline “will now host all of our content, engagement and conversation.”

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