May 25, 2011

Center’s stories to be made available worldwide through deal with Thomson Reuters

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is among 30 U.S. nonprofit investigative news organizations whose stories will be circulated to publishers and broadcasters around the world in a new agreement with Thomson Reuters news service.

“As we’ve seen in recent months, political issues in Wisconsin resonate across America and even worldwide,” said Andy Hall, the Center’s founder and executive director.

“The Center’s award-winning coverage will continue to be distributed to Wisconsin news organizations, but now may be seen by many millions of people through the arrangement with Thomson Reuters.”

The 30 news organizations sharing coverage are members of the Investigative News Network, a consortium of nonprofit news centers that negotiated the arrangement on their behalf.

Kevin Davis, chief executive officer of the Investigative News Network, said that in addition to reaching a potential audience of up to a billion people, the U.S. news centers will receive valuable access to Thomson Reuters news coverage and photos.

And eventually, the arrangement may boost the centers’ financial strength, Davis said. The centers may receive a share of revenue Thomson Reuters acquires from its clients, to subsidize the centers’ newsgathering expenses.

Davis said the amount of potential revenue is unknown.

“But there’s only one way we’re going to find out,” Davis said. “And that’s through these types of relationships.”

Among the participating Investigative News Network members are the Center for Public Integrity, the Center for Investigative Reporting, the St. Louis Beacon, and the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network.

“Publishers are telling us investigative news is extremely valuable, but seems to be the first thing cut when resources get tight,” Chris Ahearn, president of Media for Thomson Reuters, said in a news release. “The new relationship with INN is another step towards addressing the market’s need and providing our clients with stories they won’t find anywhere else.”

About the Investigative News Network

INN is a growing consortium of non-profit news organizations in North America that produces nonpartisan investigative and public service journalism on a local, regional and national basis. It is composed of more than 50 news organizations that create long-form and ongoing stories that keep communities informed on the issues they most care about. For more information, go to www.investigativenewsnetwork.org.

About Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is a leading global source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. It combines industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to decisionmakers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, healthcare, and science and media markets, powered by one of the world’s most trusted news organizations.  With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 55,000 people and operates in more than 100 countries. For more information, go to thomsonreuters.com.

About the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

The Center (wisconsinwatch.org) was launched in January 2009 to examine government integrity and issues affecting the quality of life of Wisconsin residents. It currently has two full-time employees – executive director Andy Hall and reporter Kate Golden – as well as a pool of volunteer journalists and media lawyers and paid student reporting interns. In mid-June, it will add award-winning journalist Bill Lueders to its staff, to lead a new project examining the influence of money in politics and policymaking in Wisconsin.

The Center is based in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, and mainstream and ethnic media across Wisconsin and the nation.

The Center publicly acknowledges all of its donors, to increase the transparency — and protect the integrity — of its public-interest journalism. The Center is supported by foundations and individuals, including Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Foundation to Promote Open Society (a partner of Open Society Institute), McCormick Foundation and Ford Foundation. Connect with the Center on Twitter and Facebook.