What is the I-News Network?
The I-News Network is a nonprofit helping sustain journalism that makes a difference.
I-News helps established and emerging news media throughout Colorado produce in-depth journalism they couldn’t do alone. And we train journalists in other newsrooms to do the kind of in-depth reporting and research that I-News does.
Why is I-News needed?
I-News is needed because of the ongoing crisis in American journalism.
Many newsrooms in Colorado are half the size they were just a few years ago. Yet the digital revolution has given them more deadlines to meet. That leaves fewer people and less time to dig into stories that require significant resources and expertise.
What makes I-News unique?
I-News has a special mix of skills and experience. We can focus on stories that otherwise wouldn’t be told because other newsrooms lack the time, resources or expertise to produce them.
Where do I find I-News stories?
You can find I-News where you already looks for your news: Your newspaper, TV, radio and digital device. Our media partners include the most trusted news outlets in the state, allowing us to reach millions of Coloradans.
I-News works with Rocky Mountain PBS, Colorado Public Radio, Rocky Mountain Community Radio, KUSA, The Denver Post and virtually every daily newspaper in the state, plus ethnic and emerging media.
Has I-News made any difference?
Yes! Here are a few examples:
- More doctors now disclose drug company payments after I-News helped Colorado Public Radio report hidden funding, allowing patients to make better-informed decisions.
- University and law enforcement officials do more to protect students after I-News helped Rocky Mountain PBS and other media report that some schools withheld information about assaults on campus.
- Lawmakers changed tax law after I-News helped the Denver Post reveal that movie stars and developers were getting tax breaks meant for farmers and ranchers.
- Legislation was introduced after I-News helped its media partners uncover dangerous and illegal treatment of hazardous electronic waste unknown even to regulators.
- Lawmakers called for a state audit after I-News helped EdNews and other partners show that online elementary and high schools get millions in tax money even though half their students leave within a year.
Who is involved?
I-News is staffed with veteran, award-winning journalists each with long track records of high-quality, trustworthy journalism that makes a difference:
Laura Frank, founder and executive director, started her 20-year career as a news entrepreneur and has come full circle with I-News. Her work has been recognized in both broadcast and print, including a Top 10 Pulitzer finalist and an Emmy award for documentary production.
Burt Hubbard, editorial director, is well-known in the journalism world for his data analysis skills. He’s enshrined in the Scripps Howard Journalism Hall of Fame and was a Top 10 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize at the Rocky Mountain News.
Joe Mahoney, multimedia director, is a two-time Pulitzer-winning photographer, Emmy-winning documentary producer and journalism trainer. He spent a decade at the Rocky Mountain News and nine years working for the Associated Press, also a nonprofit news service.
Kristin Jones, reporter, speaks Spanish and Chinese. Her awards include the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and a Peabody, the most prestigious honor for electronic media.
I-News’ board of directors includes:
John Temple, former editor, president and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, now editor of Civil Beat, an entrepreneurial digital news startup in Honolulu owned by the founder of eBay.
William Weintraub, who has been a senior executive for such companies as Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg, Tropicana and Coors.
Paul Voakes, former dean of the University of Colorado journalism school, now faculty director of the Digital News Test Kitchen at CU.
Brant Houston, board chairman of the national Investigative News Network, a coalition of nonprofit journalism organizations, and coordinator for the Global Investigative Journalism Network, which he co-founded in 2000.
How does I-News work?
I-News works with established, ethnic and emerging media to bring important journalism to the widest audience possible.
We work with other media in several ways:
1. Deliver a finished story package. We do the entire investigation (research, writing, video, audio, graphics – including localizing the story for different communities) and deliver it to media outlets ready to use, OR
2. Collaborate on localization. We do the research, write the “big picture” overview and then help our partner newsrooms report how it impacts their community, OR
3. Provide analysis. We do the research that uncovers the problem or highlights a pressing issue, give it to the newsrooms, and let them take it from there to do their own reporting and production, OR
4. Do customized research and training. We do one-on-one work with a single newsroom that has a particular story it can’t do alone. Usually in this case, there’s a training aspect, too, as we’re helping reporters learn to do the analysis and research they couldn’t do before.
Why is I-News a nonprofit?
1. This kind of journalism is a public good. And it should be distributed as widely as possible, not just to the highest bidder.
2. Journalism is the most accessible form of ongoing education for the general public. And in-depth news and information are essential to a functioning democracy.
3. Investigative reporting by definition is difficult to support solely by commercial means. This kind of reporting is expensive and time-consuming. And while stories about hazardous waste or sexual assault are important, they’re unlikely to attract a lucrative advertising niche.
How will you sustain I-News?
Our sustainability plan is like a four-legged stool. Each leg represents a diverse revenue stream.
- Grants and donations. These funded our startup and continue to play an important role. Our major funders include the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Denver Foundation, Brett Family Foundation, and The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County.
- Media partnerships. Our media partners, who continue to face economic challenges, are nevertheless beginning to pay for our content and services.
- Underwriting. Corporate citizens can help sustain the kind of news and information that makes a community a better place to live.
- Products and Services. I-News is developing revenues streams from the other products and services it offers in line with its mission. For example, we’ve launched a summer camp for high school journalists to help train the next generation of investigative reporters and have trained professional journalists, too.