Four nonprofit watchdog and investigative journalism organizations will have their work distributed by the Associated Press to its 1,500 members as part of a six-month pilot project that starts July 1. The project, being announced today at the 2009 Investigative Reporters & Editors conference, is meant to encourage “public service” journalism — being seen more often today as a way to combat the gaps in newsroom budgets and staffs — by expanding the nonprofits’ reach and providing members with articles for publication at no cost to either. The first four are the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop and ProPublica.
Being available via a dedicated section of AP Exchange, the content management system that newspapers use to receive content from AP, syndications and each other, literally should make it easier for the nonprofits’ work to be published, which in turn makes it more likely newspapers will use it. The project will be evaluated and, if extended, may include other nonprofits.