New investigative reporting unit to focus on California

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The Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, Calif., is launching a statewide multimedia reporting initiative with funding from the James Irvine and William and Flora Hewlett foundations. The project, which is hiring journalists and developing collaborations with media partners, will report on key California issues, including education, the environment, immigration, state governance and public safety. It will focus on making statewide data accessible to journalists and the public and emphasize “solutions-based” reporting. “We will monitor government, track private interests and reveal abuses that threaten our democracy,” said Robert J. Rosenthal, CIR’s executive director, and former managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and executive editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Veteran journalist Louis Freedberg, director of the California Media Collaborative and a former member of the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, will direct the effort.