In 2019, Connecticut Public’s new senior leadership team started on a mission to fill the gap of local commercial media. With newspapers dwindling and trust in media eroding, Chief Executive Officer Mark Contreras and Chief Content Officer Tim Rasmussen came up with a plan to help win back trust and produce hard-hitting content in Connecticut. The Accountability Project is a three-person watchdog reporting team that takes a deep dive into things that matter to Nutmegers.
Contreras and Rasmussen were able to launch The Accountability Project by hiring an investigator editor, investigative reporter and data reporter. They fundraised by campaigning loyal funders, dedicated listeners and applying for grants. The idea was first pitched in July 2019. The Accountability Team launched in July 2021. It took two years to find the funding and the right people to tell the stories that matter in Connecticut. Even before the team was fully launched, an investigative report on a police-involved shooting produced by senior reporters was honored with and Edward R. Murrow award. The report showed what CT Public is a capable of—even without a dedicated investigative reporting team.