inewsource: Project Summary

inewsource is a nonprofit news organization headquartered in the building of its public media partner, KPBS, which helps distribute its content in California’s San Diego and Imperial counties.

Formerly the Watchdog Institute, inewsource has since 2009 been the leading investigative news organization in a media environment that is largely dominated by for-profit outlets such as the San Diego U-T, and local affiliates for NBC, ABC, and CBS. What sets inewsource apart from its for-profit competitors is its effort to develop collaborations with 90 potential media partners throughout the region.

The project seeks to build a social media network of these community news outlets in one virtual space. inewsource believes this network will help it build brand awareness, distribute content, and generate conversations in San Diego and Imperial counties.

inewsource has recently secured funding for a diversity fellowship that can lead to a partnership with Univision. With this funding, inewsource has hired a fluent Spanish-speaking reporter to expand coverage across the border into Mexico. Media coverage that spans both borders is highly appealing to San Diego and Imperial county residents who are largely Spanish-speaking Hispanic.

What knowledge will be gained from this experiment?

By connecting with local news outlets and other distribution channels, inewsource hopes to learn how it can better personalize its investigations to build audience and supporters. It wants to figure out how to make big, in-depth investigations relevant to micro local communities. In theory, listening to local publishers and engaging with them should improve the ability of inewsource to reach more affected citizens.

These publishers know their communities best. They can help us frame the conversation around our projects and tease out the information that is most important to their audiences. inewsource hope to learn efficient ways to manage the network without sacrificing the personal interaction that is essential to keeping it going.