The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting: Project Summary

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is an online newsroom offering investigative and enterprise coverage of agribusiness and related issues such as energy, climate change, labor and government. Its audience includes residents of the Midwest as well as researchers, corporations and advocates.

The center is creating a digital tool that will harvest a range of documents and data on risk assessments by multinational corporations on climate change, market turmoil, regulations, food insecurity, products, wars and other factors, and putting them into an easily searchable database in which they can be analyzed and visualized.

This digital tool will test the effectiveness of making available to citizens various channels of corporate information and data that currently are not very accessible. The tool will be offered on a freemium model, free for journalists and the public with tiered subscriptions for institutional users.

Reviewers found it a good test of using targeted data reporting to build a regular audience and a potential revenue center. If successful, the revenue plan also could lead to replicable models for other targeted publications.