Regional publications do work that really matters to their communities. And local journalists know it in their bones.

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

A fatal single-engine plane crash in a corn field was the first story I ever covered for a local newspaper, the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Life and death. That’s the bread and butter of local newspapers. The obituaries are among their most-read sections. What journalists don’t expect is to find their own colleagues in those pages, gunned down in the place where they work, the way five members of the staff of the Capital Gazette were, in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday.

When events are horrific, as they were in Colorado when I was editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and 12 students…

By John Temple

Documentary film deal between streaming video service and UC’s Investigative Reporting Program tests a new model for producing and distributing public interest reporting.

We know a few things.

Investigative journalism can be hugely important. It also can be hugely expensive.

And when it touches on unaccountable power, it needs institutional backup.

So how to support it? How to make it possible for our country to have more of it?

Our answer, at the Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) at UC Berkeley, is a novel one. We’ve set up a nonprofit company to produce, distribute and monetize the stories developed by our staff and students. And that new company, Investigative Reporting Productions, Inc.

John Temple

Director of the Investigative Reporting Program and Associate Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Lives in San Francisco.

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