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Building blocks in the emerging local news ecosystem

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Statistics
Site Twitter handle

@necirbu

Facebook link

https://www.facebook.com/NECIRBU?ref=hl

Year launched

2009

Tax status

  • Nonprofit 501c3

Monthly visitors

18,000

Revenue

  • More than $1 million

Primary revenue sources (50% or more)

  • None at this level

Secondary revenue sources (20-49%)

  • Foundation grants
  • Training

Smaller revenue sources (less than 20%)

  • Small donations (Less than $1,000)
  • Large donations ($1,000 or more)

Other smaller revenue source

Content Sales and Boston University Support

Publishing platform

  • Largo (INN Wordpress stack)

Mobile

40

E-newsletter

  • Yes

E-newsletter subscribers

5,000

Is your site indexed on Google News?

  • Yes

City

Boston

State

Massachusetts

Last Publisher Update

  • 2016-04-03 20:22:20 UTC

New England Center for Investigative Reporting
Boston, Massachusetts
Joe Bergantino

  

Who We Are 

Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying: “A free, aggressive, open and bold press is part of the spiritual core of our Democracy.” In an era where investigative reporting and journalism as a whole are struggling to endure, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) works to ensure their survival by producing award-winning, journalism and engaging a new generation committed to the core tenants of our democracy: a thriving and open press.

 Established in January 2009, NECIR--a nonprofit news outlet based at WGBH (PBS/NPR Boston) and affiliated with Boston University--  has grown in size from a staff of two to a staff of nine including the Center’s executive director, executive editor (the former Boston Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal), five reporters including a Pulitzer Prize winner and two Pulitzer finalists, a training manager and audience engagement/marketing director.

We have become a leader in:

 --Generating in-depth national investigative stories – over 60% of our reporting (and growing);

--Producing regional investigative journalism with national implications;

--Training and educating aspiring (with a focus on persons of color) and professional journalists; and

--Generating a diversified stream of earned revenue to support its programs and reduce its reliance on philanthropic support.

We have produced more than 150 investigations and won close to a dozen awards for journalistic excellence, most of them national. We have proven that an investigative news nonprofit can both serve its local constituents AND national audiences AND generate a successful earned-income revenue stream.

 NECIR’s stories – like those of our larger-sized peers at Pro Publica and the Center for Public Integrity – have national reach and drive concrete change.

 NECIR puts equal emphasis on the second piece of its mission:  to train a new generation of investigative reporters.  Over the past seven years, the Center has trained more than 600 students and journalists from around the nation and the globe. 

The Center has five training components, the largest being its Summer Investigative Reporting Workshop for High School Students which last summer attracted 132 students from 26 states and 15 countries.  NECIR offers four two-week sessions, three at Boston University and one—starting this year—at Boston College.   Students learn journalism basics in the morning sessions and work with experienced reporters each afternoon producing an investigative story that’s completed by the end of the two weeks.   The program’s overall goal is to teach students research, writing and critical thinking skills.

 Other training programs offered by NECIR include the Center’s Investigative Reporting Certificate Program, a one-week workshop each June that attracts working journalists and recent college graduates from around the nation and the globe; our national workshops—three each year in various cities across the country—done in collaboration with Investigative Reporters and Editors, the nation’s premiere investigative reporting organization; training of journalists in other countries, this year Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; and one-day Watchdog Reporting Workshops around New England. 

NECIR is the only nonprofit investigative journalism organization to have successfully pioneered an earned revenue stream totaling almost two-thirds of our $1.4 million budget. Training alone – including our high school workshop that is the largest in the country – brings in almost $400,000 a year. In addition the Center has strong partnerships with public media including WGBH (PBS/NPR) and WBUR (NPR),which together contribute almost $500,000 to NECIR’s budget.  This is revolutionary in this field … and essential if independent journalism is going to thrive.

Other secondary revenue source

Public Media Partnerships

Introduction by publisher

Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying: “A free, aggressive, open and bold press is part of the spiritual core of our Democracy.” In an era where investigative reporting and journalism as a whole are struggling to endure, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) works to ensure their survival by producing award-winning, journalism and engaging a new generation committed to the core tenants of our democracy: a thriving and open press.

Established in January 2009, NECIR--a nonprofit news outlet based at WGBH (PBS/NPR Boston) and affiliated with Boston University-- has grown in size from a staff of two to a staff of nine including the Center’s executive director, executive editor (the former Boston Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal), five reporters including a Pulitzer Prize winner and two Pulitzer finalists, a training manager and audience engagement/marketing director.

We have become a leader in:

--Generating in-depth national investigative stories – over 60% of our reporting (and growing);

--Producing regional investigative journalism with national implications;

--Training and educating aspiring (with a focus on persons of color) and professional journalists; and

--Generating a diversified stream of earned revenue to support its programs and reduce its reliance on philanthropic support.

We have produced more than 150 investigations and won close to a dozen awards for journalistic excellence, most of them national. We have proven that an investigative news nonprofit can both serve its local constituents AND national audiences AND generate a successful earned-income revenue stream.

NECIR’s stories – like those of our larger-sized peers at Pro Publica and the Center for Public Integrity – have national reach and drive concrete change. The following outlets have either purchased or have run NECIR stories: The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, NBC News, CNN, WBUR (NPR/Boston), NBC Boston, WGBH News (NPR/PBS), the Huffington Post, The New York Times, Kaiser Health News, STAT Health, Web MD, Psych Central, Popular Science, Latinos Health, Mad in America, Carlat Psychiatry Report, Health News Review, Business Insider, The New Yorker, Politico, Boston Magazine, Harvard Law Today, The Christian Science Monitor, the Chronicle of Social Change, Slate and El Planeta. We are currently (April 2016) working on a collaborative investigation with The New York Times.

NECIR puts equal emphasis on the second piece of its mission: to train a new generation of investigative reporters. Over the past seven years, the Center has trained more than 600 students and journalists from around the nation and the globe.

The Center has five training components, the largest being its Summer Investigative Reporting Workshop for High School Students which last summer attracted 132 students from 26 states and 15 countries. NECIR offers four two-week sessions, three at Boston University and one—starting this year—at Boston College. Students learn journalism basics in the morning sessions and work with experienced reporters each afternoon producing an investigative story that’s completed by the end of the two weeks. The program’s overall goal is to teach students research, writing and critical thinking skills.

Other training programs offered by NECIR include the Center’s Investigative Reporting Certificate Program, a one-week workshop each June that attracts working journalists and recent college graduates from around the nation and the globe; our national workshops—three each year in various cities across the country—done in collaboration with Investigative Reporters and Editors, the nation’s premiere investigative reporting organization; training of journalists in other countries, this year Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; and one-day Watchdog Reporting Workshops around New England.

NECIR is the only nonprofit investigative journalism organization to have successfully pioneered an earned revenue stream totaling almost two-thirds of our $1.4 million budget. Training alone – including our high school workshop that is the largest in the country – brings in almost $400,000 a year. In addition the Center has strong partnerships with public media including WGBH (PBS/NPR) and WBUR (NPR),which together contribute almost $500,000 to NECIR’s budget. This is revolutionary in this field … and essential if independent journalism is going to thrive.

Effective engagement practice

Our social media channels and direct emails are our most effective way of engaging our audience. We've also had great success with hosting Live Chat digital events on our website in collaboration with partner publications (WebMD, New York Times, Huffington Post). These are generally a panel discussion where experts discuss an issue and respond to reader questions directly. This opens the dialog up and engages our audience in the conversation around one of our investigations.

Business challenge

Converting readers to donors.

Coverage area

  • National

Mission

  • Produce investigative news

Topics of coverage

  • Crime & justice
  • Government & politics
  • Health & medicine

Other content topics

Topics impacting underserved communities.

Watchdog

  • Yes, it is the primary focus

Institutional partners

  • University
  • Nonprofit media organization

Other institutional partners

More specifically, public media outlets in Boston.

Content contributors

  • Professional journalists

Contributor compensation

  • Full-time, paid staff
  • Interns working for academic credit

Revenue-side compensation

  • Full-time, paid staff without commission

Publish donors

  • Publish all foundation names

In the news



http://necir.org/2016/03/31/how-a-perks-binge-sweetens-the-pay-of-massachusetts-college-chiefs/
http://necir.org/2016/03/31/how-a-perks-binge-sweetens-the-pay-of-massachusetts-college-chiefs/
Boston police cast a veil on warrants, uses for cellphone trackers http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/boston-police-cast-veil-warrants-uses-cellphone-trackers
BPD keeps cellphone tracker use in the dark http://www.massterlist.com/links/2016/02/25/headlines-for-thursday-february-25-2016
New Questions Raised About Boston Police and Cell Phone Tracking Technology http://radioboston.wbur.org/2016/02/25/cell-phone-tracker
Boston police cast a veil on uses for cellphone trackers http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/massachusetts-playbook/2016/02/bakers-trump-concerns-joyce-not-seeking-re-election-timilty-to-run-for-seat-local-option-gas-tax-pitched-212851
Boston Police use of cell phone trackers kept private http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2016/02/24/boston-police-use-cell-phone-trackers-kept-private/mhICsYrsOpj4wEHBUbKxcN/story.html
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans defends use of covert cell trackers http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/02/24/boston-police-commissioner-william-evans-defends-use-covert-cell-trackers/FtOavijZhH33WxD06dScsK/story.html?event=event25
Boston police cast a veil on warrants, uses for cellphone trackers https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/02/24/boston-police-cast-veil-warrants-uses-for-cellphone-trackers/fENx8a6nZd33UxttCHKlFJ/story.html
Citing FBI Confidentiality, Boston Police Decline To Disclose Details Of Cell-Phone Monitoring http://news.wgbh.org/2016/02/23/local-news/citing-fbi-confidentiality-boston-police-decline-disclose-details-cell-phone
Why Can't We Stop Child Abuse? http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/02/01/baby-doe
Live Chat: Reopening the case of Darrell 'Diamond' Jones http://www.wbur.org/2016/01/13/darrell-diamond-jones-case-live-chat
A MASSACHUSETTS ‘MAKING A MURDERER’? http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/massachusetts-playbook/2016/01/politico-massachusetts-playbook-about-those-budget-cuts-trump-hq-vandalized-healey-headed-to-sotu-212084
Jenifer McKim, NECIR, on the Trial of Darrell Jones http://media.wrko.com/a/112471436/jenifer-mckim-necir-on-the-trial-of-darrell-jones.htm
This Mass. man has been in prison for 30 years for a murder he says he didn't commit http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2016/01/11/this-mass-man-has-been-prison-for-years-for-murder-says-didn-commit/wQ4nTUOga3eASOL9ivmxuO/story.html
One Murder Convict's Quest for a New Trial http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/reasonable-doubts-one-murderer-convicts-quest-for-a-new-trial_us_56968c62e4b0778f46f7ba07#comments
‘Reasonable Doubts’: A 1985 Murder Conviction And Changing Law Procedures https://radioboston.wbur.org/2016/01/15/doubts-gellerman-darrell
Reasonable Doubts, Part 5: Brockton Police Department http://www.wbur.org/2016/01/15/reasonable-doubts-part-v
Reasonable Doubts, Part 4: The Trial https://www.wbur.org/2016/01/14/reasonable-doubts-part-iv
Reasonable Doubts, Part 3: The Defense https://www.wbur.org/2016/01/13/darrell-jones-case-iii
Reasonable Doubts, Part 2: The Investigation https://www.wbur.org/2016/01/12/reasonable-doubts-part-ii
Reasonable Doubts, Part 1: The Crime Scene https://www.wbur.org/2016/01/11/darrell-jones-case-i
Reasonable Doubts: Reopening The Case Of Darrell 'Diamond' Jones https://www.wbur.org/2016/01/11/darrell-jones-investigation
215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015 — All Written By Women http://www.autostraddle.com/215-of-the-best-longreads-of-2015-all-written-by-women-319679/