The Center for Investigative Reporting was established in 1977. It upped its digital presence significantly in 2009, when it founded Calfiornia Watch, an investigative news organization focused on the state of California. In 2012, CIR merged with The Bay Citizen, a two-year-old local news start up in San Francisco. In 2013, CIR consolidated California Watch and The Bay Citizen into a single brand and website. With the merger, CIR gained about $5 million in Bay Citizen donations, more than doubling its annual expenditures. The organization is increasingly focused on develoption national publication partners and growing syndication revenue. Its work has won numerous journalism prizes.