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About The Center for Investigative Reporting

what is investigative reporting

What drives our work isn't profit – it's impact.

At The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and revealed injustices that otherwise would remain hidden from the public eye. Today, we're upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage you, our audience, across the aisle, coast to coast and worldwide.

Nonprofit and nonpartisan

Our work is fact-based, nonpartisan and truth-driven. This means that we can follow the story wherever it leads us because we’re not beholden to outside pressures or interests. We commit every resource we have to fulfilling our mission: informing and empowering the public and holding the powerful accountable. We give a voice to the voiceless, critical information to those previously left in the dark and a wider, more visible arena to expose abuses of power.


What keeps CIR alive isn't money or profit – it's impact. Our stories reveal injustices and arm the public with the facts needed to spark federal legislation, policy change at all levels of government, public interest lawsuits, reforms in corporate practices, op-eds that move the needle of public opinion and more. CIR’s stories are at the center of news reports and community conversations.

Versatile and trusted

CIR is the only nonprofit journalism organization with the in-house ability to produce stories on every available media platform – from print to video, radio and interactive data applications – so that our reporting is accessible, engaging and presented for maximum impact. Our staff includes highly skilled reporters who know how to cultivate sources and find hidden information; engineers and analysts who create news apps, interactive maps and tools to help the public understand issues from the macro to the micro level; and radio, video and multimedia producers who create engaging documentaries, videos and animated features to demystify complex topics. More than 300 news outlets partner with us or have featured our reporting, including ABC, Univision, Al-Jazeera English, The Young

Turks, Stars and Stripes, the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, NPR, PBS, The Daily Beast, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, YouTube and more.

A true public partner

Our goal is to make our investigations accessible, inclusive and participatory. In doing so, we invite the public to hold us accountable for producing the best and deepest reporting on issues that affect their lives. We also ask them to validate the worth of our work by sharing and acting on the information we uncover.

A stellar history; a future that is reinventing journalism

Injustices and exploitations of power often are deeply hidden. Getting to the truth can take months or even years and requires highly specialized skills that most journalists don't have. CIR is known for its credibility and leadership and for setting the bar for the highest standards in multiplatform journalism. Learn more about our history here. Our recent awards include:

  • Recipient of 2012 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions
  • Winner of the 2013 Radio Television Digital News Association’s National Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting
  • Finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in public service, the most prestigious of Pulitzers
  • Finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in local reporting
  • Recipient of 2011 and 2012 George Polk Awards in Journalism
  • Winner of the 2011 and 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism
  • Winner of a 2011 Investigative Reporters and Editors IRE Medal
  • Winner of a 2012 Online News Association Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative Investigative Journalism
  • Winner of the 2011 Scripps Howard Foundation Roy W. Howard Award for public service reporting

Support The Center for Investigative Reporting

Protecting the public interest is our mission and purpose. By supporting The Center for Investigative Reporting. you will help us stay on important stories for as long as it takes, get them out to more audiences and, most of all, maintain watch on the powerful institutions and people in the communities you care about.

Because injustice won’t reveal itself.

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