Huffington Post Investigative Fund to Become Part of Center for Public Integrity

The Huffington Post Investigative Fund will become part of the Center for Public Integrity, bringing the combined editorial team to more than 50 journalists, reporting experts, and digital-media producers by Jan. 1 and creating one of the largest investigative newsrooms in the country, the two parties announced Tuesday.

Under terms of the agreement, The Huffington Post also committed to publish up to three stories per day from the Center for Public Integrity as part of a new investigative-reporting section.

Huffington Post Investigative Fund staff who will join the Center for Public Integrity are: executive director Nick Penniman; editor Keith Epstein; reporters Ben Protess, three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist David Heath, Pulitzer nominee Fred Schulte, and Emma Schwartz; and health-care analyst Wendell Potter.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which awarded a $1.7 million grant to the Center for Public Integrity earlier this month, also promised an additional $250,000 to support the newly combined news operation.

HuffPost co-founder and editor-in-chief and HuffPost Investigative Fund board chair Arianna Huffington said:

I’m delighted about this new partnership. When we launched the Huffington Post Investigative Fund a year-and-a-half ago, we set out to build a hybrid model for the future of investigative journalism — aligning a nonprofit journalism center with a large publishing platform. It exceeds all our expectations that we are so quickly able to scale up our small investigative fund by merging with a powerhouse like the Center. Too often, important stories are only covered after things go bad, as happened with the war in Iraq and the economic crisis. We need more stories uncovered before disaster strikes. I believe this partnership will help with this great project of uncovering.

Center for Public Integrity executive director William Buzenberg added;

We are delighted to bring the Investigative Fund under the Center’s umbrella. This represents a healthy marriage of reporting resources that will strengthen our ability to generate high-impact, independent, and unbiased investigations and reach a broader audience.

Knight Foundation vice president for journalism Eric Newton said:

This grant is a vote of confidence and encouragement in the Center’s strategy to transform itself into a digital leader in investigative news. We do not see these kinds of nonprofit mergers often enough.

And Penniman added:

While I’m extremely proud of what the Fund has accomplished in just one year, I’m even more excited about what we’re now helping to create. We could have continued to grow alone — or be part of a bold new blueprint for investigative journalism. The Center for Public Integrity’s road map made the decision easy. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.