The Washington Indpendent
February 8, 2008 12:05 PM   Subscribe

The Washington Independent went beta a few weeks ago. The site employs several reporters to do investigative journalism on topics of national importance.

I have no idea what bugs they are hoping to fix before official release. The site is operated by the Center for Independent Media. The Center has launched alliterative local journalism sites as well focused on Colorado [Confidential], Iowa [Independent], Michigan [Messenger] and Minnesota [Monitor]. Their independence cannot be verified as they have yet to file their first financial disclosure form. I was drawn to the Washington Independent because it is new home of Spencer Ackerman, a close observer of national security policy, but all the stories I have read there seem to be high content and skeptical of authority.

Metafilter turned the spotlight of its attention upon investigative journalism a few months ago.
posted by shothotbot (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm the managing editor over at The Washington Independent. I'm very interested in hearing what people think. If you've got general ideas or specific suggestions on how to improve the site I'd really like to hear. Thanks!
posted by lkm at 12:27 PM on February 8, 2008

I think separating investigative reporting from print media is a good idea - good enough to try anyway. There is no reason that people need to get sports news and political news from the same source. I don't know who is going to pay for it - the Center is a non profit so are you going to have to hit up corporate big shots every few months? Or is it all basically funded by George Soros?
posted by shothotbot at 12:47 PM on February 8, 2008

Interesting, this is exactly the kind of thing I think the web can excel at. Hope it goes well and they really rake the muck, so to speak.
posted by cell divide at 1:00 PM on February 8, 2008

Cool! Glad to see this on mefi. I was going to post about The Washington Independent myself but thought it might not be a good idea as Spencer is my ex boyfriend (but we still cool, yo.) But check out his personal blog too if you want to read more curse words and stories about punk rock.
posted by capnsue at 1:43 PM on February 8, 2008

I'd like a reasonable, unbiased look at John McCain's health. If he's elected, he'll be older than Reagan was at his inauguration, and I remember seeing video of McCain at a podium early in Bush's first term where his hands were shaking so badly as he paged through his notes I wondered if he was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Maybe three out of the last four presidents have had brain issues, and I'd like to know if we're getting ready to make that four out of five.
posted by jamjam at 1:55 PM on February 8, 2008

Yay! A new collection of blogs! About politics!
posted by Slap Factory at 1:56 PM on February 8, 2008

Just saw this on linkfilter this morning: CIA Largely in the Dark on Interrogation Tactics
posted by homunculus at 3:09 PM on February 8, 2008

I'll definitely be bookmarking this. Although things have been so depressing lately that I can hardly bring myself to (regularly) read TPM and TPMMuckraker. Still, having another place where actual investigative journalism is practiced is good good good. It's not like the WaPo or NYT were at the forefront of breaking the US Attorney/DoJ scandal.
posted by rtha at 3:45 PM on February 8, 2008

I see a fairly good mount of news and I knew just about all that was on the front page of this new "investigative" paper. Seems at first glance pretty much standard news items with no focus upon investigative reporting.
posted by Postroad at 3:46 PM on February 8, 2008

It's not like the WaPo or NYT were at the forefront of breaking the US Attorney/DoJ scandal.

The NYT was writing about this in February of 2007; how much earlier could they have been on it?
posted by spasm at 12:56 AM on February 9, 2008

lkm, best of luck with the venture! We certainly need more good investigative journalism.
posted by JHarris at 2:35 AM on February 9, 2008

The NYT was writing about this in February of 2007; how much earlier could they have been on it?

I'm pretty certain that I began reading about it on TPM in January 07. I remember how much attention they gave it, and when the document dumps started happening, they'd post or link to the .pdfs and readers would comb through them and note inconsistencies and the like. I don't remember it gather much steam in the mainstream press until several weeks later.
posted by rtha at 6:08 AM on February 9, 2008

Both Laura McGann (lkm) and Spencer Ackerman were at TPM Muckraker before. They've left to be part of this.
posted by rbs at 7:17 AM on February 9, 2008

...And Josh Marshall of TPM wins a George Polk Award for legal reporting:

"His site,, led the news media coverage of the politically motivated dismissals of United States attorneys across the country. Noting a similarity between firings in Arkansas and California, Marshall (with staff reporter-bloggers Paul Kiel and Justin Rood) connected the dots and found a pattern of federal prosecutors being forced from office for failing to do the Bush Administration's bidding."
posted by rtha at 12:00 PM on February 19, 2008

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