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Collaborative Journalism Brings Investigative Reporting to Your Town

Patch collaborates with California Watch to examine seismic safety in our public schools.

All over California, Patch journalists are probing local officials on how safe children will be if the Big One hits when school is in session.

On dozens of Patch sites today, we begin to tell you what we’ve learned.

We knew the question needed to be asked, thanks to the investigative work of California Watch, whose stories show that the state has not enforced its own seismic standards for public schools.

California Watch, which is a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting and has the state’s largest investigative team, spent 19 months poring over the state’s databases and interviewing key state officials. A nonprofit supported by foundations and media partners like Patch, it produced the kind of big-picture journalism that only a few news organizations are capable of doing in 2011.

And now Patch is doing what it does best: Telling readers in the towns we cover what this story means for their schools. California Watch discovered a mess, and Patch is working to make sense of it, school by school.

The stories we’re publishing today are just the beginning of our reporting on seismic safety in schools, particularly in those communities where we find significant problems.

It’s also our hope that this is the beginning of a long-term collaboration. For this seismic safety project, we started to work with California Watch just a few weeks before publication of the stories, months after the bulk of our partner’s reporting had been done.

In the future, Patch and California Watch will have a deeper relationship, which is good news for Patch readers.

Here’s why: With websites in dozens of towns from Healdsburg to Imperial Beach, Patch’s resources complement those of a partner that's delving into statewide issues. We’ll continue to use California Watch’s investigations to trigger our own local reporting and harness the power of more than 150 talented reporters and editors in towns all over Northern and Southern California. 

That’s powerful stuff. And it’s even more powerful when we turn to another partner: you.

You can get involved in two ways:

  • First, if you're interested in seismic safety in your schools, here's
  • Or if you have ideas for what we should investigate next in your community, click on the Contact Us link on this site, and tell the editor where we should look next.

About Media Partnerships

The Patch-California Watch collaboration benefits both organizations because of Patch's reach into many small and medium-sized communities. Journalism partnerships have been evolving quickly in recent years, as media search for sustainable models to support investigative reporting, which is labor-intensive and expensive. As the walls have come down, more and more news organizations are collaborating on journalism projects. California Watch has been a leader in this area, working with dozens of California media organizations all over the state. Patch is excited to join them.

Look for Patch to pursue more of these collaborations to benefit our communities. 

Learn more about media partnerships:

We'd like to hear from you on this subject. Share your thoughts on this project or media collaborations in the comments.

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