The Center for Investigative Reporting to serve in leadership role for new investigative journalism initiative

CIR Editorial Director Robert J. Rosenthal will serve as senior adviser, inaugural contributor to Alabama Investigative Journalism Lab
Media contact: 
Meghann Farnsworth – and 510-809-2213
The Center for Investigative Reporting, one of America's leading nonprofit news organizations, will play a leadership role in a new investigative journalism initiative launched by Alabama Media Group.
Alabama Media Group and CIR announced today that Robert J. Rosenthal, executive director of CIR, will serve as senior adviser and inaugural contributor to a new fellowship in the Alabama Investigative Journalism Lab.
The lab, an initiative of Alabama Media Group, will encourage innovation in digital journalism through storytelling that will maximize audience engagement around significant and complex stories. 
"It's rewarding for me and CIR to be asked to work with the journalists in Alabama," Rosenthal said. "This lab gives CIR an opportunity to share our own best practices and lessons learned about investigative reporting and storytelling across platforms. Our goal in this lab is to help create a successful model that can be carried forward that underscores the value of collaboration and shows that investigative reporting makes a difference in a community."
Alabama Media Group is a digitally focused news and information company that serves 5.7 million people a month through and in print through the Birmingham News, the Press-Register in Mobile, The Huntsville Times and The Mississippi Press. The company has established the investigative lab as part of an ongoing commitment to high-quality journalism. The project will include future fellowships and collaboration as it seeks innovative approaches to bringing important local news to the people of Alabama.
Rosenthal, an award-winning journalist and editor who has worked with newspapers including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Chronicle, has led The Center for Investigative Reporting since 2008. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, CIR is an award-winning nonprofit news organization, widely recognized for telling high-impact stories across diverse media platforms that result in changed laws, major shifts in public perception and more.
A partnership between the two organizations will give Rosenthal the opportunity to work with journalists in Alabama in a senior advisory editorial role over a three-month period. He was joined by Joaquin Alvarado, CIR’s chief strategy and operations officer, and Cole Goins, CIR's distribution and engagement manager, in a visit to Birmingham this week.
Collaborators within the lab will identify opportunities for deep reporting and data analysis for an issue important to Alabama and deliver stories across a variety of platforms. Journalists and partners will develop strategies for building audiences to interact and engage with the reporting team, thus amplifying the effect of the investigations and setting the stage for meaningful public discussion, debate and response.
"We want to do significant, excellent journalism that makes a difference in Alabama," said Michelle Holmes, vice president of content for Alabama Media Group. "We are excited by the possibilities this partnership brings and the deep experience Robert brings to telling some of the country's most important stories.”
"We have a long history of important work here, including a 2007 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting," Holmes said. "We at Alabama Media Group are committed to carrying that mission into the future in new and exciting ways."
About The Center for Investigative Reporting
Investigative reporting is an essential pillar of a democratic society. For more than three decades, The Center for Investigative Reporting has relentlessly pursued and revealed injustices that otherwise would have remained hidden from the public. Today, CIR is upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to tell stories that make a difference and reach diverse audiences of all ages, across the aisle and worldwide.
CIR’s stories have appeared in hundreds of news outlets, including NPR News, PBS FRONTLINE, PBS NewsHour, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, The Daily Beast and American Public Media’s Marketplace. CIR has received numerous journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Awards, Emmy Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards and the MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and 2013.
About Alabama Media Group
Alabama Media Group is a digitally focused news and information company that combines the quality journalism from the Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, Mobile’s Press-Register and The Mississippi Press with the up-to-the-minute access of and
Alabama Media Group provides innovative ways to inform, connect and empower the people of Alabama, Mississippi and the communities we serve. Learn more about our properties and advertising solutions today.