Andy Hall last week finished his distinguished career as a newspaper reporter, including 18 years at the Wisconsin State Journal, after announcing plans to start a new nonprofit entity, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
"We'll learn as we go along," says Hall of his new venture, which will be modeled after ProPublica, a New York-based public-service newsroom. Hall already has some partners, including Wisconsin Public Radio and Television and the UW-Madison School of Journalism. The center, for which he'll seek funds from foundations and individuals, will offer free content to media outlets.
"We're trying to foster the spread of a collaborative instead of competitive model of journalism," says Hall. The center's mission is to "protect the vulnerable, expose wrongdoing and seek solutions to pressing problems." (In the spirit of collaboration, we lifted this language directly from the State Journal.)
One of those problems, of course, is that many fine journalists are out of work. (The State Journal just axed five staffers and The Capital Times is asking five or six more people to voluntarily retire.) Hall, who hopes to eventually have a staff of five, has been hearing from them.