A new model in California

A decade ago there were more than 80 reporters based in Sacramento, scrutinizing the state government. Now the number has declined to about 25.

That is why a new non-profit organization called California Watch was founded. Created by the Center for Investigative Reporting, it hired a dozen journalists with the help of foundations and sponsors. This makes it the biggest investigative team in the state.

This week it distributed its first major investigation, a look at waste and mismanagement in the state’s homeland security spending. Versions of the story have already run in more than two dozen news organizations.

It’s just the latest example of how investigative reporting is migrating from the private to the public sector in the U.S.