A new project

I’m helping start a new organization dedicating to fostering, promoting and publishing public-interest journalism in New Mexico. Don’t worry, NMPolitics.net isn’t going anywhere.

For more than six years I’ve worked through NMPolitics.net to provide hard-hitting but fair reporting while also encouraging policy and political debate that promotes the common good.

But it’s been a struggle. The pressure of feeding the daily news cycle has been taxing, and I’ve not been satisfied with the level of reporting NMPolitics.net produces.

As I’ve written before on NMPolitics.net, funding strong, probative journalism in the 21st Century is a daily battle – one that more media outlets than not are losing. The quality of journalism in this country has dropped significantly. The public no longer views journalism as the noble profession it once was, probably with good reason.

I’ve been working for more than two years on a new project I hope will help change that.

New Mexico In Depth is getting ready to launch, and we plan to start publishing later this year. Our goal is to foster, promote and publish journalism in the public interest. Our focuses will include education, poverty, health and politics.

Trip Jennings, who you may know from his reporting stints at The Santa Fe New Mexican, New Mexico Independent and Albuquerque Journal, will serve as New Mexico In Depth’s executive director. I will serve as its deputy director while continuing to run NMPolitics.net.

New Mexico In Depth will produce its own investigative reports and forge partnerships with existing media outlets around New Mexico in a bid to nurture a culture of ambitious journalism that tackles big questions and complex issues.

Our funding

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation has made a two-year funding commitment to New Mexico In Depth totaling $525,000. New Mexico In Depth is also funded in part by the McCune Charitable Foundation.

Here’s what Jennings had to say about the project in a news release we sent out recently:

“We are inspired by Kellogg’s belief in the importance of probative journalism that ventures beyond the daily events to seek to explain what it all means to New Mexicans.”

As for me, I said in that release that we are excited by the potential New Mexico In Depth has to foster a stronger journalistic culture in our state and thrilled to be able to devote time and resources to building partnerships that make that a reality.

The Kellogg Foundation (Yes, it was founded by the cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg), focuses domestically in four areas – Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans. Its mission states that it is “guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive” and “works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.”

The McCune Foundation’s mission states that it is “dedicated to enriching the health, education, environment and cultural and spiritual life of New Mexicans.”

We’re grateful to these organizations for being willing to financially support our vision of building a journalistic culture in New Mexico that does a better job of promoting the common good. You can expect the same level of dedication, passion and integrity from my work with New Mexico In Depth that you’ve become accustomed to with NMPolitics.net.

NMPolitics.net isn’t going anywhere

And don’t worry – NMPolitics.net isn’t going anywhere. In the last six years I’ve built the site from nothing into one of the most-read and influential in the state. It’s precious to me, and I’m dedicated to continuing this site even as we start our new project.

In fact, New Mexico In Depth will be sharing its work with other media outlets, including NMPolitics.net, in an attempt to ensure a wider reach. I believe New Mexico In Depth’s work will improve the quality of journalism you’ll read on NMPolitics.net.

I look forward to updating you further on our plans for New Mexico In Depth in the near future, and to continuing to bring you coverage of politics and government through NMPolitics.net.

If you’re interested in learning more about New Mexico In Depth, you can follow it on Twitter @NMInDepth. You can also watch a video in which a KNME-TV journalist interviewed Jennings about the project here, and read some of the articles about our new project here.

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