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Investigative center to focus on state issues

The Berkeley-based Center for Investigative Reporting announced today that it is launching a new statewide reporting initiative to produce in-depth multimedia journalism specific to California.

Robert “Rosey” Rosenthal, CIR’s executive director and former Chronicle managing editor, will have overall responsibility for the project. Louis Freedberg, a veteran journalist who was most recently on the Chron’s editorial board, will direct the project.

“We will hire top journalistic talent to tell stories in new and creative ways and to distribute them throughout the state, to reach a wide and varied audience across multiple platforms,” Rosenthal said in a statement.

It will launch with a grant of $1.2 million over three years from The James Irvine Foundation. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation also has awarded a grant of $1.2 million for the same time period, primarily for reporting on education, which is in part a challenge grant to encourage other funders to support this new initiative.

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