Columbia Journalism Review profiles Texas Tribune

By Andrew Lapin

The Texas Tribune, the nonprofit public policy journalism website that recently won a $1.5 million Knight Foundation grant, is the subject of an extensive piece published April 15 in the Columbia Journalism Review.

In the story, CJR Texas correspondent Richard Parker reports on Tribune co-founder Evan Smith’s 2009 exit from Texas Monthly magazine to launch the online news service, and his progress in cultivating a donor base of politically active, wealthy Texans while shielding the newsroom from funders who objected to, or tried to influence, news coverage.

Unlike other major journalism nonprofits such as  ProPublica, the Tribune has largely abstained from the long-form muckraking that traditionally wins awards, focusing instead on data-driven stories about local governments, water supplies and major state campaign contributors.

The article also examines the Tribune’s  new reporting project, Bidness as Usual, an in-depth look at shady lobbying practices in state government.

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