WhoWhatWhy’s Place in a Crazy Year

Russ Baker
Russ Baker, Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy. Photo credit: WhoWhatWhy
Reading Time: 2 minutes

2017, done!

2018, doing more!

This past year, WhoWhatWhy kept the heat on for a potent brew of distinctly consequential news.

We grew our team by 30 percent, produced more stories and podcasts than ever before, and took on new beats and topics. Among the highlights:

  • Russiagate: We published original investigations that, early on, roadmapped for investigators aspects of Donald Trump’s associations and operations that may help explain both his behavior vis-a-vis Russia — and why it is difficult for the authorities to fully disclose what they already know. We started our Russiagate Feed, which curates the best of daily reports from around the web.
  • Election Integrity: As with Russiagate, we were early in raising the inherent dangers of opaque electronic voting systems. After the 2016 election, when the rest of the media was suddenly (if briefly) interested in this critical matter, our readers already knew about it.
  • Historically significant Cold Cases: From the JFK assassination to the Boston Marathon Bombing, we kept digging for insights into major traumas with still-unresolved back stories with deep connections to the national-security-complex.
  • Deep structural analysis: We took subject after subject and went deeper, not just reporting the same story as everyone else, but probing into the why.
  • Started our Russcast video reports and interviews on Facebook Live. Still getting the kinks out, but a good beginning.
  • We showed fairness and a sense of humor.
  •  We stayed grounded and realistic.
  •  We did not blindly follow the pack.
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In 2018, our goal is not just to report news, but to become a news leader. We will:

  • Grow substantially. We are maturing as an organization and laying the groundwork to scale up — to play an increasing role in shaping the public conversation.
  • Expand our investigative capacity: We will add investigative reporters and editors in a variety of areas.
  • Keep our focus on Election Integrity: Build on our leadership in this vital area, with new sub-beats, more reporters, and a new Election Integrity Feed.
  • Home in on Sustainability and Climate: We are preparing to launch an approach to covering the issue that we believe will awaken sentiment and propose concrete ways forward.
  • Take a multimedia approach. New podcasts and videocasts. More ideas. Fresh ways of looking at things. Lively conversation.
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What do you think we should be doing? Send us your ideas.

Best wishes for a terrific New Year!

Russ and the Entire WhoWhatWhy Team

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