What a year it has been. Wow

In America, there has literally never been a more critical time for doing what we do at WhoWhatWhy. The country is in turmoil. People are siloed inside tribal echo chambers and are more divided than ever, unable to agree on even the most basic facts. Why is that? 

Over the last two decades, technology has increased the output of news data by twentyfold — and made it far more vulnerable to manipulation. At the same time, business consolidations have left us at the mercy of corporate media too fixated on earnings to perform their constitutionally recognized duties of public service. 

A ratings-driven tsunami of hyperbole has created a dangerous false reality for a growing multitude. And they don’t have the time nor the tools to distinguish fact from fiction.  

This is where we come in. 

We at WhoWhatWhy are working hard and fast, building a new kind of news organization. An independent one that investigates, tracks, and contextualizes the continuous barrage of information and opinion that approximates “news reporting.” 

What We’ve Done

A year ago, we promised to do certain things in 2021. 

While other news organizations chased ratings, we stayed on Election Integrity, an area we pioneered before voting machines and voter suppression became part of the common discourse. 

We expanded our Mentor/Apprentice Program to train and deploy new journalists with the skills and critical thinking needed to “cover” tomorrow. 

We launched our Environmental Unit focusing on critical but underreported areas like factory farming and endangered species. Our “Climate Change in Towns” project brought home the magnitude and intimacy of climate change by showing its impact on local communities. 

Our initial COVID-19 unit morphed into a full-blown Health and Medicine desk, which brought you an array of original viewpoints on the fast-changing challenges we all grapple with. 

We launched our Government Integrity unit to dig into powerful, poorly monitored agencies. 

We addressed the growing significance of visual dynamics in news reporting by redesigning our site, making navigation easier, dramatically increased our social media presence for younger audiences, and added multiple cartoonists to graphically render our editorial commentary. 

What We’re Doing Next

So how are we going to top all that in 2022? 

  1. We’re launching new teams to expose injustice, share innovative solutions to major problems, and explore new angles to the major breaking news stories of the day.  
  2. We’re expanding our investigative team to examine the larger issues — ranging from lingering questions about COVID-19’s origins, to how Jeffrey Epstein, a private school teacher with zero credentials, became a boon companion to ​world-renowned political and business figures before his abrupt demise in custody.
  3. And we will continue to dig into historical “cold cases” — like the deaths of John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and others who threatened the status quo.

We are also adding a group to investigate the role of moneyed interests in cultivating social and political conflict in society. The insidious result: a highly motivated voting bloc fighting against their own interests and serving as shock troops denying climate change, destroying judiciary independence, and defunding service agencies and regulatory bodies. 

And we do all this as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We don’t have paywalls or charge for our content, and we don’t bombard you with pop-up ads or clickbait. 

We appreciate you, our WhoWhatWhy readers, supporters, and friends. Only with your continued help are we able to address these urgent issues. Please accept our good wishes for a hopeful and bountiful new year. 

Best, 

Russ Baker, signature

Russ Baker

Author

  • Russ Baker is Editor-in-Chief of WhoWhatWhy. He is an award-winning investigative journalist who specializes in exploring power dynamics behind major events.

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WithHeld

Thank you for doing all that you do!

Nicole Maron

You are my most trusted news source. Thank you so much for your tireless, timely work.