An ‘Open’ Investigation: California Watch Reporters Will Work from Coffee Shops

By: Mark Fitzgerald

In an attempt to move its newsroom into the public — and keep working while moving to a new office — reporters and editors of California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) will work from coffee shops around the state next Thursday.

The non-profit investigative reporting project launched by CIR last summer has posted the locations the staff will be working from. California Watch Editorial Director Mark Katches, for instance, will be working at Royal Ground Coffee at 2409 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley from 9 a.m. to noon.

California Watch’s “Open Newsroom” is “part of a goal to connect with readers and get out of the office,” Katches writes.

It’s also making a virtue of necessity, he says.

“Here’s how the idea came about: For most of this week, our operations are being disrupted by an office move,” he writes. “We’re packing up and transporting the whole shebang from our existing location on Newbury Street to a beautifully remodeled landmark building on Center Street in downtown Berkeley. Our Internet connection went down Friday at our old location, and we don’t have a place to sit in the new space. If you’re trying to call right now, our phones are unattended, if they’re plugged in at all. After the holiday today, we’re mostly going to be working from home until Jan. 25 when the doors open at our new digs.”

Katches says California Watch wants to keep the Open Newsroom concept going even after the staff is settled in its new quarters.

Thursday’s Open Newsroom locations and hours are posted here.

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