Another Nonprofit News Launch

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ProPublica, the much-hyped not-for-profit investigative news startup, took the wraps off its Web site Tuesday.

The venture first announced last fall, "will focus exclusively on truly important stories, stories with 'moral force.'" The newsroom is led by former Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Paul Steiger with primary funding from Golden West Financial founders Herbert and Marion Sandler.

So far, the blog-like site mainly contains aggregated "best of the Web" investigative pieces but will soon feature original reporting as the staff grows, Steiger and managing editor Stephen Engelberg write in an inaugural welcome letter posted on the site. The editorial staff will eventually number 27, they write. "Investigative journalism is at risk. Many news organizations have increasingly come to see it as a luxury" in a lagging economy with cutbacks the new norm in newsrooms everywhere. Just ask Tribune's Sam Zell and Randy Michaels.

Although ProPublica is national in scope, many nonprofit news ventures are thriving at the local level, as Ryan Blitstein reported in the debut issue of Miller-McCune magazine back in April.

Welcome ProPublica from your friends at another certain new national public interest nonprofit journalism outfit —