Center for Public Integrity Weighs Merger or Shutdown Amid Dire Financial Straits

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“The board remains committed to C.P.I. and its essential mission, and is working hard to determine the best way forward for our journalism,” the nonprofit said in a statement.

The financial peril facing the Center for Public Integrity threatens to extinguish a newsroom of about 30 journalists that has watchdogged powerful institutions for decades. Much of its funding has come from foundations interested in supporting investigative journalism, including the Knight Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

As its reserves dwindle, its board of directors is contemplating drastic action to address the situation. The Center for Public Integrity explored a potential combination this year with The Markup, a nonprofit newsroom that publishes investigations about technology, but it never came to fruition. The organization has also sought reductions to its 2024 budget, three people familiar with the discussions said.

Many newsrooms have fallen on hard times amid a difficult market for advertising and subscriptions. Several, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, have laid off staff.

Founded by the investigative journalist Chuck Lewis in 1989, the Center for Public Integrity has won numerous awards for its journalism, including the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 for an investigation into a rigged system depriving coal miners of health care benefits. In the last year, it won an Edward R. Murrow award for general excellence.

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