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Welcome to Open Channel, your investigative blog from NBC News

Open Channel is a new blog from NBC News, for and about investigative reporting. We hope you'll share your story ideas, documents and comments.

Open Channel serves several roles. It's a place to:


 

  • Gather the investigative reporting by the staff at msnbc.com and NBC News. The principal contributors are NBC News correspondents Michael Isikoff and Lisa Myers, producers Rich Gardella and Amna Nawaz, and reporter Bill Dedman. Investigations Editor Mike Brunker a player-coach on the team. We also expect to have contributions from many others on our news staffs.
  • Point you to investigative work by other news organizations and the growing group of nonprofit and university groups devoted to investigative reporting. Every day we'll post a round-up of investigative work on the Web.
  • Share with you our work in progress, to seek your input. You may have a document or know of a source who could help with a story we're working on. Sometimes we won't be able to divulge what story is in the works, lest we alert the competition, but there are times when we will be able to call out for your contributions. And after publication or broadcast of an investigative report, we can be more transparent about the choices we've made. Open Channel gives us a place to share updates on continuing stories.

And something new:

  • Hear your suggestions for investigative ideas.

What sort of ideas are we looking for?

We're about investigative reporting on topics that matter: corruption or conflicts of interest, broken systems and lax enforcement, abuses by institutions and individuals with power. Holding accountable those who possess power in the world, whether that's national government, state or local government, nonprofits, or the press itself.

What is investigative reporting? That's not an easy question to answer. Certainly, the tools of the investigative reporter are applied in all good journalism. The investigative reporter's work often is distinguished by subject matter (serious subjects, often hidden ones) and by the tools employed (especially time, public records and insiders willing to share their knowledge).

It may be easier to define what investigative reporting is not: It's not a press release. It's not a group seeking publicity for its campaign. It's not reporting in support of a company's stock price or a politician's reputation or a party's ideology.

We know what politicians and institutions are saying. There's plenty of that. But what are they doing? That's where we need more reporting.

Thanks for joining us at Open Channel. We're eager to hear from you.

Bill Dedman, moderator