Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Watchdog Institute, U-T to End Relationship
The Watchdog Institute, which is housed at San Diego State, announced today that its relationship with the Union-Tribune will end Sept. 30. The institute was set up after Platinum Equity took over the U-T last year and began trimming heads. Lorie Hearn, who had been in effect the number two editorial person at the U-T, set up the institute at SDSU. Platinum contributed to it. The institute was supposed to do local investigative reporting, but from the outset, there was skepticism among local press veterans that it would rock any establishment boats because of the ties to SDSU. The institute also said today that it will set up a bureau in Washington, D.C., and expects to get a "substantial grant from a national foundation." Although it is splitting from the U-T, the institute says it will continue to collaborate with KGTV Channel 10, KPBS, the Imperial Valley Press, and the U-T.