With a newsroom staffed by experienced professional journalists and editors, we will cover significant areas of public policy—the economy, education, crime and criminal justice, the environment, land use and politics—with reporters who not only have expertise in each area, but who grasp the need for a analytical, context-driven approach.

Our organization will be “local” in its purpose yet national in its impact, as the recovery of the Gulf Coast represents one of the greatest tests of our democracy in its history. The struggles of post-Katrina and Rita communities—decaying infrastructure, no-bid contracts handed out by local governments, massive displacement of population due to loss of housing—are experienced nearly everywhere in America right now. Similarly, reforms in charter education, public housing and environmental protection that have emerged in the region over the past three years are instructive to communities around the country facing urban recovery processes of their own. In addition to the national relevance of our content, its organizational structure would serve as a model for other regions seeking a forum for data-driven, analytic journalism at a time when access to information is expanding, but the forums for engagement shrinking.

We are currently exploring partnerships that would allow investigations done by The Lens to air on existing, mainstream media networks.