Empowering the Public
Searchlight New Mexico is a non-partisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative reporting and innovative data journalism. In a landscape of shrinking media resources, our mission is to focus high-impact investigative journalism on topics of local, regional and national interest in order to allow the public to see into the remote recess of government and institutional intrigue and to expose abuses of power by government, business and other institutions. We believe great reporting empowers people to demand honest, effective public policy and to seek appropriate remedies.
Changing the Landscape
New Mexico has a long history of corruption and poor governance, problems that have dampened economic investment and stunted socioeconomic progress. Poverty rates and childhood hunger are among the highest in the nation, while economic growth and educational achievement are among the lowest. A vigorous press helps expose how political contributions, lobbying and the exercise of raw power overcome good public policy at the expense of the health, education and economic prosperity of individuals, families and businesses. Yet New Mexico has never had a strong tradition of investigative reporting. Searchlight New Mexico is designed to change that by deploying seasoned investigative reporters and data journalists and partnering with existing news organizations to produce ground-breaking, multimedia reports easily translatable for print, broadcast and online publication.
Freeing the Data
Wresting data from local, state and federal agencies has become increasingly difficult. Few news organizations have the resources to mount the battles and lawsuits often needed to get public records that government
agencies, by law, should make readily available. A central part of Searchlight’s mission is to fight for that data and create a permanent archive protected from the whims of political office holders and policymakers. Searchlight’s Your Data portal contains vast amounts of government data and tools to make it easy for anyone to explore how their state and local tax dollars are spent. It gives the public, journalists from other news organizations, academics, public interest groups and even government officials easy access to data for reporting and research.