What is "impact journalism"?™

The mission of The American Independent News Network is to investigate and disseminate news that impacts public debate and advances the common good. This is a qualitative measure of success, and we call this “impact journalism."™ AINN’s reporting has generated two primary kinds of impact:

1. Pressure: A third party publicly pressures the subject of our reporting, based on the information AINN exclusively reveals, to accept responsibility, reform its ways, or otherwise take action.

2. Results: A subject of our reporting takes action to address the problems revealed by our coverage. It’s important that the action have political or policy consequences that address the underlying causes of a problem, rather than superficial symptoms.

Impact stories tend to share certain topics and angles that create a general profile of a successful story. These qualities include, but are not limited to:

  • It’s about a public policy or proposal, or a person or organization seeking or holding a position of public trust;
  • If it’s about a policy or a bill or a certain practice, the reporting brings to light how the practice fails to meet, or patently contravenes, the common good;
  • If it’s about a person or an organization, the reporting identifies actions that either raise serious questions about their fitness or ability to hold a position of public trust or demonstrates that they have already breached the public trust;
    • This can include holding figures accountable for their professional affiliations, as well as their statements.
    • It also can include scrutinizing the practices of private entities such as government contractors.
  •  It may also be about an organization or person attempting to influence public opinion through covert means or overt means.
  • It creates consequences that meet the operating definition of impact.