Impact and Programs
In 2016, we continued to make significant progress on a
documentary about a transgender subculture involving
female impersonators. Titled "The Queens," it was set to
premiere at the Pride of the Ocean Film Festival in March
We created a Facebook page for the project this year and
it currently has 775 likes/followers.
More information and four trailers for the film can be found
on our website at: http://www.thereporters.org/project/thebaton/
Also in 2016, we continued work on a major documentary
about wrongful convictions, which we’re calling "The
Innocent Convicts." The film will profile several major
cases across the country; in 2016 we shot elements in
California, Minnesota and Wisconsin, connected to the
cases of exonerees Uriah Courtney, Michael Hansen,
Audrey Edmunds and the mysterious death of Tom
Monfils in a Green Bay paper mill in 1992. Six men were
convicted of his murder; one has been exonerated. The
other five men remain behind bars but a new legal effort,
in conjunction with the MN and WI Innocence Projects, is
underway to clear their names.
We have reached out to PBS stations across the country
to gauge their support and interest in airing the completed
production and received Letters of Intent from PBS
stations in Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico,
Nebraska, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kansas
Wyoming, Minnesota and Maryland. Their support
virtually guarantees national distribution.
To fund the project, we have sought out grants and
received a major gift from the Minnesota Bar Association
Foundation. We've also raised funds via a crowdfunding
campaign with IndieGoGo.
We created a Facebook page for the project this year and
it has 1,133 followers/likes.
More information, as well as three trailers for the film, can
be found on our website at:
We are also developing plans to finish a historical
documentary about life in South Africa after apartheid,
tentatively called Reaching for the Rainbow. We shot half
of the film in 2004. We now need to return to the country
to re-interview our subjects, now that time has passed.
The goal is to showcase how attitudes among black and
white South Africans have changed or evolved. More
information can be found on our website at:
2) Digitally published essays, commentaries, articles,
news analyses, book excerpts, and investigations.
We regularly publish original in-depth written work from a
broad and diverse range of voices. They’re intended to
create a community conversation online. We have the
time, the space, the talent, and the experience to put the
meat on the bones of a story.
Our work comes from people you wouldn’t necessarily
hear from in a traditional or mainstream media publication
or website. The newest posts can be found on the home
page, followed by links to our past work.
In 2016, The Reporters published 17 original articles,
essays, commentaries, book excerpts, investigations and
news analyses. The topics presented: the dangers of
driving while under the influence of marijuana and what
the impact will be as legalization spreads nationwide; the
power of social media as it pertains to social change; why
some inmates’ wrongful convictions claims will never be
truly believed, how the Great Recession resulted in major
life and career changes for many Americans; how a
woman’s wrongful conviction involving “Shaken Baby
Syndrome” was overturned due to new research and
studies debunking SBS; the dangers of portraying all
urban Africa American neighborhoods as crime-infested
and hopeless; how survivors of sex assault can heal
through forgiveness and compassion; how a single child’s
unsubstantiated claims at a daycare led to the arrest and
conviction of a daycare provider, an examination of U.S,
gun deaths that maybe connected to a 2008 Supreme
Court ruling, a comparison of presidential rhetoric to that
of a repressive Eastern European regime, a wrongful
conviction case involving a man who might have been
framed by his own father, a police officer; middle age
divorcees learning to love being single; misogyny fears
among women following the election of Donald Trump;
the concerns of Mexicans and Muslims post-election; the
polarization of America post-election; becoming aware of
white privilege; and the wrongful conviction of a southern
Missouri father of three who, after his conviction was
tossed out on a technicality, was then found not guilty
during a second trial.
We expanded the reach of our articles by “boosting” our
Facebook posts promoting the articles. We also increased
our presence on Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and
Our articles continue to be syndicated through Newsbank
and Newstex and shared with hundreds of other media
organizations, online magazines, top blogs, etc.
At the end of 2016, The Reporters Inc. had 3,207 likes
(up from 2,722 at the end of 2015) on Facebook (The
Reporters Inc.) and 1,663 followers on Twitter
(@thereportersinc) compared to 1,328 at the end of 2015.
Analytics from The Reporters Inc.’s website,
2013 Total 2014 Total 2015 Total 2016 Total
New Visitors 2,681 (63.9%) 6,984 (75.1%) 9,810 (81.2%)18.138 (81.2%)
Returning Visitors 1,517 (36.1%) 2,312 (24.9%) 2,265 (18.8%) 4,209 (19.8%)
Page Views 12,084 18,117 19,989 33,481
Sessions 4,192 9,296 12,075 22,347
Users 2,705 7,032 9,884 18,264
*Compared to 2015, we had a 67.4% increase in page
views, an 85% increase in users and an 84.7% increase
in sessions. Those numbers are even more significant
when compared to the 2013 and 2014 statistics.
The Reporters Inc.’s monthly e-newsletter with MailChimp
now reaches nearly 4,159 subscribers. It has an open
rate of 15.8%. The (nonprofit) industry average open rate
with MailChimp is 22.5%.
For 2017 our main goals are:
*Premiere documentary about transgender female impersonation, "The Queens" at small public fundraising parties around the nation and at film festivals; seek national TV/cable/streaming/DVD/etc. distribution
*Complete principal photography on wrongful convictions documentary, "The Innocent Convicts" with cases in Illinois and North Carolina; begin writing/editing process; ideally finish editing by the end of the year
*Increase online publication of in-depth articles, essays, commentaries, investigations and book excerpts to at least 24 long-form pieces
Community or Constituency Served
Our independent documentaries and in-depth online journalism are designed to inspire and enlighten people of all ages, around the globe. For those interested in social justice and change, we aim to elicit meaningful dialogue, root out misinformation, dispel stereotypes and prejudices, and challenge the status quo. We tell stories that help our readers and viewers better understand the lives of others, and in the process, examine, analyze and reflect on their own lives.
Geographic Area Served
The Reporters Inc.'s headquarters is located in Richfield, Minnesota but our documentaries and online journalism content is designed to appeal to readers and viewers nationwide, and even globally.