Reporters Lisa Song, Elizabeth McGowan and David Hasemyer’s seven-month investigation into the 2010 Kalamazoo oil spill revealed details that preceded national reports by weeks, despite InsideClimate News’ limited funding. Founder and Publisher David Sassoon estimated, salaries included, InsideClimate News spent only 10 percent of what a major newsroom would have budgeted for a similar investigation, according to Forbes.
With reporters and contributors now scattered across the globe, in Istanbul, New Delhi, Boston and San Diego, the startup has come a long way from its original two-person staff. But this recognition could thrust it even further forward: Sassoon told Forbes he envisions a staff of around 25 and a newsroom in New York.
“I think it’s a game changer,” Sassoon said of the award. “I think the Pulitzer Committee probably knew that. We earned the award. ... But I think they would understand how validation from them, the top honor in journalism, would make a big difference to us as a tiny startup.”