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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on October 8 2014. This is a backup of Wikipedia:WhoWhatWhy. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/WhoWhatWhy, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/WhoWhatWhy. Purge

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Template:Infobox non-profit WhoWhatWhy is a non-profit US-based independent news organization founded in 2005 by Russ Baker. Its investigative reporting is initially published in articles on its website, whowhatwhy.com, and frequently picked up or quoted in other media in the U.S. and internationally.


The stated mission of WhoWhatWhy is to "uncover and report information about current events that is unavailable from the mainstream media yet is crucial to a well informed citizenry in a democracy."[1] Where stories are covered in other media, they attempt to probe more deeply. They aim to "take on controversial topics others will not touch and dig deep to uncover and name the institutions and persons shaping our world," to be "neither partisan nor ideological and only provide ... accounts based on extensive research and thorough sourcing." They profess "skepticism towards power and credentialed expertise; a determination to unearth the facts interested parties want to keep hidden; and an unflinching commitment to follow the trail wherever it leads,"[2] "no matter who likes the results."[3] Salon.com, on a page that re-posts articles from whowhatwhy.com, says "WhoWhatWhy embodies a form of forensic investigative journalism that is rigorous, relentless and scientific — delivered with style, humor and passion."[4]


WhoWhatWhy is the operating unit of Real News Project, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation incorporated in New York on January 27, 2006.[2][5][5][6]

In addition to Russ Baker, the Board of Directors includes Jonathan Z. Larsen,[7] Richard Schrader,[8] and Steve Kelem.[9] Margaret Engel,[10] is an emerita Board member. Prior to his death in 2011, Jonathan Rowe also served on the Board.[11][12]

The 17-member Editorial Advisory Council includes Robert Dreyfuss, Daniel Ellsberg, Morton Mintz, Sydney Schanberg, David Talbot and Wendell Potter.[2][13]


According to its website, WhoWhatWhy relies on donations from members of the public for its funding. In November 2012 WhoWhatWhy raised $50,000 on Kickstarter.com for "The Post-Election Project", to support coverage following that year's presidential election.[3]

Staff and contributors

The editorial staff of Whowhatwhy includes Russ Baker (Founder and Editor-in-chief), Bryson Hull,[14] Jonathan Z. Larsen,[7] Gerald Jonas,[15] and more than a dozen others.[2] Jonathan Rowe was a Senior Editor at WhoWhatWhy.[16] In a 2011 memorial article to him Baker said he had been "integral to shaping" the site.[17]

Contributors in addition to the above include Peter Dale Scott,[18] Greg Mitchell,[19] Bob Hennelly,[20] Sharon Guynup,[21] Michele C. Hollow,[22] Alex Stevenson,[23] and others.

Examples of coverage

Investigations and reportage have covered issues such as

Wider circulation

WhoWhatWhy stories are frequently picked up by other news organizations and websites. Among these:

Business Insider, one of the largest news aggregators in the world, picked up[39] Sylvia Todorova’s article about the pipeline at the heart of the Ukraine Crisis.[40] Others carried it, including the popular progressive media site AlterNet.[41]

Naked Capitalism and ZeroHedge, influential financial blogs, frequently link to WhoWhatWhy articles,[42] as do the popular Libertarian sites LewRockwell.com and The Daily Paul. Other sites featuring WhoWhatWhy articles are the Hollywood Reporter, Truthout, Crooks and Liars, OpEdNews, and Common Dreams NewsCenter.

WhoWhatWhy articles have been cited by numerous foreign publications, including Spain’s El Pais, UK’s The Guardian, and Norway’s Aftenposten.

The article "US Demands Syria Destroy Chemical Weapons Lickety-Split, But Says It Needs Decades to Safely Eliminate Its Own Chems" [43] from September 23, 2013, is excerpted in a new edition of the textbook At Issue: Biological and Chemical Weapons to be released by Cengage Learning/Gale (Greenhaven Press) on 10/31/2014.

Russ Baker and other staff editors and reporters are frequently interviewed representing WhoWhatWhy on radio and television, including the RT global television network, and WGBH Boston, the flagship station of the Public Broadcasting System.[44] WhoWhatWhy's Assistant Editor Christian Stork[2] has been interviewed by Al Jazeera.[45]

In search results, WhoWhatWhy’s coverage often ranks as high as or higher than that of major, long-established news organizations. For example, its coverage of a serious one-car crash involving ex FBI director Louis Freeh[46][47] ranked first in Google search results, ahead of NBC, CBS and other news organizations. Even googling “9/11 Saudi hijackers” yields WhoWhatWhy on the first page of results.[48]

Awards and honors

In 2013, WhoWhatWhy won a Project Censored award for two stories. The first was its story on how the FBI became aware of a plot to use snipers to kill leaders of the Occupy Houston movement, and seemingly did nothing about it.[49] The second was its story of record numbers of U.S. prisoners serving life sentences, and how this makes the for-profit prison industry a very lucrative business.[50]

Other recognition

Bill Moyers says he reads WhoWhatWhy daily.[51]

Acclaimed journalist Glenn Greenwald praised WhoWhatWhy’s coverage in his column in the UK’s Guardian.[52]

Mother Jones credited "veteran journalist Russ Baker" and WhoWhatWhy with debunking the "unauthorized cremation" story about the body of investigative journalist Michael Hastings, noting that even the quality British paper, The Independent, published the false report.[53]

DailyTekk singled out WhoWhatWhy as one of the top five news sites in its list of the best of 2013.[54]

The National Security Archive at George Washington University praised WhoWhatWhy’s inquiry into the Navy Seal raid against Osama Bin Laden’s safe house: “WhoWhatWhy does an excellent job breaking down Schmidle’s sourcing and finds it sketchy, to say the least.” [55]


  1. Real News Project Inc., accessed 15 October 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 WhoWhatWhy, The Project, accessed 10 October 2014 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "About" defined multiple times with different content
  3. 3.0 3.1 "WhoWhatWhy: The Post-Election Project", accessed 12 October 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Salon.com, WhoWhatWhy, accessed 11 October 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Nonprofit organization lookup: Real News Project, accessed 10 October 2014.
  6. WhoWhatWhy, WhoWhatWhy donors' page
  7. 7.0 7.1 Former Editor of New Times and The Village Voice.
  8. Executive Director of the New York NRDC (accessed 11 October 2014).
  9. Steve Kelem (accessed 11 October 2014).
  10. Executive Director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation (accessed 10 October 2014).
  11. "About Jonathan Rowe", accessed 13 October 2014.
  12. "Remembering Jonathan Rowe", accessed 13 October 2014.
  13. wendellpotter.com, About Wendell Potter, accessed 10 October 2014.
  14. Bryson Hull, Reuters profile, accessed 10 October 2014.
  15. Gerald Jonas, accessed 10 October 2014.
  16. "Notes on Jonathan Rowe", accessed 13 October 2014.
  17. Russ Baker, Business Insider, 25 March 2011, "Jonathan Rowe, 1946-2011(Jon Was Senior Editor At WhoWhatWhy)", accessed 10 October 2014.
  18. Peter Dale Scott, accessed 10 October 2014.
  19. Greg Mitchel, accessed 10 October 2014.
  20. Bob Hennelly, accessed 10 October 2014.
  21. Sharon Guynup, accessed 10 October 2014.
  22. Michele C. Hollow, accessed 10 October 2014.
  23. [ Alex Stevenson.]
  24. Christian Stork, WhoWhatWhy.com, 21 February 2013, "The Saga of Barrett Brown: Inside Anonymous and the War on Secrecy", accessed 10 October 2014.
  25. Gavin Aronsen, Mother Jones, 16 August 2013, "Meet the Journalist Spreading Michael Hastings Conspiracy Theories", accessed 10 October 2014.
  26. "The Libyan fairy tale: Behind the the myth of humanitarian intervention, a multinational land grab", accessed 11 October 2014.
  27. Everything They’re Telling Us About Syria….is False?, accessed 15 October 2014.
  28. Oh Thank God—Finally, War With Syria, accessed 15 October 2014.
  29. Ukraine: We All Get the Tyranny We Deserve, accessed 15 October 2014.
  30. Russia’s Ukraine Maneuvers May Be a Push Toward … Peace, accessed 15 October 2014.
  31. "The Counterinsurgency War on—and Inside—Our Borders", accessed 11 October 2014.
  32. "XL Pipeline Nightmare", accessed 15 October 2014.
  33. A Cautionary Tale: Tar Sands Oil and Health. Part 2, accessed 15 October 2014.
  34. Project Censored, Independent News Links
  35. Project Censored, "Plot to Kill Occupy Leaders Met by FBI Indifference"
  36. Project Censored, JPMorgan Chase Corruption
  37. Guernica Magazine, WhoWhatWhy articles republished by Guernica Magazine, accessed 11 October 2014.
  38. "Jonathan Z. Larsen: The Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case Revisited", accessed 11 October 2014.
  39. "The Ukranian crisis revolves around this pipeline", accessed 11 October 2014
  40. "Does the Ukranian crisis revolve around this pipeline?", accessed 11 October 2014.
  41. "Why Ukraine Is At the Heart of a Major U.S.-Russia Struggle", accessed 11 October 2014.
  42. Search on "nakedcapitalism.com whowhatwhy".
  43. "US Demands Syria Destroy Chemical Weapons Lickety-Split, But Says It Needs Decades to Safely Eliminate Its Own Chems", accessed 11 October 2014.
  44. Russ Baker's interviews are listed at russbaker.com, accessed 11 October 2014.
  45. Al Jazeera, 23 March 2013, "Policing the freedom of the internet", accessed 11 October 2014.
  46. "Curious Car Crashes: Louis Freeh, The Man With The Secrets", accessed 11 October 2014.
  47. "UPDATE: Louis Freeh’s Curious Car Accident", accessed 11 October 2014.
  48. Verified 10 October 2014 with searches anonymized to avoid Google's personalization of search results.
  49. The first item on this award page links to the summary "FBI dismisses murder plot against occupy leaders as NSA and big business cracks down on dissent", which in turn links to the original story, "FBI, snipers & Occupy". (All links accessed 10 October 2014.)
  50. The summary, "Number of US prison inmates serving life sentences hits new record", links to the original story of September 2013, "Hard time: Prisons are packed with more lifers than ever", and to four stories based on the original reporting at whowhatwhy.com published two months later by the UK Guardian, "More Than 3000 U.S. Prisoners Locked Up for Life Without Parole for Non-Violent Crimes", the ACLU "A Living Death: Life without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses", and two other newspapers. (All links accessed 10 October 2014.)
  51. "Bill Moyers: Americans are caught in a dire position", accessed 11 October 2014.
  52. "The persecution of Barrett Brown - and how to fight it", accessed 11 October 2014.
  53. "Meet the Journalist Spreading Michael Hastings Conspiracy Theories", accessed 11 October 2014.
  54. "The 100 best, most interesting blogs and websites of 2013", accessed 10 October 2014.
  55. "DOD Changes its FOIA Policy on bin Laden Documents", accessed 15 October 2014.

External links