My name is Russ Baker. For more than two decades I have been an investigative journalist, doing what I believed journalists were supposed to do — seek the truth and publish nothing less. Over the years, however, I have learned how the media gatekeepers, both “mainstream” and “alternative,” will not allow the biggest, most disturbing revelations to see the light of day.
I started WhoWhatWhy because I was tired of the cynicism, self-interest, and cowardice that I witnessed in the news media. I started WhoWhatWhy to show how good — and how consequential — journalism can be when the only mandate is to dig relentlessly, and reveal, without exception, what we uncover.
What we do
WhoWhatWhy embodies a form of investigative reporting that is rigorous, relentless and scientific — we call it forensic journalism.
Forensic journalism requires 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. We are truth seeking-not quote seeking.
We take on controversial topics others will not touch and dig deep to uncover and name the institutions and persons shaping our world. Our organization is neither partisan nor ideological and only provides accounts based on extensive research and thorough sourcing.
In addition to producing rigorous investigative reporting, we seek to further the long-term survival and betterment of the news industry as a whole.
We pair senior reporters who have decades of experience with dedicated young journalists new to the field. We facilitate the transfer of values, methods and culture as our talented and varied investigators shape an improved and adaptive form of journalism to fit our times.
Provide us your ideas
We strongly encourage our readers to join us in our mission. If you know of a news, academic or literary source that relates to one of our stories, tell us about it. If there is a story of interest that hasn’t received coverage or documented facts we are missing, let us know! Consider yourself the media watchdog for the media watchdog.
Donate to Us
We are a non-profit organization. We need readers, supporters and citizens passionate about and committed to strong investigative journalism. Please consider a donation to help us produce the next story.
THE BOARD AND STAFF
WhoWhatWhy is made up of a combination of full-time journalists, expert advisors and other specialists.
Chief Executive Officer and Editor in Chief Russ Baker
Russ Baker is an award-winning investigative reporter with a track record for making sense of complex and little understood matters — and explaining it to elites and ordinary people alike, using entertaining, accessible writing to inform and involve.
Over the course of more than two decades in journalism, Baker has broken scores of major stories. Topics included: early reporting on inaccuracies in the articles of The New York Times’s Judith Miller that built support for the invasion of Iraq; the media campaign to destroy UN chief Kofi Annan and undermine confidence in multilateral solutions; revelations by George Bush’s biographer that as far back as 1999 then-presidential candidate Bush already spoke of wanting to invade Iraq; the real reason Bush was grounded during his National Guard days — as recounted by the widow of the pilot who replaced him; an article published throughout the world that highlighted the West’s lack of resolve to seriously pursue the genocidal fugitive Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, responsible for the largest number of European civilian deaths since World War II; several investigations of allegations by former members concerning the practices of Scientology; corruption in the leadership of the nation’s largest police union; a well-connected humanitarian relief organization operating as a cover for unauthorized US covert intervention abroad; detailed evidence that a powerful congressional critic of Bill Clinton and Al Gore for financial irregularities and personal improprieties had his own track record of far more serious transgressions; a look at the practices and values of top Democratic operative and the clients they represent when out of power in Washington; the murky international interests that fueled both George W. Bush’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns; the efficacy of various proposed solutions to the failed war on drugs; the poor-quality televised news program for teens (with lots of advertising) that has quietly seeped into many of America’s public schools; an early exploration of deceptive practices by the credit card industry; a study of ecosystem destruction in Irian Jaya, one of the world’s last substantial rain forests.
Baker has written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Esquire, and dozens of other major domestic and foreign publications. He has also served as a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. Baker received a 2005 Deadline Club award for his exclusive reporting on George W. Bush’s military record. He is the author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America (Bloomsbury Press, 2009); it was released in paperback as Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Secret History of the Last Fifty Years.
Board of Directors and Their Affiliations
- Award-winning investigative reporter
- Contributor: The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Esquire, and dozens of other major domestic and foreign publications
- Contributing editor: Columbia Journalism Review
- Deadline Club Awardee
- Author: Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America (Bloomsbury Press, 2009); in paperback as Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Secret History of the Last Fifty Years