Good news out of California today: the Center for Investigative Reporting is launching a California-focused reporting initiative. Per a CIR press release,

The project, a new department within CIR, will combine the experience and resources of CIR, the oldest nonprofit investigative reporting organization in the country, and the skills and resources of the California Media Collaborative, established to devise new strategies to improve coverage of key statewide issues.

Targeting regional and statewide journalism offers a solution to the crisis in journalism. The project will serve as a watchdog for government and powerful institutions, fulfilling the core mandate of CIR. It will partner with existing news organizations, journalism schools and other institutions to develop innovative ways to inform and engage Californians on issues that affect them in their communities and in their daily lives.

Whether “targeting regional and statewide journalism” does, indeed, offer “a solution to the crisis in journalism” remains to be seen—but experimentation is the only way to find out. And given the woes of its metro dailies—the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Diego Union-Tribune are all in financial trouble—California makes a particularly appropriate laboratory.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.