For 11 years, FairWarning covered auto safety, environmental hazards, labor abuses, health scams, fake medicines, pesticide dangers, and toys and equipment that harmed children, all in pursuit of its mission of delivering strong watchdog journalism in the public interest. Although FairWarning closed down in 2021, its website will be preserved by the University of Illinois Archives, it was announced today.
The College of Media at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne issued this statement:
“The University of Illinois Archives has acquired and is preserving the website of FairWarning.org, a nonprofit investigative news organization founded and edited by Myron Levin. Brant Houston , Knight Chair Professor of Investigative Reporting in the Department of Journalism, helped arrange the archiving of FairWarning’s content.
FairWarning produced and published the work of staff writers and independent journalists, and its archives are being added to a rich collection of communication materials preserved by the University of Illinois Archives.
FairWarning issued watchdog reports with an emphasis on public health, consumer, labor, and environmental issues, and related topics of government and business accountability. Over 11 years of operation (2010-2021), its stories were published on its website and were also co-published by nearly 200 online, print, and broadcast news organizations across the country.
“I am pleased that the wonderful work of FairWarning has found a home at the University Archives,” Houston said. “It will now be a valuable and preserved resource for all journalists, especially investigative reporters. We thank the staff at the archives for all the work they put into this project.”
The preserved copy of the FairWarning website is found in the Wayback Machine, the web archive service built by the Internet Archive. The collection is accessible from the University of Illinois Archives Holdings Database at https://archon.library.illinois.edu/index.php?p=digitallibrary/digitalcontent&id=15537. Or go directly to the archive at https://wayback.archive-it.org/16877/20210929142827/https://www.fairwarning.org/.
Levin, the site’s founder, said he was happy to see the work has found a permanent home.
“When we knew that FairWarning would be closing, it was our overriding goal to ensure that our deeply reported stories would be accessible to journalists, researchers, students, and others,” he said. “For that reason, we’re thrilled to know that our watchdog journalism will be preserved in the University of Illinois Library Archives.” “