There’s too much bad news permeating the world of journalism and its tenuous business models. But now we can report some genuinely good news.

Crikey is embarking on a serious editorial expansion. Over coming months we will be assembling a team of around a dozen full-time reporters with a challenging brief: dig, probe, uncover, explain, expose, deconstruct, connect the dots, lift the veils and help our readers better understand the back-stories, the side-stories and the stories someone somewhere doesn’t want you to read.

We’re calling this “inquiry journalism”. We have now started recruiting reporters and an editor with journalistic nous; dedication to facts and accuracy; determination, grit and persistence; a distaste for spin and managed news; a passion for independent journalism untainted by corporate influence and ideological agendas; a mind open to original and unconventional ideas; and, above all, a fierce, unrelenting curiosity — and we’re looking for them here.

This initiative, which aims to launch by April, is the culmination of a long-running collaborative project between our company Private Media (owner of Crikey) and two of our bigger investors, John B Fairfax and Cameron O’Reilly.

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John B Fairfax’s family has a storied history at the centre of Australia quality journalism. It started 177 years ago when his namesake acquired The Sydney Morning Herald, and ended two months ago when Fairfax Media was taken over by the Nine television network and, in the process, the Fairfax name was jettisoned.

Cameron O’Reilly’s family controlled the global media company Independent News and Media — which included a stable of Australian regional newspapers, The Independent in London, the Irish Independent and the New Zealand Herald — for more than 35 years.

Now the Fairfax and O’Reilly families have returned to journalism in a different way, as investors in an ambitious venture within Crikey, which has 18 years of digital independent journalism under its belt.

You can read their comments here, and you can start reading the work of Crikey’s team of inquiry journalists in a month or two.

Eric Beecher is the chairman and editor-in-chief of Private Media.