New Collaborations

Exploring ways to connect communities, journalists and academics to strengthen civic life.

The Project

I’m Louise Lief, Scholar-in-Residence at the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University’s School of Communication. During my recent term as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., I began an initiative called Science and the Media.  Its aim was to explore what science and journalism have to offer each other, and to enable these two communities to engage on a more regular basis.

Since coming to American University, I have  broadened this initiative to investigate how communities, journalists, and academic researchers can work together to strengthen civil society, and to help citizens make informed choices and learn more about issues they care about. My recent article on Flint (see Louise’s blog posts) looks at one example of how this worked during the recent Flint water crisis. Data plays an important role in this story.

Read more…

Latest Blog Posts

Flint Offers a New Model for Accountability

Louise Lief

Journalists, citizens and academics banded together to expose high levels of lead in the water in Flint, Michigan. Their collaboration is the hidden success story in an otherwise disheartening tale of denial and indifference.

Read more at Huffington Post

How to Turn Science into Great Journalism

Louise Lief

Many science writers are curious about investigative journalism, but unsure how to proceed.

At the recent Professional Development Day of the DC Science Writers Association, the largest regional gathering of science writers in the country, a panel of award-winning  journalists and investigators discussed how to identify, pitch and develop science-themed investigations for general audiences.


New Film to Portray Investigations of Iraq War

Louise Lief

This is Hollywood’s golden age for investigative journalism. On the heels of “Spotlight’s” Oscar triumphs, “Shock and Awe,” a similarly themed movie to be directed by Rob Reiner, is scheduled to go into production later this year.




Contact Us

Louise Lief, Scholar-in-Residence, Investigative Reporting Workshop, American University School of Communication: llief < at >