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.

At a time when a changing media landscape has prompted journalists to re-examine their mission, this approach looks at new ways to strengthen the bonds between journalists, research institutions and the communities they serve, hopefully giving each new purpose and meaning.

This project grew in part from my long experience as a working journalist, and from working with the U.S. journalism community for many years as the deputy director of the International Reporting Project at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Louise Lief