Shop Notes

Welcome to Shop Notes

Posted: March 30, 2010 | Tags: Investigative Reporting Workshop

Welcome to Shop Notes, the new blog from the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.

We will use this space primarily to talk about our work and the work being done by others to reinvigorate investigative journalism, here and around the world. Our focus will be on the emerging ecosystem of nonprofit groups. Shop Notes will be a team effort, written and updated by a variety of people from the Workshop's staff. We hope you check back often.

You might also have noticed we have changed our look and design. As with a lot of things at the Workshop (which has grown from an idea to a staff of 11 in less than two years), we simply had outgrown our old site. We think it served us well and helped us build an identity in the ultra-competitive space on the Web. But our operation and our content has become more robust and complex in the past year. So we have built new functionality and flexibility into the site. Look for a lot more data-driven applications and multimedia content in the near future.

 In particular, the new site gives us a place to showcase our iLab, where we conduct research about investigative journalism, help foster the new ecosystem and incubate new models for doing investigative reporting. Executive Editor Charles Lewis has written an article describing iLab and some of the current projects. Meera Pal has the first in a series of articles exploring some of the new business models being proposed to help news organizations get through the current financial storm facing the industry.

On the site redesign, hats off to our wonderful team. Our freelance designer Lisa Hill and SOC faculty member Lynne Perri created the look and feel, as well as the outstanding graphics. Eddie Sutton of created the templates and wrote the HTML and CSS to implement the look and feel. And Jacob Fenton, who joined the Workshop in January as director of computer-assisted reporting, used his Django and other programming skills to make it all work. Matt Waite and Jeremy Bowers at hottypeconsulting built and configured a new server array to give us more muscle and speed. Turns out, it is a lot harder to craft and deliver and site redesign than it is to build it from scratch.

We hope you come back to Shop Notes often. And we would love to have you join us as a fan on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. Please tell all  your friends and followers about us, as well.

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