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'Measuring impact' wins SPJ award

Posted: April 16, 2014 | Tags: journalism

The Investigative Reporting Workshop is thrilled and honored to report that our 2013 look into assessing the impact of journalism across nonprofit newsrooms, “Measuring Impact: The art, science and mystery of nonprofit news assessment,” has received a 2013 Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the "Research about Journalism"  category. 

Drawing from recent literature in the field in addition to informal conversations with journalism experts and seasoned practitioners, the report, made possible by funding from the McCormick Foundation, established several cornerstones upon which to build a common framework for assessing the impact of journalism — from familiar metrics such as audience reach and website traffic to its ultimate social outcomes.

Chuck Lewis, the Workshop’s executive editor and the co-author of the report, said he was proud of the achievement. 

“Across the industry, everybody recognizes that journalism is undergoing a near constant state of change and that there is no new normal – yet,” Lewis said. “As more and more reporters and editors explore nonprofit models for truth telling, it’s become more important than ever to gauge the social impact of our work. I’m honored to have received this award because it affirms my belief that journalists can best chart out a path through this era of rapid transformation by working together.” 

Hilary Niles, a former graduate researcher at the Workshop and now a business and data reporter at, echoed that sentiment. 

“It was an honor to work with Chuck and other Workshop staff on this project, and I learned a ton about impact in the course of the research,” she said. “To think that our contribution is now acknowledged for what it contributes to the body of knowledge about measuring journalism's impact is truly gratifying.”

The entire report is available on our website and, as part of our ongoing commitment to explore new models for delivering journalism, as an Amazon Kindle download




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