Workshop News

FRONTLINE doc wins health award

June 2, 2014

"Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria," a PBS FRONTLINE documentary that aired last October and was co-produced by the Workshop, has won the Seventh Annual NIHCM — National Institute for Health Care Management — Foundation Health Care Television and Radio Journalism Award, which includes a $10,000 prize.  

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Awards & updates

May 16, 2014

Executive Editor Chuck Lewis has recently won two awards, and students have moved from their roles as graduate researchers to full-time jobs at the New Republic and the National Journal.

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Apply for summer 2014

Dec. 16, 2013

Summer internship applications — a cover letter and resume — are being accepted by email from Jan. 2-Feb. 1.  

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Partnerships, continued

Oct. 11, 2013

John Sullivan, a senior editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, and a reporter on The Washington Post's investigative team, will talk about the unique partnership between the university and the news organization at a special forum at Columbia University. The event, titled "Classrooms as Newsrooms: Teaching Journalism in the Real World," will be held Oct. 26. The Workshop is a professional, nonprofit newsroom based at the School of Communication at American University, and is one of 18 such university-affiliated newsrooms in the country.

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Special report: How do you measure journalistic impact?

July 26, 2013

The Workshop explored how to measure impact in a new report, "The art, science and mystery of nonprofit news assessment." Now the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University weighs in, crediting authors Charles Lewis and Hilary Niles with "advancing a conversation that will hopefully allow newsrooms and foundations to communicate openly and honestly about their expectations and goals. After all, at the core, they share an interest in honoring the reader by providing journalism as a public service."

“Most of the conversation to date has been led by the grantors, but they’re not the ones doing the work,” Lewis told Caroline O'Donovan at Nieman. “They’re funding it, they’re collaborating on it, but the ones who are producing it are pretty deep in the trench. It would be useful for there to be a more common understanding of what are some of the guidepost elements.”

Lewis and former Workshop intern Niles produced the report to differentiate between reach and impact and highlight some of the methods that seem to be working for nonprofits. They cited the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's methodology, which also was recently featured at the annual conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors. 

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Koch Club stories gain wider audience

July 22, 2013

The Koch Club, our two-year examination of the Koch brothers' funding of nonprofit and educational institutions, led to a number of high-profile blog posts and follow-up stories, first with Jane Mayer’s New Yorker article, and a few days later, to a comprehensive overview by the Columbia Journalism Review.

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MacArthur awards grant for 'Betrayal' film

April 2, 2013

Cabin Creek Films and the Investigative Reporting Workshop are co-developing a film based on "The Betrayal of the American Dream," a 2012 book and an ongoing Workshop series of stories about the economic decline, particularly the intersection of federal regulations and Wall Street policies in impacting the decline of the middle class. Two-time Academy Award-winner Barbara Koppel will direct the film.

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2013 Interns chosen

April 2, 2013

We've chosen our summer interns for 2013. 

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Apply for summer program

Dec. 20, 2012

The Investigative Reporting Workshop, a professional news organization in the School of Communication at American University, is looking for smart, engaged students from around the country for summer internships. 

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'Truth' to be published in late 2013

Dec. 10, 2012

Charles Lewis, executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop, is finishing his sixth book, “The Future of Truth,” which will be published in late 2013 or early 2014 by Public Affairs. 

He began working on the book in 2005 with a focus on the origins and trajectory of public relations and propaganda; the deadliest deceptions by government and companies; and the truth-telling capacity of journalists and their news organizations over the past century. 

His research led him to explore national “moments of truth” in contemporary U.S. history — moments in which news organizations, through their deep independent reporting, exposed egregious abuses of power and shaped history. The idea was to look to the past to inform and to inspire the future. 

As a precursor to the book, the Workshop launched Investigating Power, at, earlier this year. It features videos on the journalists, their stories, the stories-behind-their-stories and the transcendent times they lived through. Lewis' story on Investigating Power is on the Workshop's site, which will be updated with news from the book next year.




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Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

'Future of Truth'

'Future of Truth'

Charles Lewis, founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop, wrote “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity,” now in bookstores and available online. The Workshop has published a special series related to the book, and NBC's Chuck Todd recently interviewed Lewis about the public's disenchantment with Congress, the courts and the media.

Navigating FOIA in DC

Access to government documents and data is essential to local investigative “street” reporting and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the most important tool to get them, say journalists in the D.C. community. 


Most Recent Posts

New book launches

Executive Editor Charles Lewis celebrated the release of his new book, "935 Lies," at the National Press Club last week, an event hosted by the Center for Public Integrity, which Lewis founded 25 years ago. It was the first of several programs and interviews related to "935 Lies."

Mentoring the next generation

Our partnership with The Washington Post continues this summer under an ever-expanding model, as we pair our Workshop interns with several different investigative teams at the Post.

Banktracker Updates

After more than five years, the Investigative Reporting Workshop has decided to make some changes in its Banktracker feature.

CNN anchor reflects on censorship, challenges

Retired CNN anchor Bernard Shaw recalled his reporting on the Tiananmen Square massacre in an address to about 120 guests at the Newseum on Saturday in Washington, focusing on challenges today to journalism and exhorting his audience to become engaged and informed citizens.

NPR series on public defenders, Al Jazeera reports from the border

Former Workshop intern Samantha Sunne writes today for NPR about the chronic under-funding of public defenders' offices around the country.

And Catherine Rentz, former filmmaker in-residence at the Workshop who has been reporting in Texas for us recently, has a piece tonight on Al Jazeera America. Rentz developed a video story about a group of musicians trying to reopen a remote part of the border.

Workshop Partners

We publish online and in print, often teaming up with other news organizations. We're working now on a new program with FRONTLINE producers, to air later in the year, and on the "Years of Living Dangerously," a series on climate change that has begun airing on Showtime. A story last year on the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention centers was co-published with The New York Times. Our updates to our long-running BankTracker project, in which you can view the financial health of every bank and credit union in the country, have been published with, now, and we co-published stories in our What Went Wrong series on the economy with The Philadelphia Inquirer and New America Media. Our graduate students are working as researchers with Washington Post reporters, and our new senior editor is a member of the Post's investigative team. Learn more on our partners page.

Investigating Power update

Investigating Power update

Profiles of notable journalists and their stories of key moments in U.S. history in the last 50 years can be found on the Investigating Power site. See Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis' latest video interviews as well as historic footage and timelines. You can also read more about the project and why we documented these groundbreaking examples of original, investigative journalism that helped shape or change public perceptions on key issues of our time, from civil rights to Iraq, here.