Executive Director, email@example.com
Jan Schaffer, executive director of J-Lab, runs one of the nation's most successful incubators for news entrepreneurs and innovators and is a leading thinker on the emerging new media landscape.
A former Business Editor and a Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, she left daily journalism in 1994 to lead pioneering journalism initiatives in civic journalism, interactive and participatory journalism and citizen media ventures.
J-Lab is a center of American University's School of Communication. She launched J-Lab in 2002 to help newsrooms use digital technologies to engage people in important public issues. The center has a history of rewarding new ideas and practices through the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism. It has helped launch 77 news start-ups through its New Voices and New Media Women Entrepreneurs projects. It pioneered 18 innovative collaborative journalism partnerships through its Networked Journalism project and its Enterprise Reporting Awards. The center publishes web tutorials on how to launch and manage startup news sites, and it develops information and resources for online community news sites at the Knight Citizen News Network.
J-Lab is the successor to the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, a $14 million project Schaffer previously led. From 1993 to 2002, the center helped to fund more than 120 pilot projects that developed new reporting techniques to engage people better in public life.
She brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to her work. Schaffer joined The Inquirer in 1972 after earning a masters degree from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. She held a range of reporting and editing positions on the city desk, the national desk and the business news department.
As a federal court reporter, she helped write a series that won freedom for a man wrongly convicted of five murders. The stories led to the civil rights convictions of six Philadelphia homicide detectives and won several national journalism awards, including the 1978 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service.
Also while covering federal courts, she broke the Philadelphia Abscam story about the FBI sting operation that used agents posing as Arab sheiks. She was sentenced to jail for six months for refusing to reveal her sources; the sentence was stayed on appeal.
As Business Editor, she directed the reporting and editing of two investigative series that were named Pulitzer finalists, one on pharmaceutical pricing and one on abuses in the nation's non-profit sector.
Schaffer serves on the Journalism Advisory Committee of the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. She was a member of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 SXSW Accelerator Advisory Boards. She is a winner of the Manship Prize, awarded by Louisiana State University's Manship School of Mass Communication for innovative media work that has advanced citizens' understanding of challenges in the public arena.
Currently, Schaffer serves as a speaker, researcher, trainer, author, consultant and Web publisher on the future of journalism. She is married to a Smithsonian Magazine editor and has two children.
Project Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill is J-Lab's Project Coordinator. Previously, Jill has worked in a range of nonprofits. At Working Capital she focused on helping entrepreneurs, primarily women and minorities, gain access to small business loans and other resources. At the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University she worked with journalists, practitioners, and academics looking at policy dilemmas through the lense of human rights issues. At both the Academy for Educational Development and One Laptop Per Child she worked with colleagues to leverage technology to provide access to information for communities on issues around government accountability and education. Jill has earned a Master's in Science from Suffolk University's Sawyer School of Management in Philanthropy and Media. Outside of work, she enjoys her toddler and traveling with her family.
Web & Social Media Editor, email@example.com
Chris is communications specialist who is interested in international development communications. He taught English as a second language for two years in Turkmenistan as a Peace Corps Volunteer and has traveled professionally to Russia, Tunisia and the Philippines. He returned to Washington, D.C. in August 2011 after living for two-and-a-half years in Paris with his wife and son. He is currently enrolled in the Interactive Journalism graduate program at American University.
Corey is a graduate student at American University pursuing an MA in International Media. He comes to Washington, DC by way of New Hampshire, where he received a BA in Journalism in 2010 from Keene State College. Corey is focused on media and communications for the non-profit and education sectors and has worked for a number of international education and exchange organizations.
Caitlin Friess is a first-year student at American University pursuing a bachelor's degree in Public Communication. She previously worked as a junior volunteer coordinator for the Virginia Scottish Games Association, volunteer student editor of Barns of Rose Hill, and was a member of the National Honors Society.
Charlotte Young is a first-year International Media graduate student from Columbia, South Carolina. Charlotte enjoys everything media and earned her bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University. Charlotte is focusing her degree on public diplomacy and international outreach. She has experience as a freelance writer and previously worked for the Travel Channel as well as at the Senegalese American Bilingual School in Dakar, Senegal.
Kendal is a senior at American University majoring in Journalism and minoring in Graphic Design. She is originally from Lancaster, PA, and studied abroad in London her junior year. Kendal has previously interned for City A.M. newspaper and Public Citizen.
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