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The Center for Public Integrity’s model for working with local newsrooms on investigative reporting projects will be featured at the national Collaborative Journalism Summit June 6-7 in Washington, D.C.

Public Integrity Director of Audience Lisa Yanick Litwiller and Audience Engagement Editor Ashley Clarke will give a keynote address on how the organization has improved the accuracy, reach and impact of its reporting about inequality in the U.S. by partnering with local journalists closest to the communities centered in and most impacted by the journalism. They’ll talk about how Public Integrity has adapted investigative collaborations to both support the unique needs of and amplify and learn from the talent and knowledge within local newsrooms, and how Public Integrity’s journalism has gotten better in the process.

The Collaborative Journalism Summit is organized by the Center for Cooperative Media, a Montclair State University-based nonprofit that has supported and helped guide significant growth in the amount of journalism produced by newsrooms working together.

Public Integrity’s national collaborations will be featured in a three-part keynote at the summit on June 6 along with presentations about local reporting collaborations by Resolve Philly and international collaborations by editors from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

When Public Integrity is pursuing an investigation that involves national data analysis or findings that could be reported in any given community, the work is shared ahead of time with dozens of local newsrooms. 

Most recently, “Unhoused and Undercounted,” an investigation showing that more than 300,000 homeless students across the country are not being identified and receiving services as required by federal law, included a reporting collaboration with The Seattle Times, WAMU/DCist and Street Sense Media, a newspaper produced by and for the unhoused in Washington, D.C.  Additionally, Public Integrity shared localized data, built a reporting toolkit and held regular office hours for additional local collaborators months in advance of publishing the investigation, which made the short list of the Sigma Awards for data journalism. 

To reach those most impacted by the findings of the investigation – students – Public Integrity built reporting guides for student journalists, presenting the project at a national high school journalism conference in April. The effort led to local reporting published by the Central Times student newspaper at Naperville Central High School in Illinois, as well as the start of a student and educator arm of Public Integrity’s growing collaborator list.

Previous collaborations include “Criminalizing Kids,” which investigated the disproportionate harm that police presence in schools have on Black and Latino students and kids with disabilities, and “Harm’s Way,” which exposed the federal government’s failure to assist communities facing relocation due to the impact of climate change.

Upcoming collaborative investigations will tackle immigration, voting rights and environmental justice issues.

Public Integrity’s journalists have been recognized with numerous honors in recent months, including a National Headliner Award, the Paul Tobenkin Award, a Peabody Award nomination, the Sigma Award recognizing the world’s best data journalism, two finalist honors for the Shaufler Prize for reporting about underserved people, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing’s “Best in Business” awards, the Gracie Awards honoring media produced by and for women, and the Signal Awards recognizing the country’s best podcasts.

Founded in 1989, the Center for Public Integrity is one of the oldest nonprofit news organizations in the country and is dedicated to investigating systems and circumstances that contribute to inequality in the United States.

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