Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Jane Elizabeth

Director, Accountability Journalism Program

Jane leads the American Press Institute's project to improve and expand accountability journalism. She is the Washington Post's former deputy local editor; and has taught journalism at Old Dominion University, the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University.

Jane's work at five metropolitan U.S. newspapers has focused largely on politics, regional news and education. She was a reporter and editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; launched and directed PostLocal.com at the Washington Post as deputy local editor; and, as senior editor, created and managed The Virginian-Pilot's first digital news team.

She holds a master's degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

The Week in Fact-Checking: Whose job is it, anyway?

No one is better situated to fight digital misinformation than professional journalists who work with social media every day. But that’s not happening in many news organizations today. Newsroom social media teams are due for a redesign — one that would include more fact-checking, debunking and accountability, according to a new American Press Institute report. Read […]

Doing big projects with minimal newsroom resources – without compromising

Some things about accountability journalism will never change. Any important investigative project will require patience, persistence, extreme fact-checking and high ethical standards. It’ll involve a significant portion of the newsroom staff and lots of time. But here’s where accountability journalism has changed: Technology, access to data and grant funding have created a potentially equal playing […]

Engaging your audiences (even the difficult ones): More ideas from the experts

Listening to audiences is a practice that’s gotten lost in the crush of heavy workloads and small staffs. From the American Press Institute’s Manager study: “Notably, only one-fifth said that ‘news is a two-way conversation.’ This may reflect a lack of enthusiasm towards comments on news sites, or other forms of audience interaction, such as […]

Social media teams today: A summary of what we learned

First, our definition of the “social media team.”  The people handling social media in newsrooms might not strictly be a “team” and might be called something else —  “social engagement” or “audience development,” for instance. These teams might be comprised of one full-time person or a number of people who also have other newsroom duties. […]

After a decade, it’s time to reinvent social media in newsrooms

For newsrooms, the social media tumult began a decade ago. In 2008, journalists new to digital media in legacy print newsrooms were trying to adapt to a Twitter invention called the hashtag. Facebook was confounding them, and MySpace was dying just when some were beginning to understand it. Then came the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, […]

Advice from experts: Reinventing the newsroom social media team

What WGBH’s social media director Tory Starr calls “deciphering the intersection of social media and journalism” is a complex task. Reinventing a decade-old process in a culture not necessarily known for embracing change and creativity won’t be easy. Building trust and fighting misinformation will be even harder. There’s something called Brandolini’s Law — also known […]

In closing: Final thoughts, acknowledgements and a call for your ideas

What can you do now to create a social media team that’s ready for 2020? Here’s a quick list of ideas from experts in this report. To build community interest and engagement, try starting the conversation on social media and continuing it in your publication or broadcast, rather than the other way around. Resist the […]

Resources and more reading

Essays from the experts “Social Journalism: The Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.” Julia Haslanger/CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the Tow Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism Social media facts and statistics you should know.  Social Report blog.  Data to help create strategies in your news organization. “Inside Forbes’ lean approach to creating stories for social […]

The Week in Fact-Checking: Does fake news ever die?

Since he died seven weeks ago, at least 20 of Paul Horner’s fake news websites have gone down, a Poynter analysis found. (The site information is available in this shared document). While the infamous misinformation creator’s death is no longer in question — despite initial media doubts and Twitter conspiracies — his legacy is. Quote of the week “Two things are clear. […]

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