Catherine Rentz

Catherine Rentz

Filmmaker-in-Residence
Phone: (202) 329-1029
crentz@american.edu

I’m a journalist and documentary filmmaker in residence at American University in Washington DC. Here at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, I’ve worked as a co-producer and then producer on the PBS FRONTLINE documentaries Flying Cheap (2009), Flying Cheaper (2011), Lost in Detention (2011) and The Digital Campaign (2012 election special with PBS NewsHour) and as a reporter on The Education of Michelle Rhee (2013).  I also produce long-form investigations for the New York Times, NPR and other media. 

At Hedrick Smith Productions, I worked as a researcher, associate producer and then field producer on the PBS FRONTLINE documentaries Can You Afford to Retire? (2006), Spying on the Home Front (2007) and Poisoned Waters (2009).

I have degrees in journalism from The University of Missouri (MA) and finance from The University of Texas at Austin (BBA with a minor in French). I spent an amazing year in France studying at a business school called l’École supérieure de commerce de Paris. While in graduate school, I worked at IRE’s National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting and at the Indianapolis Star with a Pulliam fellowship. Born and raised in Texas, I’ve lived in the Washington D.C. region since 2006. 

Stories written by Catherine Rentz

Recent News

Puerto Rico gives away over $519 million to multinational seed corporations, including Monsanto

Millionaire enterprises, including Monsanto, Pioneer Hi Bred and nine other multinational producers of transgenic and hybrid seeds, benefited from over $519.7 million in Puerto Rican public funds throughout the last 10 fiscal years. They took advantage of corporate welfare while the country headed toward a $69 billion debt that cannot be paid to its bondholders.

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

Collaboration: the key

Collaboration was key for the teams of international journalists who produced The Panama Papers, a report that showcases how reporters can hold people and institutions accountable across borders. 

The Buying of the President

Every four years, the American people endure by far the longest and most expensive election of any nation in the world — until the next one. Who profits the most?

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

An inside look at Fatal Force series

Our recently published “Fatal Force: Two years after Ferguson, police shootings up,” a project with The Washington Post, is an extension of the Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series illuminating officer-involved shootings in the United States during 2015, as well as the first follow-up piece the Post published in 2016 that sought to find out how police departments handle releasing the names of officers who use fatal force.

Betty Medsger winds up 'Burglary' tour

Journalist Betty Medsger traveled the country to talk about her book, "The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI,” (Knopf, 2014), in which she relays the back-story of the eight people behind the burglary and how they managed to bring down one of the most powerful and secretive agencies in U.S. history. She found a new generation thinking of the ethical issues they may face as citizens and potential government employees.

IRE's conference lives on through tipsheets

Even if you were not able to attend the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference earlier this month in New Orleans, the speakers and panelists create invaluable tipsheets you can still access.

Whatever you do, keep moving forward

As Michelle Obama prepares to visit Africa to promote girls' education, two African women contemplate their future as investigative journalists and as educators who can improve college courses and create internships. 

Seeking to escape metrics' tyranny, an editor asks, 'Why?'

In our brave new big data world, web metrics, the statistics that measure page views, unique visitors, bounce rates, engagement time, tweets, Facebook “Likes,” and a host of other things, have become proxies for an organization’s effectiveness.

Partners

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 msnbc.com, now nbcnews.com, 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.

Projects

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.