Louise Lief

Louise Lief

Scholar in Residence

Louise Lief is Scholar-in-Residence at the American University School of Communication's Investigative Reporting Workshop. She will collaborate with the Workshop, School of Communication and other university faculties on an array of science and non-science projects.

Lief is a journalist, educator, media trainer, writer, editor and producer. From 1998-2012 she was the founding deputy director of the International Reporting Project (previously known as the Pew International Journalism Program) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a program that educates the media on international issues.

Lief, an award-winning journalist, has traveled to more than 70 countries, reported from five continents and has worked for newspapers, magazines, radio, television and Web-based publications. 

She began the Science and the Media initiative during her 2014 residency as a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where she was affiliated with the Environmental Change and Security Program and the Science and Technology Innovation Program.

The initiative explores innovative approaches to make science accessible and useful to all journalists, particularly those who do not cover the sciences. It investigates ways to facilitate collaboration between journalists and scientists and to incorporate new technologies and digital tools into the process to promote civic engagement.

She graduated from Yale University with a degree in French and North African Studies and holds a certificate of Arabic Language Studies from the American University in Cairo.

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

How to cover hate

Even as hate crimes occur with more frequency, newsrooms for the most part tend to treat them as individual problems, not as systemic problems that require better follow-through and focus. 

Truth and lies in the Trump era

Trump’s presidency, and the way it is being reported in the media and perceived by the public, has led me to ask some basic questions — about my profession of journalism; the relative power of truth and lies; and the future of democratic self-government in these United States. Does truth even matter in covering this president? Are he and his proclivity for telling falsehoods the problem, or is he a symptom of a deeper affliction in our political-economic system?

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

Editors: 'We are not at war with Trump'

Top editors of two of the country’s leading news organizations said that their reporters were at the forefront of covering the Trump administration, but they were not competing with each other to topple the presidency.

Dean Baquet and Marty Baron, executive editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post, respectively, said that a journalist’s mission of pursuing truth and fairness hasn’t changed in the Trump era.

Behind the Post's opioids investigation

Graduate student and Workshop intern Reis Thebault was a contributing reporter to a recent Washington Post investigation into congressional action that many in the Drug Enforcement Agency saw as hampering their efforts to stem the opioid crisis.

King hoped to enlighten Kennedy on civil rights

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tried to influence John F. Kennedy in his run for president because he saw Kennedy as far removed from the realities of blacks in America, according to a new book on the relationship between the two powerful men. 

Reporters shown new frontier at ONA

The reporting tools of the future were on display at the “When Investigative Gets Immersive: Exploring Scientific Storytelling with Journalism 360” session of the 2017 Online News Association conference.

Right-leaning news outlets less critical of Trump, study shows

The Pew Research Center analyzed 3,000 news stories and found that news outlets with politically right-leaning audiences produce more positive evaluations of the Trump administration but cite fewer sources and are less critical of the current administration.  

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.