Jacob Fenton

Jacob Fenton

Director of Computer-Assisted Reporting
fenton@american.edu

Jacob Fenton, who recently joined the Sunlight Foundation, continues to work at the intersection of media and technology, as he has for the last decade. At the Workshop he analyzes data for investigations; maintains the servers and backend code that power Banktracker and the rest of the site; and builds web applications, databases and interactive maps and graphics.

Previously Fenton was database editor at The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), and worked as a reporter and editor at two other Pennsylvania newspapers. Prior to that, he worked as a software developer in Palo Alto, Calif. He graduated from Reed College in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in physics.

Projects built by Jacob Fenton

Projects maintained by Jacob Fenton

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

Fighting in-house censorship

One of the occupational hazards for investigative reporters everywhere is internal censorship. So what can you do, as an individual journalist, if it appears that the great, exciting, investigative story you’ve been quietly exploring and finally have pitched is getting yawns or worse, pushback from your editor?

The future of TV news

Viewers nationwide mostly get local traffic, crime, weather and sports news, while local investigative reporting about the powers that be — and straight talk, facts and figures about the serious 21st century issues we all face  — generally have become endangered species.

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

Students help Post analyze decline of black wealth

Thanks to Workshop and AU students Danielle DeCourcey, Justin Warren, Pietro Lombardi, Mariam Baksh, Mel Jones, Miranda Strong and Moriah Balingit, and Northwestern student and Workshop intern Cathaleen Chen, for their work in today's Washington Post on the plight of the black middle-class in Prince George's County, Md. Today's piece is the second in a three-part series.

Donald receives 2014 Philip Meyer Award

The Workshop's data editor, David Donald, and a team at the Center for Public Integrity today received the first-place 2014 Philip Meyer Journalism Award from the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.

How to apply for 2015 internships

American University School of Communication in Washington, is looking for smart, engaged students from around the country for summer 2015 internships.


Data editor trains Belgium journalists

David Donald, the Workshop’s new data editor, will be in Kortrijk, Belgium, through Sunday, representing the School of Communication and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the annual investigative journalism conference of the Vereniging van Onderzoeksjournalisten (VVOJ).

Trouble with Antibiotics airs Oct. 14

"The Trouble with Antibiotics," a new PBS FRONTLINE program co-produced by the Workshop, will air Oct. 14 at 10 p.m. (check local listings). Check out the trailer. 

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.