Jacob Fenton

Jacob Fenton

Director of Computer-Assisted Reporting
fenton@american.edu

Jacob Fenton is a 2015-16 Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. Formerly he worked as Editorial Engineer at The Sunlight Foundation. During 2010 and 2011 Fenton was Director of Computer-Assisted Reporting at the Workshop, where he analyzed data for investigations; maintained the servers and backend code that power Banktracker and the rest of the site; and built web applications, databases and interactive maps and graphics.

Projects built by Jacob Fenton

Projects maintained by Jacob Fenton

Recent News

'My husband may die' in a Colorado prison, says wife of CIA whistleblower

The wife of former CIA officer and whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling says she’s concerned about the health of her husband, who was sentenced last year to serve three years in a Colorado prison.

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

CIA whistleblower files health complaint in prison

The biggest surprise of the Barack Obama presidency to me and to many others has been what I have called “the unexpected national security obsessiveness” of his administration. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice has repeatedly used the draconian 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute journalists’ sources, effectively criminalizing investigative journalism. Or as James Goodale, The New York Times’ lead lawyer during the seminal Pentagon Papers case put it in his recent memoir, “Obama has used the Espionage Act to indict more leakers than any president in the history of this country.” No president’s administration in the past century — indeed, all of them combined — has prosecuted more whistleblowing sources using the Espionage Act than the Obama administration.

 

Embracing life as a freelancer

After her summer as an intern at the Workshop in 2012 and completing her master's at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Hilary Niles creates her own reality as a freelancer.

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.

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.