Jan Schaffer

Jan Schaffer is executive director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism and Entrepreneur in Residence at American University's School of Communication, Washington, D.C. She launched J-Lab in 2002 to incubate pioneering initiatives in civic journalism, participatory journalism and citizen media ventures. J-Lab has funded 100 news startups and collaboration projects. It has also awarded innovations in journalism, published major research reports and produced Web tutorials for digital media entrepreneurs. She previously led the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, a $14 million initiative that funded more than 120 pilot news projects to engage people in public issues. She is a Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she worked for 22 years as a reporter and editor. She is a speaker, trainer, author, consultant and web publisher on the future of journalism. She teaches the Symposium in Media Entrepreneurship to incoming cohort groups in AUj's MA in Media Entrepreneurship program.

by Jan Schaffer

J-Lab director Jan Schaffer is wrapping up 20 years of raising money to give it away to fund news startups, innovations and pilot projects. She is pivoting J-Lab to do discrete projects and custom training and advising that build on her expertise. After two decades of work at the forefront of journalism innovations, interactive journalism […] more »

by Jan Schaffer

J-Lab director Jan Schaffer is wrapping up 20 years of raising money to give it away to fund news startups, innovations and pilot projects. She is pivoting J-Lab to do more writing, custom training and “discrete” projects. After two decades of work at the forefront of journalism innovations, interactive journalism and news startups, she weighs […] more »

by Jan Schaffer

So far, two cohort groups, some 21 people, have gone through my Seminar in Media Entrepreneurship for mid-career professionals. It is the first seminar that each cohort group takes as they embark on the 20-month, 10-course journey to a Master of Arts in Media Entrepreneurship (MAME) at American University’s School of Communication (SOC). As entrepreneurship […] more »

by Jan Schaffer

In Denver, the statewide public television network had no newsroom until it merged with an investigative news site that built one from scratch. In St. Louis, The Beacon has been working to add its 14 reporters to the public radio station’s 12 news people for a combined newsroom with the firepower of 26 journalists. In […] more »

by Jan Schaffer

A new study of non-profit journalism sites declares that “achieving revenue diversification…is still a formidable task” for the sector, which reported devoting only 10 to 24 percent of staff hours to business development. There are few surprises in the latest non-profit journalism study by the Pew Research Center’s Project on Excellence in Journalism. There are […] more »

by Jan Schaffer

Quietly, and not so quietly, journalism schools around the country are starting to give their students new news opportunities. More than beefing up course catalogs with multimedia and convergence offerings, the schools are becoming incubators for entrepreneurial news startups — news websites that are populated with student content. The degree to which student production of […] more »