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Best Practices
by Daniela Gerson

Alhambra, a predominantly immigrant suburb located about 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is at the crossroads of two national trends: a drop in local news coverage and a diversified population. Five years ago, University of Southern California’s Annenberg School launched the multilingual site Alhambra Source to investigate how local news can impact civic […] more »

by Khari Johnson

Monday was Ry Rivard’s first day at Voice of San Diego (VOSD). He comes to the nonprofit news outlet from Inside Higher Ed in Washington D.C. and will work as an investigative reporter focusing on issues like housing and development. .@voiceofsandiego is one of the best local investigative outfits, and @ryrivard is one of the […] more »

Government & Politics
by Ryan Thornburg

Reporters in North Carolina are starting to use a new tool developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that will help them speed up their everyday reporting and find stories that are hidden in the mass of public data held by local governments in the state. Open N.C. has collected information from […] more »

by Ekaterina Basilaia

Russia Insider has a crying Statue of Liberty on its home page. She’s weeping into her palms as black clouds or smoke billow in the background. There’s also a poster of a Russian man dubbed “the hero of our time” for fighting alongside Ukrainian separatists. Some of what you see or read on Russia Insider […] more »

by Khari Johnson

The American government lies. The Russian government lies. Whichever statement you believe more, wherever you fall on that spectrum, three crowdfunding campaigns by Russian media ventures are fueled by these convictions and quickly gaining ground with their supporters this week. 1. Stop Russian propaganda Journalist Vladimir Yakovlev, founder of, has raised more than $9,000 […] more »

by Khari Johnson

Spot.Us was a first in crowdfunded journalism in the United States. For the better part of a decade the project to pioneer community-powered reporting made storytelling and accountability reporting possible for communities in California and other parts of the United States. The end of the story for the storyteller-enabling platform was announced last month by […] more »

Best Practices
by Hannah Wang

I recently attended the second annual Journalism School Hackathon at Arizona State University. The challenge: creating solutions for underserved communities. My team created Uproot: a real-world scavenger hunt that allowed travellers to discover African-American history. It was a noble project — and a familiar one. In my first project at the Reese News Lab, NewsLing, […] more »

by Cordelia Hebblethwaite

Journalists are a cynical bunch — we don’t like crap content. And social media is full of it. So why am I writing a guide for journalists on how to use social media more effectively in reporting? I’ve been asking myself that question a lot recently. Every time I come across a story about a […] more »

by Priya Kumar

An echocardiogram (ECG) — an ultrasound of the heart — cost nearly $11,600 at a hospital in Pennsylvania but only about $400 at a hospital in North Dakota. Medicare gave both hospitals about $400 to cover the cost. This held true around the country; data showed that hospitals charged vastly different amounts for ECGs while […] more »

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Idea Lab is a group blog by innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs who are reinventing media in the digital age.