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DocumentCloud Merges with IRE

Jun 9th, 2011


Amanda Hickman

DocumentCloud is beyond delighted to announce that we’ve found a long-term home for our project. We’re merging our operation with Investigative Reporters and Editors, a nonprofit grassroots organization committed to fostering excellence in investigative journalism. This transition means that DocumentCloud will have a permanent place in a longstanding resource for investigative reporting. IRE has a long and established history of supporting investigative reporting, and we’ll be a proud part of their ongoing work to provide journalists with tools that support their reporting. It goes without saying that DocumentCloud is a natural fit for an organization that has been upholding high professional standards and instilling a passion for public service journalism for more than 35 years.

IRE will continue to honor all of the promises we have made to our users, and our staff will be working to ensure a smooth transition. The best way to get your questions answered will still be reaching out to or contacting us through the workspace.  We’re still welcoming new users — contact us to find out more about bringing your newsroom on board.

We’ve even got some great new tools in the works. More on that soon.

All of us are committed to the continuing success of DocumentCloud. Over the next few months, we’ll be handing off day to day responsibility for managing DocumentCloud to IRE’s staff based at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. I’ll stay on as program director through the summer to facilitate a smooth transition. Developer Sam Clay is moving to San Francisco to join a startup there. Our lead developer, Jeremy Ashkenas, has moved to the New York Times’s Interactive News team, but will remain actively involved with DocumentCloud on the technical side. Our founders will be here to help DocumentCloud continue to thrive — Scott Klein, Aron Pilhofer and Eric Umansky will remain on the project as advisors and advocates.

We’re already interviewing strong candidates to take over as lead developer, but will be looking for more developers, too. More on that soon as well.

DocumentCloud was first envisioned by a team of editors at ProPublica and The New York Times, and was founded in 2009 through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to build an online catalog of primary source documents and a set of tools to help journalists get more out of source documents. We are all immensely grateful to Knight for their confidence in us. We think their investment paid off. Not only do newsrooms have a new resource that is already indispensable, but DocumentCloud helped demonstrate that 21st century newsrooms are ready to collaborate and share what were once privately held materials. The public is better informed because of it.

Since we launched in March of 2010, newsrooms and watchdog organizations have used DocumentCloud to analyze, annotate, and publish thousands of documents ranging from suspicious, if not outright spurious, expense reports filed by local authorities in Long Island, New York to hundreds of pages of correspondence released by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and much, much more. How much more? We encourage you to search our public catalog and see for yourself.

See Also:
IRE’s announccment: DocumentCloud joins IRE, and Knight’s: News Challenge Success Story Finds a Home

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