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J-Lab Staff

Photo of Jan SchafferJan Schaffer, former Business Editor and a Pulitzer Prize winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer, is executive director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism ( and one of the nation’s leading thinkers in the journalism reform movement. More…

E-mail: jans AT j-lab DOT org

“Can you create opportunities for citizens to get informed and inform others about micro-news that falls under the radar of traditional news organizations? Can you seed participation in community issues? Can you create a sense of news entrepreneurship? Can you train a new, more diverse generation of journalists in new ways of doing news?”—Jan Schaffer



imageJill Clark is J-Lab's Project Coordinator.  Previously, Jill has worked in a range of nonprofits.  At Working Capital she focused on helping entrepreneurs, primarily women and minorities, gain access to small business loans and other resources.  At the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University she worked with journalists, practitioners, and academics looking at policy dilemmas through the lense of human rights issues.  At both the Academy for Educational Development and One Laptop Per Child she worked with colleagues to leverage technology to provide access to information for communities on issues around government accountability and education.  Jill has earned a Master's in Science from Suffolk University's Sawyer School of Management in Philanthropy and Media.  Outside of work, she enjoys her toddler and traveling with her family.

E-mail: jill AT j-lab DOT org



Chris Holt, Web & Social Media Editor, is communications specialist who is interested in international development communications. He taught English as a second language for two years in Turkmenistan as a Peace Corps Volunteer and has traveled professionally to Russia, Tunisia and the Philippines. He returned to Washington, D.C. in August 2011 after living for two-and-a-half years in Paris with his wife and son. He is currently enrolled in the Interactive Journalism graduate program at American University.

E-mail: chrish AT j-lab DOT org

Corey Smith, Graduate Assistant, is a graduate student at American University pursuing an MA in International Media. He comes to Washington, DC by way of New Hampshire, where he received a BA in Journalism in 2010 from Keene State College. Corey is focused on media and communications for the non-profit and education sectors and has worked for a number of international education and exchange organizations.


Caitlin Friess, Undergraduate Assistant, is a second-year student at American University pursuing a bachelor's degree in Public Communication. She previously worked as a junior volunteer coordinator for the Virginia Scottish Games Association, volunteer student editor of Barns of Rose Hill, and was a member of the National Honors Society.


Charlotte Young, Graduate Assistant, is a first-year International Media graduate student from Columbia, South Carolina. Charlotte enjoys everything media and earned her bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University. Charlotte is focusing her degree on public diplomacy and international outreach. She has experience as a freelance writer and previously worked for the Travel Channel as well as at the Senegalese American Bilingual School in Dakar, Senegal.


Kendal Gapinski, Undergraduate Assistant, is a senior at American University majoring in Journalism and minoring in Graphic Design. She is originally from Lancaster, PA, and studied abroad in London her junior year. Kendal has previously interned for City A.M. newspaper and Public Citizen.

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American University School of CommunicationJohn S. and James L. Knight FoundationJ-LabNew Voices is an initiative of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism. J-LabTM is an incubator for innovative, participatory news experiments and is a center of American University's School of Communication in Washington, D.C.
New Voices is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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