Jennifer LaFleur has been elected to the Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) Board of Directors. LaFleur is the data editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop (IRW) and is the data journalist-in-residence at American University School of Communication (AU SOC). She has won numerous journalism awards for her coverage on disability, legal and open government issues, and criminal justice. She was also part of a team of journalists that won the prestigious Phil Meyer Award in 2013.
She received the highest vote total of any candidate and the candidates were voted in during the IRE conference, which consisted of 1,800 journalists, in Orlando, Florida.
IRE is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of investigative journalism and reporting. It was created to help journalists worldwide share stories, sources, and techniques.
LaFleur teaches classes on data-driven journalism at SOC. Students in her class learn how data analysis can help support their journalism stories. One graduate student, Kristian Hernandez, used the data skills he learned in LaFleur’s class to contribute to a story for The Washington Post about the discontinuity between homicides and arrests in major American cities. They analyzed decades of homicide arrest data from 50 of the largest cities to find the areas where it is most common for police to fail to catch killers.
LaFleur was previously senior editor for data journalism for award-winning Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. She is also the former director of computer-assisted reporting at ProPublica and held similar roles at The Dallas Daily News, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the San Jose Mercury News.