The Law and Justice Journalism Project is launching to provide journalists with the skills, tools and resources they need to cover crime, public safety and the legal system, Nieman Journalism Lab reports. Many journalists are working to avoid breaking the trust of their audience and minimize harm while reporting on crime. According to Jessica Brand, founder of the advising firm Wren Collective and a project board member, journalists can shape the way the public views crime. They can determine whether the public perceives certain communities as safe or dangerous, for example. The project will offer virtual panels featuring journalists, researchers, legal experts and community members.
The projecct will offer a year-long fellowship program. It will partner 15 early-career journalists with more experienced journalists. The new journalists will work to improve their storytelling skills, investigation skills, communication with sources and navigation of complex topics on a tight schedule. Brand said that it is important that journalists understand the reason behind why crimes occur. She believes it that journalists should understand disparities in policing, mental health and intergenerational trauma. The project is funded by Building a Strong Future, a family foundation run by Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of a cryptocurrency exchange, and Gabe Bankman-Fried, director of Guarding Against Pandemics. Building a Strong Future has donated to organizations like ProPublica to support investigative journalism.