Do E-Journalists Have a "Document Cloud" in Their Future?

October 7, 2009

What journalist wouldn't want to have online a compendium of all the key documents behind all the big stories on his or her beat? A newly funded project to build just such an online database seems on its way.

The "DocumentCloud" project launched by the nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica got a $719,500 grant as part of the Knight News Challenge. Here's the description:

"DocumentCloud is a web site that will enhance investigative reporting by making source documents easy to find, share and read. While rich source documents are the foundation of investigative journalism, too often reporters throw or tuck them away after a story fades, never to be used again. DocumentCloud will provide an online database of documents contributed by a consortium of news organizations, watchdog groups and bloggers, and shared with the public at large. Users will be able to search by topic, agency or location. Reporters will benefit from the wisdom of the crowd, which will be able to collaboratively examine large document sets."