Collaborative Journalism

Lee builds and manages collaborative journalism projects to help augment declining public service journalism. As Managing Director of the nonprofit journalism studio InvestigateWest, Lee served as a neutral convener of media partners, leveraging assets across newsrooms to produce important explanatory and investigative series work.

Oregon lawmakers concerned about the potential for severe brain injury from sports-related concussions passed a law in 2009. Since then, school sports coaches and trainers are required to follow strict return-to-play strategies to assure that athletes with head injuries didn’t return to sports too soon. In this series, reporters audited 235 high schools for compliance, examined two years worth of return-to-play incidents, and found gaps between urban and rural outcomes and in Latino communities.

A joint project of InvestigateWest, Pamplin Media Group and Reveal, Rattled involved 12 reporters for print and radio and two data editors. Lee oversaw grant writing, grant administration, FOIA work, expert research and data collection, supervised contractors and coordinated reporters to eliminate overlap, editing several series installments.
LINK TO FULL SERIES — 34 articles. October 5, 2017 to March 28, 2019.

unequal justice black sq 336x336UNEQUAL JUSTICE
For more than 20 years, advocates and state-sponsored commissions decried disparities in Oregon’s criminal justice system but lacked the data to defend their claims. After more than a year of negotiations with the judicial department, Unequal Justice obtained access to 10 years of charging data from Oregon courts in 36 counties, and assembled the most comprehensive database detailing race-based outcomes in the Oregon criminal justice system to date -- an analysis of 5 million charges. That data confirmed people of color were unfairly treated. Unequal Justice introduced the statistics that defined the problem, examined life inside those numbers, and explored the policies and practices that perpetuated them.

A joint project of independent journalist Kate Willson, NICAR, InvestigateWest, the Pamplin Media Group and criminologist Mark G. Harmon, Unequal Justice involved four reporters for print and podcast and three data editors. Lee oversaw grant writing, grant administration and partnerships, supervised contracts and reported several installments.
LINK TO FULL SERIES — 28 articles and podcasts. February 2, 2017 to March 2, 2017.

stock wealth 69525 e1448912596304 140x140PORTLAND HOUSING
Cash was king in Portland housing market, or so the story went in 2015. As buyers and renters faced new pressure for housing, blaming newcomers from California, this series analyzed cash transactions in the marketplace, discovering most cash was coming from investor speculation, including Wall Street landlords. A unique project that matched real estate sales data with tax records culled by a web crawler, Portland Housing linked whole neighborhoods to Wall Street shareholders, explored subsequent predatory practices, and linked state pension funds to investments befouling housing access.

A joint project of InvestigateWest and the Pamplin Media Group, Portland Housing involved two reporters for print. Lee oversaw FOIA work and data analysis, supervised contractors and reported all installments.
LINK TO FULL SERIES — 13 articles. April 17, 2015 to December 1, 2015.