The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting is a national organization dedicated to increasing and retaining reporters and editors of color that also works to educate news organizations and journalists on how the inclusion of diverse voices can raise the caliber, impact and visibility of investigative journalism as a means of promoting transparency and good government.
The society is named after Ida B. Wells, a pioneering black investigative journalist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and early leader in the civil rights movement.
The Ida B. Wells Society is spearheaded by veteran journalists Nikole Hannah-Jones '03 (M.A.), a 2003 Carolina graduate who is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine and who envisioned the magazine’s The 1619 Project; Ron Nixon, the international investigations editor at The Associated Press; and Topher Sanders, who covers race, inequality and the justice system for ProPublica.
The society offers investigative reporting training workshops throughout the United States and is developing a yearlong fellowship program based in New York City. Society workshops cover the use of advanced technology, interviewing techniques and the latest data-gathering and fact-checking resources and build on story pitching, project management and narrative storytelling skills. The society’s co-founders advise and mentor MJ-school students and share their investigative journalism expertise at Carolina in a classroom setting.
Hannah-Jones, who was a Roy H. Park Fellow as a graduate student at the MJ-school from 2001–03 and who delivered the MJ-school commencement speech in 2017, shared her enthusiasm for the relocation to Carolina.
“I’m very proud that we’ve moved to the MJ-school,” she said. “It’s such a place of journalistic excellence. It means so much to me. And I love that we’re moving to the South. Having a presence there — where so many black journalists are and the people that we write about live — is critical.”