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DocumentCloud moves to Temple University

DocumentCloud will have a new home at Temple University under the leadership of Aron Pilhofer, one of the platform’s co-founders.

Effective Aug. 1, DocumentCloud will be housed at an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit and operate in collaboration with Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia.

The organization has received $250,000 in new funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to build additional features and develop a payment plan allowing users to support the platform directly.

The IRE board of directors voted unanimously to transfer DocumentCloud, a cloud-based platform that allows users to share, analyze and publish documents online.

"DocumentCloud's impact on journalism has been profound. But it's time to evolve the platform beyond IRE in an environment that makes the service its singular priority,” said Matt Goldberg, president of the IRE board of directors. “We are thrilled that Temple and the Knight Foundation have answered that call.”

DocumentCloud was founded in 2009 with a grant from the Knight News Challenge. After two years as an independent nonprofit organization, DocumentCloud became a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors in June 2011.

With the transfer, there will be no interruption of service or features in the open-source platform.

“DocumentCloud has achieved a level of adoption well beyond anything we could have imagined when we first launched,” said Pilhofer, the James B. Steele chair in journalism innovation at Temple. “It has become an indispensable tool journalists around the world use every day. Now our priority is to ensure that DocumentCloud is around for the long haul. This support will help us do just that, while at the same time enhancing learning opportunities for our students.”

DocumentCloud hosts more than 3.6 million source documents, which have been used by 8,400 journalists in more than 1,600 organizations worldwide. High-profile stories produced through use of the platform include coverage of Wikileaks, Panama Papers and the Edward Snowden documents.

Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism, said that the platform gives journalists an important tool for transparency and trust.

“At a time when trust in news is at an all-time low, DocumentCloud helps journalists build connections with the public by allowing them to publish original documents and be fully transparent with readers about what they know and don't know,” Preston said. “We must work to ensure this important tool stays strong into the future.”

Pilhofer will serve as executive director of DocumentCloud. The board will include DocumentCloud co-founder Scott Klein, deputy managing editor at ProPublica.

Read more about DocumentCloud’s future on the Knight Foundation website.

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