At The Center for Investigative Reporting, we systematically track real-world change associated with our work. And soon, you will be able to do so, too.

We’re excited to announce the upcoming launch of the CIR Impact Tracker, an open-source software platform for media organizations and content producers to keep track of outcomes and impact. We’ll be looking to have this new product live in early fall. Here’s a bit more about it and how it can help your newsroom.

How it works

Has something exciting happened as a result of your work? Maybe a congressional staffer emails you to ask for more information, or you receive emails or handwritten notes from your audience telling you that someone is going to change a behavior after seeing your story.

Instead of entering this into (at best) a Google Doc or (at worst) filing it away to remember later, you will be able to use the CIR Impact Tracker to catalog these outcomes. You simply would go to a custom URL and complete a Web form (it takes us about 30 seconds).

This new record is then stored in your Impact Tracker database. Anyone in your organization with a login can access the database, see all entries and find out what impact a story is having. The database can be filtered by any of the fields, such as date or topic.

Want to see how your impact looks over time? Our tool will help you create a time-series visualization to identify patterns in the change that your work is bringing.

Want to know more?

CIR works with media organizations to help set impact goals, create strategic research and evaluation plans, conduct impact analyses, and articulate this work to key constituents. These coaching sessions happen as one-on-one engagements, workshops and ongoing advising and consulting.

If you’re interested in getting updates about CIR’s Impact Tracker development, sign up below. We’ll let you know when we launch, ask for your feedback and invite you to use the Impact Tracker.

Lindsay Green-Barber

Green-Barber is the director of strategic research at The Center for Investigative reporting. She works to identify, assess and rigorously test areas of programmatic work where CIR can have catalytic impact through its content distribution and engagement. She leads research and analysis and serves as an expert both internally and for external partnerships.
Previously, Green-Barber was an American Council for Learned Societies public fellow and served as media impact analyst at CIR. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from the City University of New York Graduate Center. Her doctoral research, conducted from 2011 through 2013 in Ecuador, focused on indigenous organizations’ use of new information and communications technologies for social mobilization. She also taught political science courses at Hunter College.