Labs are all the rage in journalism these days. There’s the Drone Journalism Lab, the Globe Lab, WaPo Labs, the New York Times R&D Lab, and more. Duke University’s newly launched Reporters’ Lab is not building miniature helicopters or magic kitchen tables but the more practical, less sexy tools that make public-affairs journalism cheaper, easier, and faster. Sarah Cohen, a professor at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, is director of the center, which formally goes by the title Project for the Advancement of Public Affairs Reporting.

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