How This Project Was Reported
Students in Rowan University’s Investigative Journalism class spent the Fall, 2011 semester working on The Donnie Farrell Project. Amy Z. Quinn, a journalist and journalism teacher, led the project and edited the stories, with assistance from Associate Professor of Journalism Kathryn Quigley.
Before the class began, Quigley discussed the concept with the Farrell family and the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office. Both agreed to be interviewed and to participate in the project, but they had no control over the content.
Students conducted interviews in person, on the phone and via email, gathering information from investigators who work the case and from Farrell’s friends and family. They reported stories using public documents, university publications and through social media platforms, finding exclusive details and a witness previously unknown to police. Twitter and Facebook were instrumental in finding sources, and provided a method to engage audience and publicize the project before publication.
While the class formally ended in late December, Quinn and several of the students will continue to follow the case where it leads.