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Drug-lobby

Oct. 18, 2016

When the Republican-controlled Congress approved a landmark program in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs, it slapped on an unusual restriction: The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for those medicines. Instead, the job of holding down costs was outsourced to the insurance companies delivering the subsidized new coverage, known as Medicare Part D

The ban on government price bargaining, justified by supporters on free market grounds, has been derided by critics as a giant gift to the drug industry. Democratic lawmakers began introducing bills to free the government to use its vast purchasing power to negotiate better deals, but all of those measures over the last 13 years have failed.

Evictions

Aug. 26, 2016

D.C. tenants face eviction as "drug nuisances" even when no one is charged with a crime. During the past three years, city officials sent out about 450 nuisance-abatement letters to landlords and property owners, the vast majority aimed at ousting tenants accused of felony gun or drug crimes, including many bona fide drug dealers. But in doing so the District has also ensnared about three dozen people who were charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession or faced no charges at all, a Washington Post review of the letters has found.

Voting Wars

Aug. 20, 2016

With the presidential election less than three months away, millions of Americans will be navigating new requirements for voting — if they can vote at all — as state leaders implement dozens of new restrictions that could make it more difficult to cast a ballot. Since the last presidential election in 2012, politicians in 20 states passed 37 different new voting requirements that they said were needed to prevent voter fraud, a News21 analysis found. More than a third of those changes require voters to show specified government-issued photo IDs at the polls or reduce the number of acceptable IDs required by pre-existing laws. A News21 project.

Making a Case

Aug. 11, 2016

Tennessee Watson takes us on her journey from victim to survivor to reporter, investigating her own story of sexual abuse as a young girl. She documents her decision to report her coach years after the abuse and shows us what happened when a police detective and a prosecutor took on her case.  

It’s an intensely personal story, but also one that looks at how the system handles cases like hers, and the consequences for victims of sexual abuse everywhere.  

Cuba's Media Evolution

Aug. 9, 2016

While it’s too soon to tell if a true sea change is in the works, here are seven relatively recent shifts in the Cuban mediasphere. Many of them would have seemed inconceivable just a few years ago and bear watching in the future.

Fatal Force_WP

July 8, 2016

Two years after a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the pace of fatal shootings has risen slightly, while the grim encounters are increasingly being captured on video and stoking outrage. The toll for the first half of the year was nearly 500. The Washington Post has expanded the effort to track every case, and in 2016, culled media reports and filed hundreds of public-records requests to obtain the names and work histories of officers involved in fatal shootings — information that is not tracked by any federal agency.

The New Newsrooms

June 14, 2016

Nonprofit centers for investigative reporting have continued to grow outside of the United States over the past 10 years. The reporters who founded these centers followed the example of their colleagues in the U.S., where this model has thrived for the past two decades.


BankTracker: Analysis

June 9, 2016

The country lost 2,350 banks in the last eight years, but big banks grew bigger and richer, especially those in the top tier. Banks now have more assets, capital, deposits, profits, reserves and fewer losses and troubled assets than they did in 2007. But the Investigative Reporting Workshop's in-depth analysis shows every state was hit hard and lost at least one bank because of the Great Recession, with six states losing more than 100 financial institutions. The impact is still being felt, and some experts remain wary of improving financial data.

The Merger

June 1, 2016

The Pepco-Exelon merger was hotly debated because of concerns over competition, potential rate hikes and questions over commitments to green energy goals from opponents. Advocates for the deal argued Pepco needed a parent company with significant resources to improve the District's aging power grid. Pepco spent large amounts on lobbying and ads in an effort to shape public opinion, outflank opponents and give their shareholders big returns.

Business of Disaster

May 25, 2016

More than three years after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Northeast, thousands of homeowners are still struggling to return home, shortchanged by insurance companies and frustrated by bureaucratic recovery programs. The FRONTLINE-NPR joint investigation into the Sandy recovery reveals an unsustainable disaster response system that's costing taxpayers billions and failing to prepare increasingly vulnerable communities for the storms that lie ahead. 

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

Asian journalists wrestle with new rules

Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea news organizations face new challenges online as their governments now include internet activity in their regulatory structures. What used to be a niche for independent media has instead become a new battleground for freedom of expression. 

Seven signs Cuban media is moving toward openness

While it’s too soon to tell if a true sea change is in the works, here are seven relatively recent shifts in the Cuban mediasphere. Many of them would have seemed inconceivable just a few years ago and bear watching in the future.

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

'New Newsrooms' wins research award

The Investigative Reporting Workshop has won the Society for Professional Journalists’ Research about Journalism Award for “The New Newsrooms,” an examination of nonprofit centers for investigative journalism worldwide. The reporters who founded these centers followed the example of their colleagues in the U.S., where this model has thrived for the past two decades.

'Business of Disaster' finalist in IRE awards

“Business of Disaster,” the PBS FRONTLINE program about ongoing housing problems more than three years after the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, was a finalist in the IRE awards this year in both the large broadcast/video category and also in the large radio/audio category. 

The back-story behind Workshop's first data project on banks

In BankTracker, our long-running series that debuted in March 2009, we analyzed publicly available data to report on the financial health of the nation’s banks and credit unions. Though the project met with resistance from the banking association at the time, the updates continue to be welcomed by readers.

Washington journalists on Trump’s war on the press

Trump’s war on the press is a political strategy and it’s working, Margaret Sullivan, the media columnist for The Washington Post, said at the 2017 Missouri-Hurley Symposium at the National Press Club last week.

A journalist who sought to democratize data

In a period when many academics, journalists, civil-society groups and citizens fear that federal data may be altered to suit political agendas, the tools and techniques data journalists use will help keep it honest. And David Donald was one data journalism's standard bearers, taking steps to lowering barriers to entry in the field, including co-hosting workshops for social workers, real-estate brokers, designers, business managers, pediatricians, even zoologists. 

Partners

Workshop Partners

We publish online and in print, often teaming up with other news organizations. We're working now on a new program with FRONTLINE producers, to air later in the year, and on the "Years of Living Dangerously," a series on climate change that has begun airing on Showtime. A story last year on the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention centers was co-published with The New York Times. Our updates to our long-running BankTracker project, in which you can view the financial health of every bank and credit union in the country, have been published with msnbc.com, now nbcnews.com, and we co-published stories in our What Went Wrong series on the economy with The Philadelphia Inquirer and New America Media. Our graduate students are working as researchers with Washington Post reporters, and our new senior editor is a member of the Post's investigative team. Learn more on our partners page.

Projects

Investigating Power update

Investigating Power update

Profiles of notable journalists and their stories of key moments in U.S. history in the last 50 years can be found on the Investigating Power site. See Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis' latest video interviews as well as historic footage and timelines. You can also read more about the project and why we documented these groundbreaking examples of original, investigative journalism that helped shape or change public perceptions on key issues of our time, from civil rights to Iraq, here.