The Investigative Reporting Workshop’s Blogs
March 13-19 was Sunshine Week — a nationwide celebration of access to public information. Across the country, the week was marked by panel discussions, workshops and other events about using and understanding the latest developments in freedom-of-information resources. One of those was an event at the University of Missouri in which Charles Lewis, the Workshop's executive editor, argued that government has not become too transparent.
Since 1996 the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has offered a free letter-generating service to provide users with the correct language and structure for FOIA requests. Over the past year the committee looked for ways to expand this tool to better serve reporters. In recognition of the fact that a single investigation can require hundreds of FOIA requests, they sought to make it easier for journalists to track and organize records requests.
“Reporters are always trying to remember where they’ve submitted requests, how much time has passed since they made the request and who they need to follow up with,” said Emily Grannis of the new ifOIA website.
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American-born investigative journalist Gavin MacFadyen created and began directing the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London in 2003, and he was also a visiting professor at City University of London. He worked on more than 50 investigative television programs and helped to train journalists from around the world at his annual conferences. His firm support for data journalism had a major impact on its growth and success in the United Kingdom. He investigated and reported on stories about child labor; environmental pollution, the torture of political prisoners, neo-Nazis in Britain, Contra murders in Nicaragua, UK industrial accidents; Chinese organized crime; the CIA’s history; maritime piracy; election fraud in South America; diamond mines in South Africa; and Frank Sinatra’s connections with organized crime.
Terrorism, corruption and the future of democracy — those are some of the topics that will be addressed at the Integrity20 conference in Brisbane, Australia, from Oct. 24-26. The conference aims to assemble “20 of the world’s most unique, courageous and provocative minds” to discuss some of the most important problems the world faces. One of the speakers will be Charles Lewis, the founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop.
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