The Investigative Reporting Workshop’s Blogs
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.
Scholars and watchdog groups say the federal government — and the Supreme Court — have slowly expanded privacy rights beyond the guidelines established in FOIA. Supreme Court decisions in five FOIA cases shed light on how the government came to value privacy interests over the public’s right to know.
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The Investigative Reporting Workshop showcases anthropologist and author David Vine’s book today in a new project, “The Lily Pad Strategy.”
Vine, a professor at American University, has spent years documenting the growth and influence of the U.S. military worldwide. His latest book, "Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World" (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt 2015), shows the military’s increasing footprint across Asia and Africa. The Workshop’s Kelly Martin created more than a dozen historical maps for the new book and a new set of interactive maps for the Workshop’s website.
When NASA's New Horizons spacecraft sent back its first crisp images of Pluto last week, the culmination of a 3-billion mile, 9 1/2-year journey filled with cliffhangers and near disasters, you didn't need to be a scientist to feel the exhilaration of discovering what was, until then, a dark and blurry corner of the solar system.
Given my interests within research and media, I also thought about the lessons for journalism.
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