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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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,” 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.
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