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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Since the Investigative Reporting Workshop began publishing BankTracker in March 2009, we have followed bank investments the Treasury Department made as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Even though the program is mostly winding down, the federal government still is owed more than $2 billion.
We also believe there remains significant public interest in how the program has operated even after banks repay their investments, or the Treasury sells off its stock in the banks.
We have added significant detail to our TARP pages, including more information about the sale of the government’s investments. We also have added details about banks that repaid their TARP investments using another government program, the Small Business Lending Fund.
Today we look at the latest news on credit unions.
Alexia Campbell and Danielle DeCourcey interviewed nearly two dozen tax collectors across the country for a sidebar to the ongoing Washington Post investigative series "Homes for the Taking." The Post series shows how hundreds of District residents lost their homes through the city's sale of property tax liens to third-party investors.
Campbell and DeCourcey's article provides an overview of how other counties across the country collect delinquent property taxes and shows that few protect vulnerable homeowners from losing their property over an unpaid tax bill of a few hundred dollars.
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