'Measuring impact' wins SPJ award

Posted: April 16, 2014 | Tags: journalism

The Investigative Reporting Workshop is thrilled and honored to report that our 2013 look into assessing the impact of journalism across nonprofit newsrooms, “Measuring Impact: The art, science and mystery of nonprofit news assessment,” has received a 2013 Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the "Research about Journalism"  category. 

Drawing from recent literature in the field in addition to informal conversations with journalism experts and seasoned practitioners, the report, made possible by funding from the McCormick Foundation, established several cornerstones upon which to build a common framework for assessing the impact of journalism — from ...

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'Years' project airs in April

Posted: April 14, 2014 | Tags: climate change

“jolie”

"Years of Living Dangerously" Associate Producer Jolie Lee and audio engineer Steve Miller filmed desert scenes in Lancaster, Calif.

On April 13, Showtime began “Years of Living Dangerously,” a nine-part documentary on climate change created by executive producers James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub.  

It’s a series I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of as an associate producer. I spent nearly a year working with Margaret Ebrahim, a series producer and Investigative Reporting Workshop senior editor, to research, report and produce stories for the series. 

“Years of Living Dangerously” will explain the science of climate change and ...

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Sunshine Week events in Washington

Posted: March 19, 2014 | Tags: FOIA, Freedom of Information, journalism

With snow still lining the streets and sidewalks of the greater Washington area, many of the region's residents are probably hoping that Thursday's start of spring brings with it a little long-awaited sunshine. 

The Investigative Reporting Workshop isn't in the business of making climatological promises. But we can say that there's a little more light beaming down on D.C. than usual as part of Sunshine Week — a national intiative sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press designed to foster a dialogue about freedom of information ...

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How to find stories on fraud

Posted: March 1, 2014 | Tags: journalism

A free workshop hosted by the Reynolds Center for Business Reporting offered plenty of tips for how reporters can better develop enterprise stories about corporate fraud.

The workshop on Feb. 26 preceded the four-day conference hosted by Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) in Baltimore.

 Workshop instructor Theo Francis, an investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, said that when developing stories, journalists should rely “on a mosaic” of documents.

 “You’re not going to find one thing that indicates fraud,” he said.

Regulatory filings by publicly traded companies like the 10-K, an annual ...

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Learning how to make the most of our data at NICAR

Posted: March 1, 2014 | Tags: campaign finance, Federal Election Commission, Investigative Reporters and Editors, journalism, National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, NICAR, reporting, Workshop news

Reporters are increasingly using data to find stories. At NICAR's annual conference, where 1,000 journalists are gathering in Baltimore this year, reporters, editors, programmers and datavisualization experts are sharing best practices for acquiring databases or building their own. 

A session on Federal Election Campaign (FEC) data, led by Aaron Bycoffe, Jack Gillum, and Chris Schnaars, focused on how to gain access to the publicly available but highly obfuscated records that show who donated what to political campaigns. The speakers said just 150 people accounted for $810 billion worth of donations to Super PACs in the 2012 presidential race ...

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Two investigations now available on Kindle

Posted: Feb. 26, 2014 | Tags: journalism, Koch brothers, reporting

In line with our mission to experiment with new economic models for creating and delivering investigating reporting, the Workshop has made two of its investigations available on Amazon's Kindle platform. 

Kindle users can now download Measuring Impact, our look at how nonprofit newsrooms can gauge their impact, and the Koch Club, our analysis of five years of political and charitable donations from Charles and David Koch. 

Measuring Impact

This report seeks to answer the two-pronged question, “What is ‘impact,’ and how can it be measured consistently across nonprofit newsrooms?” A review of recent, relevant literature and our informal conversations ...

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Upcoming events and trainings in investigative reporting

Posted: Feb. 24, 2014 | Tags: journalism

Several of the Investigative Reporting Workshop's editors and researchers are heading to Baltimore this week to take part in the annual conference of the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR). The event runs from Feb. 27 to March 2 and will feature in-depth explorations of how reporters can make use of spreadsheets, databases, online mapping, data analysis and other digital tools in investigative journalism. More information, including registration details and a day-by-day schedule are available at the Investigative Reporters and Editors website

Here's a rundown of some other upcoming events and trainings. 

The Online News Association's San ...

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Workshop adds TARP data

Posted: Dec. 10, 2013 | Tags: banks

Since the Investigative Reporting Workshop began publishing Banktracker in March 2009, we have tracked bank investments the Treasury Department made as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

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 ...

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Pairing students with the pros

Posted: Dec. 9, 2013 | Tags: tax lien

The Workshop pairs student journalists with professional reporters on contract with us to write either a specific story or series. These students have helped prize-winning investigative reporters develop their stories either directly, such as through interviews, FOIA requests, records searches, or indirectly, by creating spreadsheets of data collected by the reporter or fact-checking rough drafts or scripts.

We've extended this model now to include students working at The Washington Post under the direction of Senior Editor John Sullivan, who is also on the investigative team there. Today the Post published a first-rate example of this effort in practice: Alexia ...

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FAA boosts pilot training

Posted: Nov. 6, 2013 | Tags: airline maintenance

The Federal Aviation Administration passed new rules on Nov. 5 that will boost the training of pilots. The move was a direct response to the 2009 crash of Flight 3407 that killed 50 people as pilots were approaching for a landing in Buffalo, N.Y.

The families of the Flight 3407 victims issued a joint statement praising the new rules and saying that they will "take pilot training into the 21st century after nearly 15 years of fits and starts." 

The Investigative Reporting Workshop co-produced a documentary called "Flying Cheap" with PBS FRONTLINE that traced economic pressures and safety lapses ...

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Recent Posts

'Measuring impact' wins SPJ award

Measuring Impact: The art, science and mystery of nonprofit news assessment,” has won a 2013 Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the "Research about Journalism"  category. 

'Years' project airs in April

 “Years of Living Dangerously,” a nine-part documentary on climate change created by executive producers James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub, has begun its run on Showtime. Senior Producer Margaret Ebrahim and Associate Producer Jolie Lee worked for more than a year to research, report and produce two stories for the series. 

Sunshine Week events in Washington

Here's the rundown on several panels, workshops and other events about using and understanding the latest developments in freedom of information resources taking place in Washington this week. 


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