Shop Notes

Islamophobia in focus: Panel confronts American media bias against Islam

Posted: Sept. 27, 2016 | Tags: Islamophobia


 Photo by Maria Bryk, Newseum

Engy Abdelkader and fellow panelists encourage journalists to improve coverage by featuring stories on daily life.

Journalists and scholars of Islam explored the bias Muslims face and how the media influences both public opinion and global politics in “Islamophobia in Focus” last week at the Newseum.

Research shows that 9 out of 10 news stories about Islam involve terrorism and violence. The one-hour conversation was moderated by Engy Abdelkader, a researcher for Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, and featured John Esposito, Arsalan Iftikhar, Dalie Mogahed, Ayman Mohyeldin and Roland Schatz, who explored how the media ...

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New Trump biography reveals a complex picture

Posted: Sept. 20, 2016 | Tags: journalism

Longtime Washington Post reporters Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher said most of their 20 hours of interviews with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took place in his lavish Trump Tower office in New York City with a grand view of Central Park. They described those encounters and their reporting to a full house at The Washington Post recently, where they talked about the presidential candidate and their new book,  “Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Money, Ego and Power,” (Scribner, 448 pages).

As they watched his campaign unfold, Kranish and Fisher developed a more all-encompassing story about the real ...

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What we're reading: In-depth stories covering a wide range of topics

Posted: Sept. 20, 2016 | Tags: interns

Small illustration of a closed book.

Illustration by Sydney Ling


I didn't always know I wanted to be an investigative reporter. In fact, it was not until years after being properly introduced to journalism at Morehouse College that I was even made aware of what investigative reporting really was through the Georgia News Lab created by David Armstrong.

That experience of serving as a student investigative reporter with the lab, followed by a summer with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as an investigative intern, is what truly sparked my awareness.

A large part of this late introduction stemmed from me being naïve of the power and ...

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Charge of assaulting an officer narrows in DC

Posted: Sept. 7, 2016 | Tags: police


Photo by Jeff Watts, American University

Patrick Madden at work at WAMU-FM, a partner with the Workshop on "Assault on Justice" about the potential over-use of the charge in Washington, D.C.

When reporter Patrick Madden heard about the case of Dwight Harris being charged with assaulting a police officer from his motorized wheelchair, he knew something was amiss. He wanted to know how and just how often how often this happens. To find out, Madden and WAMU teamed with the Investigative Reporting Workshop and Reveal to launch an unprecedented examination of nearly 2,000 assault cases in the District ...

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CIA whistleblower files health complaint in prison

Posted: Aug. 17, 2016 | Tags: whistleblowers

The biggest surprise of the Barack Obama presidency to me and to many others has been what I have called “the unexpected national security obsessiveness” of his administration. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice has repeatedly used the draconian 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute journalists’ sources, effectively criminalizing investigative journalism. Or as James Goodale, The New York Times’ lead lawyer during the seminal Pentagon Papers case put it in his recent memoir, “Obama has used the Espionage Act to indict more leakers than any president in the history of this country.” No president’s administration in the past ...

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Embracing life as a freelancer

Posted: Aug. 11, 2016 | Tags: interns


Photo by Jeff Watts, AU

Hilary Niles  

After my summer at the Workshop in 2012, I returned to school for my second year of the graduate program at the Missouri School of Journalism. I followed that with 18 months as a statehouse reporter in Vermont, at the nonprofit news website This turned out to be a great way to get to know a small market. 

But I found myself wanting to do more data work and more investigative reporting. There aren't a ton of journalism jobs in north central Vermont, so moving to a different newsroom in ...

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An inside look at Fatal Force series

Posted: July 15, 2016 | Tags: police, social justice, Workshop news

Washington Post analysis by William Wan and Kimberly Kindy:

The hail of gunfire from one shooter and its latest casualties — three killed, three injured on Sunday in Baton Rouge — ratcheted up fears among law enforcement nationwide and brought the number of officers shot and killed in the line of duty to 30 this year, nearly double the toll at this time last year.

Our recently published “Fatal Force: Two years after Ferguson, police shootings up,” a project with The Washington Post, is an extension of the Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series illuminating officer-involved shootings in the United States during 2015 ...

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Betty Medsger winds up 'Burglary' tour

Posted: July 8, 2016 | Tags: journalism


Photo by Christina Animashaun, IRW

Betty Medsger talked to college students and former antiwar activists across the country during her book tour, in which she chronicled the tale of the break-in of an FBI building in Philadelphia and promotion of the companion film “1971.”

In 1971, Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger wrote the first stories based on files stolen from the FBI by a group of activists calling themselves The Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI. Despite immense pressure from the Nixon administration, Medsger, with support from the Post’s Executive Editor Ben Bradlee and Publisher Katharine Graham, wrote of ...

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IRE's conference lives on through tipsheets

Posted: June 29, 2016 | Tags: journalism

Even if you were not able to attend the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference earlier this month in New Orleans, the speakers and panelists create invaluable tipsheets you can still access.

And the conference blog provides a wealth of summaries and links to sessions. Several posts were written by Workshop staff and recent AU graduates:

•  Tips for getting records highlights the session by VICE News reporter Jason Leopold, who has turned to extensive and aggressive FOIA work to get officials on the record. And in tips for covering police, Washington Post reporter Kimberly Kindy and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s ...

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Whatever you do, keep moving forward

Posted: June 21, 2016 | Tags: journalism

Wade Nanythe

Photo by Louise Lief, IRW

Wade Williams, left, and Nanythe Talani are returning to their home countries to use their new skills in multimedia and social media.

For the image on her new Twitter account, Congolese journalist Nanythe Talani features part of a quote by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  “If you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

As Michelle Obama and her daughters head out next week to Africa to urge more support for girls’ education, it’s a good moment ...

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Recent Posts

Islamophobia in focus: Panel confronts American media bias against Islam

Journalists and scholars of Islam explored the bias Muslims face and how the media influences both public opinion and global politics. 

New Trump biography reveals a complex picture

Washington Post staffers talk about "Trump Revealed," the new book by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher that draws on a team of reporters and fact-checkers who looked into the presidential candidate's life and his worldwide travels, his hotel-rebuilding successes and his investment failures in Atlantic City casinos. The Post also makes hundreds of documents available for readers to see for themselves how they reported the story.

What we're reading: In-depth stories covering a wide range of topics

In this investigation the Food & Environment Reporting Network looks into how oil palm plantations have not only threatened rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia but also opened doors to poachers. The story is one of several a young reporter has been following in his immersive year into investigative reporting.

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