Shop Notes

What we're reading: Homicide coverage

Posted: May 3, 2016 | Tags: journalism, Logan Symposium

Small illustration of a closed book.

Illustration by Sydney Ling

 

I finished reading "Ghettoside" by Jill Leovy, a reporter at The Los Angeles Times who embedded for more than a year with the Los Angeles Police Department in South Los Angeles, a world unto its own. 

I knew of the book — a New York Times bestseller, named one of the 10 best books of the year by USA TODAY, the San Francisco Chronicle and Chicago Tribune — and had read several reviews.

But hearing Leovy speak about how to cover police — as part of a panel during the Logan Symposium at the University of California, Berkeley — intrigued ...

Read full entry

The power of images can make stories memorable

Posted: April 30, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“Boston_Globe”

Cover of Metropoli

This magazine cover, designed to showcase the movie "Spotlight," was one of many creative covers from Metropoli in Spain.

Spotlight” took center-stage in the journalism world after its release last year, and its Oscars for Best Picture and Best Writing and Original Screenplay guarantee that this movie will be viewed for years to come, at least by those of us in the profession.

What has been gratifying to me as well is to see college students appreciate the story behind the film, in which The Boston Globe's investigative team, Spotlight, used persistence and patience, documents and ...

Read full entry

Students moving on — and up

Posted: April 30, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“Boston_Globe”

Photo by Shih-Wei Chou

Graduate student Karol Ilagan joins her colleagues from the University of Missouri at the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday. 

More than 100 students and former students have been a part of the Investigative Reporting Workshop since 2009, from our first post-graduate fellows, including Kat Aaron, now at WNYC, to our current mix of grads and undergrads who are interns, researchers, reporters, videographers, photographers and graphic designers. Each academic year and summer we recruit, hire and train new teams. Most of the students are from American University's School of Communication programs, but we've also hired ...

Read full entry

How to turn science into great journalism

Posted: April 14, 2016 | Tags: Freedom of Information

“science”_panel

 

Photo by Rich Press

From left: Rick Young, David Hoffman, Deborah Blum, Doug Pasternak and Louise Lief talk to the DC Science Writers.

Many science writers are curious about investigative journalism, but unsure how to proceed. 

At the recent Professional Development Day of the DC Science Writers Association, the largest regional gathering of science writers in the country, a panel of award-winning  journalists and investigators discussed how to identify, pitch and develop science-themed investigations for general audiences. 

The panel, which I organized and moderated, also explored how new digital tools are transforming investigative journalism, and how to identify and build ...

Read full entry

Flint offers new model for accountability

Posted: April 11, 2016 | Tags: lead in water

water_flint”

Photo by Shutterstock

Bottled water being delivered to residents in Flint, Michigan, earlier this year.

A couple of weeks ago, the task force Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed to investigate Flint’s now infamous water crisis issued its long-awaited report. 

The findings detailed failures in multiple government agencies to address high levels of lead, a neurotoxin, in the city’s water. To cut costs, in the spring of 2014 Flint’s state-appointed emergency manager had switched the city’s water supply from Detroit’s system to the more polluted Flint river and kept it there, despite community protests, for 18 ...

Read full entry

City Council member proposes law in response to investigation

Posted: April 6, 2016 | Tags: police

A D.C. lawmaker floated a bill Tuesday that would raise the standards police must meet to carry out search warrants and require the city to pay for property damage when officers raid the wrong houses.

D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large), the bill’s sponsor, said the measure was designed to prevent erroneous searches and give residents a clear course of action if police mistakenly raid their home.

Grosso said the bill was a response to a Washington Post investigation of 2,000 search warrants that found 284 cases in which D.C. police searched homes for ...

Read full entry

Workshop researcher reports on religion for the Post

Posted: March 24, 2016 | Tags: The Washington Post

“AshleyCampbell”

Photo by Jeff Watts

Ashley Campbell

Participating in The Washington Post Investigative Practicum was one of the many opportunities that led me to attend the American University graduate program in journalism. The experience has been more than I expected, as the faculty and Post staff worked to develop a position unique to my interest in religion. 

As a religion reporting intern for Acts of Faith, I have been able to talk to Morgan Freeman about God and contribute to the coverage of Pope Francis’ changes to Catholic rituals. This experience has let me work alongside religion reporters I’ve followed ...

Read full entry

Why you should attend NICAR next year

Posted: March 22, 2016 | Tags: Investigative Reporters and Editors

Several Workshop staffers, including Executive Editor Charles Lewis, recently attended the annual conference devoted to computer-assisted reporting, which was held this year in Denver.

What they discovered at the conference run by NICAR, the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, and IRE, Investigative Reporters & Editors:

“CharlesLewis”

Photo by Jeff Watts

Charles Lewis

Charles Lewis, executive editor 

The CAR 2016 conference in Denver was extraordinary for me, on a few levels.

Sentimentally, I thought back to the very first computer-assisted reporting conference in the United States, held in Indianapolis by Indiana University School of Journalism professor Jim Brown.

Having attended that, and now ...

Read full entry

New film to portray investigations of Iraq War

Posted: March 22, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“Walcott”

 

Photo by Greg Tinius

Walcott led the team looking into WMDs.

This is Hollywood’s golden age for investigative journalism. On the heels of “Spotlight’s” Oscar triumphs, “Shock and Awe,” a similarly themed movie to be directed by Rob Reiner, is scheduled to go into production later this year.

The film, written by Joey Hartstone, who is also the screenwriter for Reiner’s upcoming film “LBJ,” tells the tale of the Knight Ridder team that got the story of Saddam’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction right in the run-up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, when ...

Read full entry

BankTracker updates

Posted: March 11, 2016 | Tags: banks, BankTracker

We’ve updated the BankTracker database to include the fourth quarter, Dec. 31, 2015, releases from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. 

The fourth-quarter reports were analyzed by the Workshop’s former Senior Editor Wendell Cochran.

You can search by bank or by credit union to see assets, loans, deposits, reserves, profits and real-estate holdings, among other things. BankTracker still is the only publicly available site that provides this data.

Read full entry

Recent Posts

What we're reading: Homicide coverage

Great journalism continues to be produced by reporters immersing themselves in the lives of others, particularly on the issue of homicide. At the recent Logan Symposium, Jill Leovy talked about the making of her new book, "Ghettoside," and Doug Pardue gave his audience the backstory of "Till Death Do Us Part."

The power of images can make stories memorable

At the recent Society for News Design conference, designers, illustrators and photographers showed what it takes to make stories visually appealing. El Mundo's art director displayed the creative efforts, from his sketches to finished magazine covers, that the staff undertakes to explain and showcase their journalism.

Students moving on — and up

Ten Workshop interns are graduating not only from their respective degree programs but also from their Workshop stints, moving on to a variety of different publications.



 Subscribe to the RSS Feed

Archives

Twitter

Follow the workshop at IRWorkshop