Shop Notes

Reporters reflect on journalism’s highest honor

Posted: Feb. 1, 2016 | Tags: Pulitzer Prize

“Pulitzer”

Photo by Maria Bryk, Newseum

More than 200 Pulitzer Prize winners gather at the Newseum for the first in a series of yearlong events across the country.

Throughout his career, Doug Pardue has kept the Pulitzer Prize as a goal. Not because he wanted to win the award but because he realized that if he kept striving to do the kind of journalism worthy of the prize, then he was doing the best he could.

So to finally get it felt like an honor, he said: “It’s the capstone to my career.”

Pardue, projects reporter for The Post and ...

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Internship app deadline Feb. 1

Posted: Jan. 27, 2016 | Tags: interns

The Investigative Reporting Workshop, a privately funded, nonprofit news organization at the American University School of Communication in Washington, is looking for smart, engaged students from around the country for internship positions in the summer of 2016.

Positions include researchers, videographers, graphic designers and web producers. Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply. Preferred majors include journalism, communication, film, public policy, public health, history or economics.

The Workshop publishes in-depth stories about government and corporate accountability, ranging widely from the environment and health to national security and the economy. The Workshop pairs experienced professional reporters and editors with students ...

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BankTracker updates

Posted: Dec. 16, 2015 | Tags: banks

We’ve just updated the BankTracker database to include the third quarter, Sept. 30 releases from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. 

And while the country and presidential candidates now seem focused on foreign policy and national security, it won’t be surprising if banking policies and practices get renewed attention in the upcoming primaries. 

We continue to analyze and provide quarterly banking and credit union data, based on reports from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration, and analyzed by the Workshop’s former Senior Editor Wendell Cochran and Data ...

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New training shows officers how to 'calm things down'

Posted: Dec. 11, 2015 | Tags: police

In today’s Washington Post, reporter Kimberly Kindy examines a new kind of training for police recruits near Seattle, in which officials say they are determined to produce “guardians of democracy” who serve and protect — instead of “warriors” who conquer and control.

Ashley Balcerzak, a master’s student at AU, Workshop intern and in the practicum taught by John Sullivan at the Post, researched a section on how police weapons have changed. She also helped to fact-check the story and then wrote in more detail about what she learned in “How the police duty belt went from Officer Friendly to ...

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Crowdfunding shines a light on Israeli politicians

Posted: Nov. 30, 2015 | Tags: Transparency

“TomerAvital”

Photo courtesy Tomer Avital and "Bar Siach"

Tomer Avital shares the work of “100 Days of Transparency” with young Israelis at a Tel Aviv Bar. These gatherings of scholars and activists discussing issues in a light environment are common in Israel.

With the 2016 presidential campaign in full swing, the issues of scrutiny and transparency are again center-stage.

Super PACs, other sources of election money, missing emails and questionable use of emails and ties to Wall Street continue to be part of the nonstop journalistic scrutiny that includes examinations of whether candidates and their campaigns are as transparent as they ...

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Nat Geo tracks wildlife exploitation

Posted: Nov. 28, 2015 | Tags: Impact

“Rachael_Bale”

Photo courtesy National Geographic

Editor's note: As a graduate student at American University, Rachael Marcus Bale researched the U.S. drone programs and a project on the Koch brothers' wide-ranging influence for the Investigative Reporting Workshop. She is also a former graduate fellow and full-time reporter at the Center for Public Integrity and a former reporter at the Center for Investigative Reporting. She is now part of a new investigative team at National Geographic.

Elephants are about a generation away from going extinct. At least 30,000 are killed every year, just for their ivory. Rhinos numbers are dropping ...

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How the media can support whistleblowers

Posted: Nov. 12, 2015 | Tags: whistleblowers

Can whistleblowers safely express concerns about their agency within internal channels? Do a whistleblower’s motives matter? Should the press focus on the leaker when reporting stories about the information they revealed?

Edward Snowden — famous for his NSA data leaks — New York Times reporter James Risen and whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack tried to answer these questions using their own experiences at a Newseum forum Tuesday. 

“For all the whistleblowers I’ve worked with, for them, the press is the last resort,” Risen said. “They’ve tried and almost never found any real result from that internal system.”

PEN ...

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Researchers collect data to reform policing

Posted: Nov. 11, 2015 | Tags: data, science, social justice

Earlier this fall, I was invited to attend an extraordinary meeting at the White House. “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People” was the coming together of an effort that has been percolating in the federal government for the past couple of years, to engage more citizens in creating and using government data through citizen science and crowdsourcing.

The forum, which drew participants from all over the United States, explored ways to enable ordinary citizens everywhere to collect, analyze and contribute data to government agencies and access it, to help spot problems and devise ...

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Combating seafood fraud

Posted: Nov. 4, 2015 | Tags: FDA, reporting, science, seafood trade

Blue icon of a fish.

 

Illustration by Lesia Olesnyckyj

One of the things we do at the Investigative Reporting Workshop is explore how different academic disciplines can enrich and inform investigative journalism. A talk this week on seafood fraud sponsored by AU’s interdisciplinary ECOllaborative provides a case in point.

Kimberly A. Warner, senior scientist for the ocean conservation group Oceana, described her organization’s efforts to combat widespread global seafood fraud. The United States imports 94 percent of its seafood. Oceana scientists have discovered that much of it is mislabeled. Thanks to advances in DNA testing over the last several years, scientists like Warner ...

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'120 Days' shows heartbreaking reality of immigration

Posted: Oct. 21, 2015 | Tags: documentary

“David

Photo from "120 Days"

Miguel Cortes hugs his wife and daughter as they face the choice to separate the family or become fugitives.

The documentary "120 Days" turns a spotlight on the story of the Cortes family while the father, Miguel, decides whether to voluntarily return to Mexico — with a court's offer that he has 120 days to get his affairs in order — or face deportation and the splitting apart of his family.

Introducing the lesser-known side of the immigration discussion is important, says director Ted Roach, who will be on hand for questions following the screening of "120 ...

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Recent Posts

Reporters reflect on journalism’s highest honor

What does it mean to win a Pulitzer? The Workshop recently spoke with winning journalists to learn about how Pulitzer values have inspired their work and their advice for aspiring young reporters.

Internship app deadline Feb. 1

The Investigative Reporting Workshop is looking for smart, engaged students from around the country for internship positions in the summer of 2016.

Positions include researchers, videographers, graphic designers and web producers. Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply. Preferred majors include journalism, communication, film, public policy, public health, history or economics.

BankTracker updates

We’ve just updated the BankTracker database to include the third quarter, Sept. 30 releases from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. 

And while the country and presidential candidates now seem focused on foreign policy and national security, it won’t be surprising if banking policies and practices get renewed attention in the upcoming primaries. 


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