Shop Notes

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

“Hilary

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 VTDigger.org. 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

“Betty_Medsger”

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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Seeking to escape metrics' tyranny, an editor asks, 'Why?'

Posted: June 16, 2016 | Tags: metrics, Workshop news

“Brian_Boyer”

Photo by by Akash Ghai, Newsroom14.Journalists.org

NPR’s Brian Boyer celebrates winning an award for “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt.”

They are extremely addictive. Repeat users describe an adrenaline rush, followed by rapid mood swings that fluctuate between exhilaration, and anxiety, self-doubt and despair. They also report high stress levels.

In our brave new big data world, web metrics, the statistics that measure page views, unique visitors, bounce rates, engagement time, tweets, Facebook “Likes,” and a host of other things, have become proxies for an organization’s effectiveness.

But after reading several critiques of current analytics tools, including ...

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SPJ honors Lewis with Distinguished Service Award

Posted: June 15, 2016 | Tags: Charles Lewis

“Chuck_Lewis”

Photo by Cassie Lewis

Lewis receives the SPJ Distinguished Service Award.To his left: journalist Jonetta Rose Barras, a Hall of Fame inductee, and broadcaster and master of ceremonies Jim Bohannon.

The Washington, D.C., chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored Charles Lewis with the 2016 Distinguished Public Service Award, presented Tuesday night at the National Press Club in Washington.

Former Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie wrote Lewis' introduction, which was read by Stephen Taylor, a freelance reporter and producer for Fox News Radio and a former correspondent for ABC News, because Downie was unable to attend ...

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Survey shows extent of reporting worldwide

Posted: June 14, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“magnifying_glass”

A new package of stories, maps and graphics showcases our survey of reporting organizations overseas. In addition, Executive Editor Charles Lewis reflects on his years of traveling and advising startups in other countries. 

You'll also find the results of our survey, in which we looked at more than 100 journalism organizations in other countries, focusing on those 27 doing primarily investigative reporting. The story's authors, Pietro Lombardi and Daniel Farber Ball, used an online survey, phone and Skype interviews to connect with journalists who risk their lives and the safety of their families to pursue stories that enlighten ...

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Madden wins Schorr prize

Posted: May 23, 2016 | Tags: police

Patrick Madden of NPR member station WAMU 88.5 is the winner of the annual Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize, named for the respected NPR senior news analyst and veteran Washington journalist who died in 2010.  

The $5,000 Schorr award, sponsored by WBUR and Boston University, and funded by Jim and Nancy Bildner, recognizes a new generation of public radio journalists under the age of 35 seeking to inspire them to stretch the boundaries of the medium.

Madden was cited for “Assault on Justice,” a collaboration with WAMU, the Investigative Reporting Workshop and Reveal News. The radio documentary and written ...

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Recent Posts

CIA whistleblower files health complaint in prison

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 century — indeed, all of them combined — has prosecuted more whistleblowing sources using the Espionage Act than the Obama administration.

 

Embracing life as a freelancer

After her summer as an intern at the Workshop in 2012 and completing her master's at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Hilary Niles creates her own reality as a freelancer.

An inside look at Fatal Force series

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, as well as the first follow-up piece the Post published in 2016 that sought to find out how police departments handle releasing the names of officers who use fatal force.


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