Archives for May, 2010

Calif. Pulitzer Prize-winning paper becomes L3C

Posted: May 27, 2010 | Tags: L3C, Point Reyes Light

The Point Reyes Light, a Pulitzer Prize-winning weekly newspaper in the California Bay Area, has been sold to a group of journalists, educators and community leaders, according to an article in today's San Francisco Chronicle.

And, even given the paper's recent controversy over ownership, for me the most interesting aspect of the sale is that the Light will operate as a low-profit limited liability company, or an L3C.

The paper was sold to the Marin Media Institute, a newly formed nonprofit. Heading the editorial effort is well-respected investigative journalist, Mark Dowie, former publisher of Mother Jones magazine. Dowie ...

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Wind industry can't escape fact of foreign domination

Posted: May 26, 2010 | Tags: American Wind Energy Association, AOL Politics Daily, wind energy

The American Wind Energy Association’s annual conference, Windpower2010 wraps up today in Dallas, Texas – a state best known for oil. But these days, wind is quickly becoming the favorite Texas energy, and this event was all about showing off just how homegrown and distinctly American wind power really is. Conference organizers even booked former president George W. Bush (for an estimated $100,000) to be the keynote speaker. Despite a ban on photos or audio and video recording, a few journalists snuck out some details of Bush’s speech – like his recollection of how he once directed the chairman ...

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PBS Frontline re-airing "Flying Cheap" documentary

Posted: May 24, 2010 | Tags: airline maintenance, Flying Cheap, Frontline, PBS

The debut Workshop/PBS FRONTLINE investigative documentary "Flying Cheap" is re-airing nationwide on PBS 9 p.m. tonight (check your local listings).

One of the highest rated shows of the season, "Flying Cheap" received kudos from media critics across the country.

We definitely struck a chord with "Flying Cheap" and are now working on a follow-up special that will probe the section of the industry that works on the planes before they take off - airline maintenance - and in particular, the trend toward outsourcing both domestically and abroad.

In our effort to educate ourselves about the many changes in the airline ...

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Journalism nonprofits filling in the void

Posted: May 17, 2010 | Tags: journalism-ecosystem, National Press Club

In the past decade, newsrooms have lost nearly a third of their staff due to drastic decreases in advertising revenue, and journalism nonprofits are stepping up to fill in that void.

“We have this very strange landscape today where we have more than two dozen (journalism) nonprofits across the United States and they are proliferating like rabbits,” said Investigative Reporting Workshop’s Executive Editor Charles Lewis at the National Press Club this morning.

Lewis moderated a panel on producing quality journalism in the new media environment with ProPublica Managing Editor Stephen Engelberg and PolitiFact Editor Bill Adair.

Adair explained PolitiFact ...

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TARP bank among Friday failures

Posted: May 15, 2010 | Tags: banks, BankTracker, failed banks, FDIC, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Illinois banks, TARP

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over four more banks on Friday, bringing the total number of failures so far this year to 72.

Included in Friday's closings was the Midwest Bank and Trust Co. of Elmwood Park, Ill., which had been owned by Midwest Banc Holdings, Inc. of Melrose Park, Ill. Midwest Banc Holdings got $84.8 million from the Troubled Assets Relief Program in December 2008, which it had not repaid, according to the latest Treasury Department report on TARP transactions.

But the Treasury Department report also shows that in March it increased its investment in Midwest ...

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CJR: Nonprofits 'moving from the margin'

Posted: May 13, 2010 | Tags: Columbia Journalism Review, journalism-ecosystem, National Press Club

Some predict commercial media will give up altogether on pricey investigative reporting and that nonprofits will continue to take a more prominent role in journalism.

Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis, who has founded four nonprofit journalism organizations, will be on a panel Monday at the National Press Club speaking about how to excel in this new media landscape.

He is quoted in the most recent recent issue of the Columbia Journalism Review about what he refers to as the "emerging ecosystem of investigative reporting."

The CJR piece, by reporter Jill Drew, looks at how nonprofit journalism is breaking new ground ...

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Economy still has long way to go

Posted: May 7, 2010 | Tags: Bureau of Labor Statistics, economy, unemployment

The April unemployment numbers came out today, and the headline news is that unemployment crept up from 9.7% to 9.9% - despite the creation of 290,000 new jobs.

As always, though, my interest lies in another piece of the data set released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I like the A-15 and A-16 tables, which track people not in the labor force. And no, that's not the same as people who are unemployed. To count as unemployed, someone must have actively sought work in the last four weeks. If you give up looking, you're ...

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Interactive data and the future of news

Posted: May 6, 2010 | Tags: Aron Pilhofer, BankTracker, computer-assisted reporting, Derek Willis, interactive data, Jacob Fenton, Matt Waite, New York Times, Online News Association

Tons of ink -- both physical and digital -- have been spilled in recent years discussing the economic models that can be built to sustain, perhaps even revive, the business of journalism. It seems to me that somewhat less attention has been given to the topic of how to create new and better content models, which are just as surely needed.

Here at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, we are trying to tackle both sides of the equation. In the coming months, Executive Editor Charles Lewis will have a lot to say about new ways to finance and distribute investigative journalism.

On the ...

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Recent Posts

New book launches

Executive Editor Charles Lewis celebrated the release of his new book, "935 Lies," at the National Press Club last week, an event hosted by the Center for Public Integrity, which Lewis founded 25 years ago. It was the first of several programs and interviews related to "935 Lies."


Mentoring the next generation

Our partnership with The Washington Post continues this summer under an ever-expanding model, as we pair our Workshop interns with several different investigative teams at the Post.

Banktracker Updates

After more than five years, the Investigative Reporting Workshop has decided to make some changes in its Banktracker feature.


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