Archives for June, 2012

New tools help as writers take a second look at the decline of working America

Posted: June 26, 2012 | Tags: IRE

Reporting has undergone a revolution since Donald Barlett and James Steele published their series, “America: What Went Wrong,” two decades ago in the Philadelphia Inquirer. New tools and datasets have reconstructed the techniques reporters have always used to investigate stories.

“This is the golden age of reporting, in many ways,” Steele said during a panel discussion at the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) national conference last week in Boston. “The ease with which you can do these things now is astonishing.”

whatwentwrongpanel

Photo by Samantha Sunne, Investigative Reporting Workshop

From left, Rose Ciotta, Kat Aaron, Jim Steele and Chuck Lewis talk ...

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Identifying the next big investigation

Posted: June 25, 2012 | Tags: interns, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Public Insight Network

We all know of stories too big for one reporter to tackle; you need an entire team. Lately, we’re seeing stories even bigger, produced by two or more teams from different newsrooms. Now, imagine a story so big that virtually every newsroom in the country could play a part, and any audience member could contribute as a source.

Some journalists are still getting used to crowdsourcing or co-production as these collaborative techniques forge new ground in newsrooms. Others are dreaming up ways to push the envelope of collaboration itself. Such was the case at the Investigative Reporters and Editors ...

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Advice still holds: Follow paper trails and instincts

Posted: June 23, 2012 | Tags: IRE

I joined two of the Workshop’s other student researchers, Samantha Sunne and Hilary Niles, at the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in Boston last weekend, where nearly 1,200 journalists and media professionals dove into computer-assisted reporting, swapped tips on interviewing tough subjects and talked about how to cover topics like racial disparities, crime and the environment. But the core of investigative reporting — holding powerful people accountable for their actions — was the focus of a panel hosted by the Workshop and moderated by our executive editor, Charles Lewis.

Lewis asked these award-winning panelists to talk about their observations ...

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PyLadies take charge

Posted: June 5, 2012 | Tags: Investigative Reporting Workshop

By Lydia Beyoud and Hilary Niles

It takes a lot of data to build the investigative and multimedia projects we deliver here at the Workshop. So naturally, we want to use the best possible methods to convey what we uncover.

That’s why we sent three summer staffers — Lydia Beyoud, Hilary Niles and Samantha Sunne — to a training session we helped coordinate last weekend: an introduction to the open-source programming language Python, through a training program geared specifically toward women.

The event, sponsored by DC PyLadies and DC Python, drew more than 25 aspiring programmers, with dozens more on the ...

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Why print still matters

Posted: June 4, 2012 | Tags: Connected

Today's Save-the-Times-Picayune rally in New Orleans is another in a series of efforts to draw attention to the plight of the city's paper. Advance Publications announced it will publish the print edition only three days a week starting this fall and will focus more effort on its online site.

As we reported in March in our Connected project, the digital divide is now about income more than access. And for the many Times-Picayune readers who don't have or cannot afford Internet service, this translates into more people being less well-informed. Orleans Parish has 40 percent to 60 ...

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Recent Posts

‘Dropped and Dismissed’ wins Murrow Award

“Dropped and Dismissed,” an investigation into child sexual abuse co-produced by the Workshop, just won an Edward R. Murrow award for News Documentary.

Free speech heated on campuses

Free speech controversies on college campuses nationwide show some experts that students need education about First Amendment protections earlier and often, according to a panel of academic and free speech authorities who spoke Wednesday afternoon at the Newseum. 


Rare footage, interviews highlight new Ken Burns doc

In preparation for the September premiere of PBS’s new documentary series on the Vietnam War, directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick talked Monday night at the Newseum about the importance of both press freedom and finding humanity during one of America’s darkest and most divisive wars.


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