Archives for March, 2013

Should immigrant detainees be supplied lawyers?

Posted: March 31, 2013 | Tags: immigration

Immigrant detainees are allowed to hire lawyers. But most cannot afford them, and advocacy groups that provide representation can't keep up with the demand. Would guaranteed legal counsel slow the process or lessen the legal system's backlog? Workshop reporter Catherine Rentz and New York Times reporter Ian Urbina follow-up on our investigation into the use of solitary confinement in detention centers with a look at whether immigrant detainees should be guaranteed a lawyer.

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DHS to review use of solitary

Posted: March 27, 2013 | Tags: immigration

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she is going to review guidelines for using solitary confinement in immigration detention centers, in response to an article in The New York Times Sunday, co-written by the Workshop's Catherine Rentz and Times reporter Ian Urbina.

Our report found that on any given day, about 300 immigrants are held in solitary confinement at the 50 largest detention facilities that make up the sprawling patchwork of holding centers nationwide overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, according to new federal data.

Nearly half of those held in solitary confinement are isolated for 15 days ...

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On Watergate's anniversary, calls for media reform

Posted: March 18, 2013 | Tags: public media, Watergate

Could structural changes to American journalism — like increased federal support for public media — help prevent future political scandals?

That was one of the big questions posed last week during “The Lessons of Watergate,” a Washington, D.C., conference organized by the liberal advocacy group Common Cause. Held four decades after President Richard Nixon defiantly declared, “I am not a crook,” the two-day event at the National Press Club featured a series of speeches and panel discussions with journalists and government reform activists.

Robert Reich, the former secretary of labor in the Clinton administration who now teaches public policy at the ...

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Lessons from Enron coverage still influence McLean's work

Posted: March 7, 2013 | Tags: reporting

Journalist Bethany McLean says she wishes she were known as more than the “Enron Girl.”

But she says her work uncovering the company’s inflated stock prices scandal taught her important lessons about reporting on corporate governance that she continues to use today. 

On Tuesday, she shared those lessons with journalists during a panel discussion on corporate accountability reporting at the Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington.

McLean, now a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and columnist for Fortune, says journalists shouldn’t assume corporate shenanigans are hard to uncover.

“The craziest things ...

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Original research, new tools highlight conference

Posted: March 5, 2013 | Tags: NICAR

I came away from last week’s National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting conference feeling pretty good about the future of journalism. In newsrooms large and small, reporters and editors are experimenting with bold new ways to gather, analyze and present the news. Despite its serious economic problems, the field continues to attract a wealth of talented and energetic people, including some folks with backgrounds and educations that wouldn’t have been sought after or welcomed in the past.

NICAR is sponsored by IRE — Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. IRE has been holding NICAR conferences since 1993, and this year’s ...

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Recent Posts

'New Newsrooms' wins research award

The Investigative Reporting Workshop has won the Society for Professional Journalists’ Research about Journalism Award for “The New Newsrooms,” an examination of nonprofit centers for investigative journalism worldwide. The reporters who founded these centers followed the example of their colleagues in the U.S., where this model has thrived for the past two decades.

'Business of Disaster' finalist in IRE awards

“Business of Disaster,” the PBS FRONTLINE program about ongoing housing problems more than three years after the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, was a finalist in the IRE awards this year in both the large broadcast/video category and also in the large radio/audio category. 

The back-story behind Workshop's first data project on banks

In BankTracker, our long-running series that debuted in March 2009, we analyzed publicly available data to report on the financial health of the nation’s banks and credit unions. Though the project met with resistance from the banking association at the time, the updates continue to be welcomed by readers.

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