Archives for November, 2015

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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Recent Posts

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.

Washington journalists on Trump’s war on the press

Trump’s war on the press is a political strategy and it’s working, Margaret Sullivan, the media columnist for The Washington Post, said at the 2017 Missouri-Hurley Symposium at the National Press Club last week.

A journalist who sought to democratize data

In a period when many academics, journalists, civil-society groups and citizens fear that federal data may be altered to suit political agendas, the tools and techniques data journalists use will help keep it honest. And David Donald was one data journalism's standard bearers, taking steps to lowering barriers to entry in the field, including co-hosting workshops for social workers, real-estate brokers, designers, business managers, pediatricians, even zoologists. 


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