Archives for April, 2016

The power of images can make stories more memorable

Posted: April 30, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“Boston_Globe”

Cover of Metropoli

This magazine cover, designed to showcase the movie "Spotlight," was one of many creative covers from Metropoli in Spain.

Spotlight” took center-stage in the journalism world after its release last year, and its Oscars for Best Picture and Best Writing and Original Screenplay guarantee that this movie will be viewed for years to come, at least by those of us in the profession.

What has been gratifying to me as well is to see college students appreciate the story behind the film, in which The Boston Globe's investigative team, Spotlight, used persistence and patience, documents and ...

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Students moving on — and up

Posted: April 30, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“Boston_Globe”

Photo by Shih-Wei Chou

Graduate student Karol Ilagan joins her colleagues from the University of Missouri at the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday. 

More than 100 students and former students have been a part of the Investigative Reporting Workshop since 2009, from our first post-graduate fellows, including Kat Aaron, now at WNYC, to our current mix of grads and undergrads who are interns, researchers, reporters, videographers, photographers and graphic designers. Each academic year and summer we recruit, hire and train new teams. Most of the students are from American University's School of Communication programs, but we've also hired ...

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How to turn science into great journalism

Posted: April 14, 2016 | Tags: Freedom of Information

“science”_panel

 

Photo by Rich Press

From left: Rick Young, David Hoffman, Deborah Blum, Doug Pasternak and Louise Lief talk to the DC Science Writers.

Many science writers are curious about investigative journalism, but unsure how to proceed. 

At the recent Professional Development Day of the DC Science Writers Association, the largest regional gathering of science writers in the country, a panel of award-winning  journalists and investigators discussed how to identify, pitch and develop science-themed investigations for general audiences. 

The panel, which I organized and moderated, also explored how new digital tools are transforming investigative journalism, and how to identify and build ...

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Flint offers new model for accountability

Posted: April 11, 2016 | Tags: lead in water

water_flint”

Photo by Shutterstock

Bottled water being delivered to residents in Flint, Michigan, earlier this year.

A couple of weeks ago, the task force Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed to investigate Flint’s now infamous water crisis issued its long-awaited report. 

The findings detailed failures in multiple government agencies to address high levels of lead, a neurotoxin, in the city’s water. To cut costs, in the spring of 2014 Flint’s state-appointed emergency manager had switched the city’s water supply from Detroit’s system to the more polluted Flint river and kept it there, despite community protests, for 18 ...

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City Council member proposes law in response to investigation

Posted: April 6, 2016 | Tags: police

A D.C. lawmaker floated a bill Tuesday that would raise the standards police must meet to carry out search warrants and require the city to pay for property damage when officers raid the wrong houses.

D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large), the bill’s sponsor, said the measure was designed to prevent erroneous searches and give residents a clear course of action if police mistakenly raid their home.

Grosso said the bill was a response to a Washington Post investigation of 2,000 search warrants that found 284 cases in which D.C. police searched homes for ...

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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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