Archives for March, 2017

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

Posted: March 16, 2017 | Tags: BankTracker


Photoby Jeff Watts, AU

Wendell Cochran 

This month we’re celebrating the eighth anniversary of BankTracker, our long-running series on the financial health of the nation’s banks and credit unions.  

In 2009, Wendell Cochran, a founding editor of the Workshop, wanted to track the impact of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the $250 billion package that was signed into law in October 2008 by President Bush to stabilize the financial system. 

Using data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), BankTracker allows readers to search by the name of their bank or by credit union to see assets ...

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Washington journalists on Trump’s war on the press

Posted: March 13, 2017 | Tags: interns

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

“It’s not unintentional,” Sullivan said when talking with seven other Washington journalists about the rising tension between the new administration and the media.

"It’s not just because this is a group of rookies,” she added.

Sullivan said the Trump administration has been strategically pursuing a fight with the media and “set up the press as the bad guy.”

Since the first day of ...

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A journalist who sought to democratize data

Posted: March 9, 2017 | Tags: data


IRW photo

Data Editor Jennifer LaFleur designed “D-squared” buttons to honor her friend and co-trainer David Donald.

Earlier this year, some of the nation’s top data journalists flew to Washington to pay their respects to one of their own. My Investigative Reporting Workshop colleague David Donald, former data editor at the watchdog journalism nonprofit Center for Public Integrity, died in December after battling cancer. His colleagues gathered to celebrate his life and remarkable professional achievements.

Before he became ill, Donald and his colleagues had been developing a new, more democratic vision for data journalism, one that would invite the ...

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Sharing data and ideas

Posted: March 3, 2017 | Tags: IRE

Jacksonville, Florida, was the host city for this year’s Computer-Assisted Reporting conference, one of two annual conferences run by the Investigative Reporters and Editors. The March 2-5 program included practical tips, story ideas and computer training. Tipsheets and links are online, too.

Chuck Lewis, Workshop founding executive editor, moderated “Doing data journalism under duress” on March 3, which covered collaboration across borders and ways to make data more globally accessible. 

The three speakers on the panel brought unique experiences and skills: Anatoliy Bondarenko, head of data apps team at; Rigoberto Carvajal, the International Consortium of Investigative ...

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Recent Posts

Questions of environmental justice take center stage

The intersection of the First Amendment, environmental justice and racism was the focus at a recent National Geographic event, “Environmental Justice: What’s Next?” 

A NICAR newbie goes to Chicago

Data journalism is still new to me. Despite that, I decided to dive in head first and attend the recent NICAR conference in Chicago. It was one of my best experiences as a journalist so far. The conference led me to think about alternative sources for data — even for hidden communities. 

Apprehensions at U.S.-Mexico border down from 2017

The number of people apprehended or denied entry into the U.S. dropped from 2017.

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