Posts tagged 'journalism'

'Business of Disaster' finalist in IRE awards

Posted: April 14, 2017 | Tags: journalism

“House_Sandy”

FRONTLINE photo

"Business of Disaster" looked at houses in New Jersey and New York that were damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

 

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 the large broadcat/video category and also in the large radio/audio category. 

Congratulations to Rick Young, Emma Schwartz and Fritz Kramer — the FRONTLINE team based here at the Workshop and the School of Communication — and to Laura Sullivan of NPR, who was the correspondent on the program ...

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Russia's disinformation strategy

Posted: Jan. 19, 2017 | Tags: journalism

“Louise

Photo by Jeff Watts, AU

Louise Lief

Louise Lief, our scholar in residence, writes about Russia's manipulation of news and information, not only in U.S. elections but in other countries as well.

Lief's analysis in The Columbia Journalism Review says Russians have "pioneered new, computerized ways to pollute the information ecosystem. The Russians were among the earliest to massively scale up and deploy trolls and bots, Potemkin communities of fake users that support or oppose various positions." 

She cites examples in the Urkraine, Moldova and Lithuania that range from partially fake news (facts but false conclusions) to ...

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Trust remains a key problem for journalists

Posted: Nov. 28, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“I don’t know the answers,” Richard Gingras, vice president of Google News, said at “Considering The Future Of Journalism" recently at the Newseum. And easy solutions are not in sight, he added, when he and Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news at NPR, took the stage. But both offered ideas and made the case for stronger content.

Being a digital media entrepreneur, Gingras concentrated on the technological challenges and opportunities journalism faces. “Media dominates our lives,” Gingras said, underlining his argument with the fact that “more smartphones are activated each day than babies are born.” 

And, he said ...

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What we're reading: Children, guns, environment stories humanize problems

Posted: Nov. 10, 2016 | Tags: climate change, Guns, health, journalism, reporting, Wisconsin Watch

Small illustration of a closed book.

Illustration by Sydney Ling, IRW

 

Sometimes, as both reporter and reader, news stories can feel a little repetitive. Another tragic shooting or overdose, leaving torn families in its wake. Another environmental disaster we may not be able to slow down in time. Another abuse of power, exposing biases, neglect or other shortcomings. 

While it is the responsibility of journalists to report the news, it is also our responsibility to discover the stories behind these trends. The investigative pieces below provide critical analyses of events dominating the current news landscape, and, importantly, shed light on the stories behind the headlines in ...

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What we’re reading: Bulletproof journalism

Posted: Nov. 10, 2016 | Tags: journalism

Illustration by Sydney Ling

Every student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism has to take a course in media law. Our colorful professor, Sandra Davidson, was an expert match for a curriculum filled with sarcastic holdings, absurd lawsuits over adult magazines, tongue-in-cheek advertisements and even rap lyrics (which she performed with enthusiasm). I loved it so much the first time around that I came back as a graduate teaching assistant for two more semesters.

Understanding media law has changed the way I read and write articles, particularly long-form work. Investigative reporting requires the highest level of bullet-proofing against ...

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Gavin MacFadyen: A remembrance

Posted: Oct. 23, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“Gavin_MacFadyen”

CJI photo

Journalist Gavin MacFadyen

A leading and memorable figure in investigative journalism, Gavin MacFadyen, 76, died in London Saturday after a short illness. His wife, creative producer Susan Benn, the founder and president of the Performing Arts Lab there, survives him.

Gavin, according to his IMDb profile, was a senior director/producer, and he worked on over 50 investigative television programs, for PBS FRONTLINE, Granada Television’s "World in Action," the BBC’s programs "Fine Cut," "Panorama," "The Money Programme" and "24 Hours," and British Channel 4’s "Dispatches." He investigated and reported on such stories about child labor ...

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Newseum celebrates Cronkite's legacy

Posted: Oct. 17, 2016 | Tags: journalism, journalism history

 

“If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.”

— President Lyndon Johnson, 1968 

Top journalists came together in Washington recently to remember the life and impact of news anchor Walter Cronkite, a journalist once known as “the most trusted man in America.” 

For decades, Cronkite defined broadcast journalism. He was the anchor who told America about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the death of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the first walk on the moon. He was the reporter who brought the Watergate scandal to a national audience when other networks were too afraid ...

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New Trump biography reveals a complex picture

Posted: Sept. 20, 2016 | Tags: journalism

Longtime Washington Post reporters Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher said most of their 20 hours of interviews with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took place in his lavish Trump Tower office in New York City with a grand view of Central Park. They described those encounters and their reporting to a full house at The Washington Post recently, where they talked about the presidential candidate and their new book,  “Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Money, Ego and Power,” (Scribner, 448 pages).

As they watched his campaign unfold, Kranish and Fisher developed a more all-encompassing story about the real ...

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Betty Medsger winds up 'Burglary' tour

Posted: July 8, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“Betty_Medsger”

Photo by Christina Animashaun, IRW

Betty Medsger talked to college students and former antiwar activists across the country during her book tour, in which she chronicled the tale of the break-in of an FBI building in Philadelphia and promotion of the companion film “1971.”

In 1971, Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger wrote the first stories based on files stolen from the FBI by a group of activists calling themselves The Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI. Despite immense pressure from the Nixon administration, Medsger, with support from the Post’s Executive Editor Ben Bradlee and Publisher Katharine Graham, wrote of ...

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IRE's conference lives on through tipsheets

Posted: June 29, 2016 | Tags: journalism

Even if you were not able to attend the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference earlier this month in New Orleans, the speakers and panelists create invaluable tipsheets you can still access.

And the conference blog provides a wealth of summaries and links to sessions. Several posts were written by Workshop staff and recent AU graduates:

•  Tips for getting records highlights the session by VICE News reporter Jason Leopold, who has turned to extensive and aggressive FOIA work to get officials on the record. And in tips for covering police, Washington Post reporter Kimberly Kindy and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s ...

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Whatever you do, keep moving forward

Posted: June 21, 2016 | Tags: journalism

Wade Nanythe

Photo by Louise Lief, IRW

Wade Williams, left, and Nanythe Talani are returning to their home countries to use their new skills in multimedia and social media.

For the image on her new Twitter account, Congolese journalist Nanythe Talani features part of a quote by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  “If you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

As Michelle Obama and her daughters head out next week to Africa to urge more support for girls’ education, it’s a good moment ...

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Survey shows extent of reporting worldwide

Posted: June 14, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“magnifying_glass”

A new package of stories, maps and graphics showcases our survey of reporting organizations overseas. In addition, Executive Editor Charles Lewis reflects on his years of traveling and advising startups in other countries. 

You'll also find the results of our survey, in which we looked at more than 100 journalism organizations in other countries, focusing on those 27 doing primarily investigative reporting. The story's authors, Pietro Lombardi and Daniel Farber Ball, used an online survey, phone and Skype interviews to connect with journalists who risk their lives and the safety of their families to pursue stories that enlighten ...

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MacArthur Foundation awards Workshop

Posted: May 18, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“MacArthur_logo”

The Investigative Reporting Workshop will receive $1.5 million in general operating support over the next five years from the MacArthur Foundation, which today announced its renewed and expanded commitment to journalism and media.

The Workshop is one of 12 news organizations across the country to receive these unrestricted grants. 

As part of its commitment to accountability and explanatory reporting, the foundation announced nearly $25 million in unrestricted, five-year, general operating grants to support professional nonprofit reporting; nonfiction, multimedia storytelling; and civic media "that enables new ways for people to express and organize themselves for social change," the foundation said ...

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What we're reading: Homicide coverage

Posted: May 3, 2016 | Tags: journalism, Logan Symposium

Small illustration of a closed book.

Illustration by Sydney Ling

 

I finished reading "Ghettoside" by Jill Leovy, a reporter at The Los Angeles Times who embedded for more than a year with the Los Angeles Police Department in South Los Angeles, a world unto its own. 

I knew of the book — a New York Times bestseller, named one of the 10 best books of the year by USA TODAY, the San Francisco Chronicle and Chicago Tribune — and had read several reviews.

But hearing Leovy speak about how to cover police — as part of a panel during the Logan Symposium at the University of California, Berkeley — intrigued ...

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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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New film to portray investigations of Iraq War

Posted: March 22, 2016 | Tags: journalism

“Walcott”

 

Photo by Greg Tinius

Walcott led the team looking into WMDs.

This is Hollywood’s golden age for investigative journalism. On the heels of “Spotlight’s” Oscar triumphs, “Shock and Awe,” a similarly themed movie to be directed by Rob Reiner, is scheduled to go into production later this year.

The film, written by Joey Hartstone, who is also the screenwriter for Reiner’s upcoming film “LBJ,” tells the tale of the Knight Ridder team that got the story of Saddam’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction right in the run-up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, when ...

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'Spotlight' shows why journalism still matters

Posted: Feb. 26, 2016 | Tags: journalism

erionite

Photo by Lindsay Maizland for IRW

Jane Hall talks to Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron about the making of the movie “Spotlight," nominated for six Oscars.

Marty Baron thought of a number of reasons why a movie about reporters investigating child sexual abuse that implicated priests would not make it to the big screen.

It deals with a sensitive subject, for one. It is told by journalists whose work neither needs special effects nor superheroes to be depicted in film. Most of all, a popular pope sits in the Vatican.

Yet for all the shortcomings Baron had in mind ...

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Diversity in focus at ONA

Posted: Oct. 19, 2015 | Tags: journalism

GIJC logo

Although I have been to journalism conferences before, the Online News Association (ONA) was unique. I admit I knew very little about ONA before applying and being accepted as a fellow from one of the country's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Glynn Hill, an amazing reporter from my school, Howard University, was a fellowship recipient the year before, so I knew it would be a great opportunity. Plus it was in Los Angeles, and I had never been anywhere west of my native Texas.

One of the more positive aspects of working in the student newsroom at ONA ...

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2015 GIJC: A look back with an eye to the future

Posted: Oct. 12, 2015 | Tags: journalism

GIJC logo

The Ninth Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which brought together about 900 journalists from more than 120 countries, ended this weekend. While the gathering had the largest representation by countries, its importance will be measured by what happens afterward.

Here are a few observations from my time at the conference in Lillehammer, Norway:

• It opened with a declaration regarding press freedom that was approved by near unanimous acclamation. It calls for governments and other authorities around the world to protect journalists doing their work. Look at the numbers of journalists recently killed or jailed for simply reporting the news. Investigative and ...

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Unholy Alliances and Empire of Ashes win Global Shining Light award at 2015 GIJC

Posted: Oct. 12, 2015 | Tags: journalism

The 2015 Global Shining Light winners were named Saturday at the 9th Global Investigative Journalism Conference in in Lillehammer, Norway. The co-winners, Unholy Alliances and Empire of Ashes, were selected out of 76 submissions from 34 countries.  

Unholy Alliances exposed corruption surrounding Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and his ties with organized crime. It was produced by The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a not-for-profit, joint program of a number of regional nonprofit investigative centers and for profit independent media stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia.

Empire of Ashes investigated for five months how illegal ...

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GIJC begins

Posted: Oct. 6, 2015 | Tags: journalism

GIJC logo

More than 1,000 journalists from 120 countries are expected to attend the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Lillehammer, Norway, from Oct. 7-11, including the Workshop's Chuck Lewis and David Donald, who will moderate panels and teach.

Lewis will present an academic paper, "Accountability Information Across Borders," and speak on and moderate two panels: Sustaining High Quality Journalism and Studies of Cross-Border Investigations. He also will interview many veteran journalists from throughout the world as part of his research for his Visiting Fellowship at Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Lewis founded the Center for ...

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Donald to train journalists at GIJC

Posted: Oct. 6, 2015 | Tags: journalism

“David

Photo by Lesia Olesnyckyj, Investigative Reporting Workshop

David Donald will lead data training sessions at the global conference in Norway this week.

At the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, I'll be doing a series of hands-on data journalism sessions called "Stats for Stories." The idea is to take data journalists already comfortable in basic data analysis and advance their skills — and hence — insight into their data through the use of inferential statistics. I'll co-lead this series with Andy Lehren from The New York Times.

Next up is a three-session series again of hands-on data journalism covering structured query language ...

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Lewis begins fellowship in October

Posted: Oct. 5, 2015 | Tags: journalism

“Chuck

Photo by Lesia Olesnyckyj, Investigative Reporting Workshop

Executive Editor Chuck Lewis will research accountability studies while on a fellowship at the Reuters Institute at Oxford.

This fall, I will be a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, researching the possibility of a new multidisciplinary academic field I call "Accountability Studies" (which I first discussed publicly in "935 Lies," my most recent book), and more broadly, the "efficacy and potential of increased journalistic and academic data, research and reporting collaboration, in the context of credible, accountability information." I am now in discussions with the ...

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Film festival highlights in-depth work

Posted: Sept. 25, 2015 | Tags: journalism

“Medsger”

Photo by Christina Animashaun, IRW

Betty Medsger talks about how her reporting unfolded before speaking to students recently at American University.

Double Exposure: The Investigative Film Festival at the National Portrait Gallery and the Newseum, from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, will feature seven screenings and a two-day symposium.

The Workshop's Chuck Lewis will moderate the final panel discussion on the documentary, "1971," and the book, "The Burglary," with author Betty Medsger. The panel will include Edward Snowden via Skype.

Medsger wrote the original newspaper stories and book about the March 8, 1971, burglary of an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania ...

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What we're reading: award-winning journalism

Posted: July 22, 2015 | Tags: computer-assisted reporting, data, journalism, prisons, reporting

One way to constantly improve as a journalist is to observe and learn from the work of others. The May/June issue of Quill, the Society for Professional Journalists bimonthly magazine, included 85 examples of some of the best journalism from 2014. I read investigative journalism stories that debuted in print, broadcast and online formats. No matter the medium, I found the work to be incredibly detailed, insightful and informative. Stories relied on large data sets, public records and human voices to give an in-depth look at various issues from multiple vantage points.

Below are some examples that stood out ...

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SRCCON Highlights

Posted: July 9, 2015 | Tags: computer-assisted reporting, data, interactive data, journalism, NICAR, SRCCON

“These are my people,” I heard many attendees at SRCCON (pronounced "source-con") say during the two-day conference in Minneapolis last week.

SRCCON, first conceived at NICAR, and now in its second year, wanted to feature the hallway conversations, skillshares and collaborations that happen naturally at bigger conferences and make them the highlight of the event. The small conference, organized by Knight-Mozilla OpenNews, drew 225 people — news developers, data journalists, designers, editors and reporters from The New York Times and Quartz to local NPR stations and freelance journalists.

I went to the conference as a volunteer, helping people register and running ...

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Looking back on John Carroll's tenure at The LAT

Posted: June 17, 2015 | Tags: journalism

John Carroll, one of the most influential newspaper editors of the last 40 years, who died earlier this week, talked to Executive Editor Charles Lewis a few years ago about the rise and fall of The Los Angeles Times. 

He recalled how hard the economic climate was in the early 2000s, even before the recession: "Over time we did a lot of cutting. And most of the cutting at first was not in the newsroom," he recalled. "But the business side was really cut badly. And people don’t realize how devastating it was. When you look back on all ...

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Influential editor John Carroll dies

Posted: June 15, 2015 | Tags: journalism

marc_edwards

Investigating Power photo

John Carroll led staffs of several American newspapers over four decades in journalism.

Influential newspaper editor John Carroll, a champion of investigative reporting who led The Los Angeles Times to 13 Pulitzer Prizes in five years, died at his home on June 14 of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a neurological disorder.

In addition to The LA Times, Carroll, 73, led newsrooms at The Baltimore Sun and The Lexington Herald-Leader; was a former reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer; served on the Pulitzer Prize Board for nine years; and was on the board of the Investigative Reporting Workshop. Executive ...

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BuzzFeed partners with Workshop

Posted: May 13, 2015 | Tags: journalism

FRONTLINE and the Investigative Reporting Workshop analyzed three federal databases for “The Trouble with Chicken," the third in a series of programs and stories about antibiotic resistance.

BuzzFeed News also partnered with us in the research for this latest program. BuzzFeed obtained data from the Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by its reporter Chris Hamby.

BuzzFeed News agreed to share the data with producer Rick Young and reporter Emma Schwartz and the Workshop's data editor, David Donald. BuzzFeed also wrote about the program, which aired ...

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How do we protect freelancers?

Posted: April 22, 2015 | Tags: journalism

Foley

Photo by Manu Brabo

James Foley working in Syria in 2012

In light of the increasing brutality against journalists overseas, the Investigative Reporting Workshop, the National Press Club Journalism Institute and the Committee to Protect Journalists will present “Freelancers at Risk: Photojournalism and the Call for Global Safety Standards" Thursday, April 23, at the National Press Club. Panelists from news organizations in London, New York, Boston and Washington will discuss baseline standards for hiring and protecting freelance journalists working in war zones. The event is open to the public, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m., and the sessions ...

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What we're reading

Posted: April 14, 2015 | Tags: journalism

Illustration by Sydney Ling

As students of investigative journalism, we don’t want to make our living pumping out a steady stream of regurgitated click bait, but some would consider us lucky to be paid at all after graduation. Reading Philip Meyers’ “Public Journalism and The Problem of Objectivity” validates our endeavors. And Reading the work of the “new journalism ecosystem,” about the growth of nonprofit news organizations throughout the country, gives me hope.

The need is certainly there, and so are the channels, yet there’s still a lot we’re tasked with to make success of those channels ...

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Small steps, real impact

Posted: March 22, 2015 | Tags: Impact, journalism, Shattered dreams

By Christina Animashaun and Mel Jones

As reporters, we’re always wondering, and hoping, that our stories have impact. Maybe a law will be enacted or improved, a high mark that everyone can see and cheer.  Sometimes impact is expressed in smaller ways — a neighborhood joins together to sort out what went wrong; someone shows concern by using his or her position to make changes; an official announces an investigation or a policy change.

We looked at three investigations in which we contributed research and reporting to Washington Post teams and found three different outcomes. And very real impact.

Here ...

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Students help Post analyze decline of black wealth

Posted: Jan. 26, 2015 | Tags: journalism

Thanks to Workshop grad researchers Danielle DeCourcey, Pietro Lombardi, Mariam Baksh, Mel Jones; to AU grad students Miranda Strong and Moriah Balingit; and to Northwestern student and Workshop intern Cathaleen Chen. All contributed their time and talent to research and analyze the ongoing housing crisis in Prince George's County, Md. Their story is featured in today's Washington Post and co-published by the Investigative Reporting Workshop.

The three-part series focuses on the nation's highest-income majority black county, and the unequal recovery its thousands of residents have experienced since the housing crisis of 2008.

For the past year, these ...

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Donald receives 2014 Philip Meyer Award

Posted: Jan. 14, 2015 | Tags: journalism

“Donald”

Photo by Christina Animashaun, IRW

David Donald teaches data journalism at AU.

David Donald, now data editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, and a team at the Center for Public Integrity today received the first-place 2014 Philip Meyer Journalism Award from the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting.

The Center won for "The Medicare Advantage Money Grab," by Fred Schulte, David Donald, Erin Durkin and Chris Zubak-Skees. The project revealed nearly $70 billion in “improper” Medicare payments to health plans from 2008 through 2013. The investigation exposed how federal officials missed multiple opportunities to corral overcharges and other billing errors.  

The ...

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CNN anchor reflects on censorship, challenges

Posted: June 8, 2014 | Tags: journalism, Newseum

“shaw”

Photo by Kaley Belval, Investigative Reporting Workshop

Bernard Shaw urges people to seek out objective news sources, saying journalism depends on the "active participation" of readers and viewers.

Retired CNN anchor Bernard Shaw recalled his reporting on the Tiananmen Square massacre in an address at the Newseum on Saturday in Washington, focusing on challenges today to journalism and exhorting his audience to become engaged and informed citizens.

In May 1989, Shaw was among a handful of CNN journalists dispatched to Beijing to report on an upcoming summit between China’s leader, Deng Xiaoping, and Soviet chief Mikhail Gorbachev. But the ...

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'Measuring impact' wins SPJ award

Posted: April 16, 2014 | Tags: journalism

The Investigative Reporting Workshop is thrilled and honored to report that our 2013 look into assessing the impact of journalism across nonprofit newsrooms, “Measuring Impact: The art, science and mystery of nonprofit news assessment,” has received a 2013 Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the "Research about Journalism"  category. 

Drawing from recent literature in the field in addition to informal conversations with journalism experts and seasoned practitioners, the report, made possible by funding from the McCormick Foundation, established several cornerstones upon which to build a common framework for assessing the impact of journalism — from ...

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Sunshine Week events in Washington

Posted: March 19, 2014 | Tags: FOIA, Freedom of Information, journalism

With snow still lining the streets and sidewalks of the greater Washington area, many of the region's residents are probably hoping that Thursday's start of spring brings with it a little long-awaited sunshine. 

The Investigative Reporting Workshop isn't in the business of making climatological promises. But we can say that there's a little more light beaming down on D.C. than usual as part of Sunshine Week — a national intiative sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press designed to foster a dialogue about freedom of information ...

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How to find stories on fraud

Posted: March 1, 2014 | Tags: journalism

A free workshop hosted by the Reynolds Center for Business Reporting offered plenty of tips for how reporters can better develop enterprise stories about corporate fraud.

The workshop on Feb. 26 preceded the four-day conference hosted by Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) in Baltimore.

 Workshop instructor Theo Francis, an investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, said that when developing stories, journalists should rely “on a mosaic” of documents.

 “You’re not going to find one thing that indicates fraud,” he said.

Regulatory filings by publicly traded companies like the 10-K, an annual ...

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Learning how to make the most of our data at NICAR

Posted: March 1, 2014 | Tags: campaign finance, Federal Election Commission, Investigative Reporters and Editors, journalism, National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, NICAR, reporting, Workshop news

Reporters are increasingly using data to find stories. At NICAR's annual conference, where 1,000 journalists are gathering in Baltimore this year, reporters, editors, programmers and datavisualization experts are sharing best practices for acquiring databases or building their own. 

A session on Federal Election Campaign (FEC) data, led by Aaron Bycoffe, Jack Gillum, and Chris Schnaars, focused on how to gain access to the publicly available but highly obfuscated records that show who donated what to political campaigns. The speakers said just 150 people accounted for $810 billion worth of donations to Super PACs in the 2012 presidential race ...

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Two investigations now available on Kindle

Posted: Feb. 26, 2014 | Tags: journalism, Koch brothers, reporting

In line with our mission to experiment with new economic models for creating and delivering investigating reporting, the Workshop has made two of its investigations available on Amazon's Kindle platform. 

Kindle users can now download Measuring Impact, our look at how nonprofit newsrooms can gauge their impact, and the Koch Club, our analysis of five years of political and charitable donations from Charles and David Koch. 

Measuring Impact

This report seeks to answer the two-pronged question, “What is ‘impact,’ and how can it be measured consistently across nonprofit newsrooms?” A review of recent, relevant literature and our informal conversations ...

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Upcoming events and trainings in investigative reporting

Posted: Feb. 24, 2014 | Tags: journalism

Several of the Investigative Reporting Workshop's editors and researchers are heading to Baltimore this week to take part in the annual conference of the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR). The event runs from Feb. 27 to March 2 and will feature in-depth explorations of how reporters can make use of spreadsheets, databases, online mapping, data analysis and other digital tools in investigative journalism. More information, including registration details and a day-by-day schedule are available at the Investigative Reporters and Editors website

Here's a rundown of some other upcoming events and trainings. 

The Online News Association's San ...

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Investigating Power expands

Posted: Oct. 2, 2013 | Tags: journalism

Lardner

Investigating Power

Jouranlist George Lardner talks about his coverage of the Kennedy assassination.

Executive Editor Charles Lewis and the Investigative Reporting Workshop, the Fund for Independence in Journalism and the Center for Public Integrity jointly released Investigating Power last year. This online multimedia presentation honors independent journalism in America, with career timelines, video excerpts and significant “truth to power” moments in contemporary U.S. history since 1950, including the recollections of 23 journalists who made significant contributions to the nation's understanding of key issues, including McCarthyism, civil rights, Watergate and the Vietnam and the post-9/11 Afghanistan and Iraq ...

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Thinking about new ideas for news

Posted: Sept. 19, 2013 | Tags: journalism

Quality journalism will always be important, but funding it will become increasingly complicated, said media leaders on Sept. 15 at the Newseum in Washington. Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, said that disruptive technology and social media cannot fulfill the function of good investigative journalism. "It doesn’t hold powerful people accountable,” he said. Read Danielle DeCourcey's full story.

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Nurturing a new partnership

Posted: Sept. 19, 2013 | Tags: journalism

The partnership between the Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Washington Post continues to grow, with Workshop interns tackling local stories as well as researching and reporting for major projects by the investigative team. Today the Post features a profile of Andrew Rabens, a special adviser at the State Department,and a finalist for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medal. It was written by Jessica Schulberg, a second-year master's student in the School of International Service at American University.

Schulberg is a Workshop intern assigned to our ongoing coverage of the immigration issue, and she also is taking ...

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Lewis heads to Germany

Posted: Sept. 9, 2013 | Tags: journalism

The Workshop’s executive editor, Chuck Lewis, will travel to Germany this week to speak to international journalists about the changing media landscape and the future of journalism. He will deliver a keynote address to more than 250 online journalists Friday morning during Scoop Camp 2013, a one-day annual digital media conference held in Hamburg. Lewis will host a workshop later that day about international investigative reporting.

Scoop Camp — in its fourth year — brings together programmers, journalists and technology experts to analyze media trends and innovation. This year’s conference will focus on data journalism, new storytelling and social media ...

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Impact study can influence growing nonprofit news world

Posted: July 24, 2013 | Tags: journalism

The Workshop explored how to measure impact in a new report, "The art, science and mystery of nonprofit news assessment." Now the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University weighs in, crediting authors Charles Lewis and Hilary Niles with "advancing a conversation that will hopefully allow newsrooms and foundations to communicate openly and honestly about their expectations and goals. After all, at the core, they share an interest in honoring the reader by providing journalism as a public service."

“Most of the conversation to date has been led by the grantors, but they’re not the ones doing the work,” Lewis ...

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Wisconsin legislators vote to kick investigative journalism out

Posted: June 5, 2013 | Tags: journalism

One of the most famous statements by the father of modern conservatism, Edmund Burke, is: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” It is frequently attributed to the 18th century philosopher and statesman, even though, according to the "Yale Book of Quotations," it has never been found in his actual writings. Its provenance and exactly why it was said, in other words, remain as murky and elusive today as what happened early this morning, and why, just after dawn in Madison, Wis.  

For reasons as yet unclear, a group of Republican state ...

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Reporting the aftermath of a crisis: journalism and accountability in Bangladesh

Posted: May 14, 2013 | Tags: journalism

With the death toll recently passing 1,127, the April 24th Rana Plaza factory collapse is now one of the largest industrial accidents in modern history. The factory employed thousands of garment workers and supplied several international firms operating within the country’s multibillion-dollar garment industry. The accident was the largest of more than 40 such accidents occurring over the past year in overcrowded factories across the country.

Since the tragedy, two engineers, a factory owner and the city’s mayor have been implicated on negligence charges. Under fire for profiting from the country's low wages and scant regulation ...

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Twitterocracy changes politics, journalism

Posted: April 10, 2013 | Tags: journalism

The “Etch-a-Sketch” comment.

The “47 percent” video.

The “Clint Eastwood” moment.

Political journalists and campaign media strategists on Wednesday pointed to these moments in the 2012 presidential election as examples of how social media has changed politics — and journalism.

Focus on the election’s gaffes would have died soon in the traditional media, but conversation on social media kept them alive far longer, said Jonathan Martin, senior political writer for Politico.

“Twitter is an accelerant,” said Martin, one of the panelists at the University of Missouri’s Hurley Symposium in Washington, D.C. “It pours gasoline on the fire.”

Social ...

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