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One of the occupational hazards for investigative reporters everywhere is internal censorship. So what can you do, as an individual journalist, if it appears that the great, exciting, investigative story you’ve been quietly exploring and finally have pitched is getting yawns or worse, pushback from your editor?
Viewers nationwide mostly get local traffic, crime, weather and sports news, while local investigative reporting about the powers that be — and straight talk, facts and figures about the serious 21st century issues we all face — generally have become endangered species.
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We’ve just updated the BankTracker database to include the second quarter, June 30 releases from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. Many of the presidential candidates in the 2016 campaign are basing their tax proposals and other program goals on a rosy picture of future economic growth. Yet it was only seven years ago that Lehmann Brothers collapsed, threatening the U.S. banking system and economic collapse. If the candidates mention the banks and credit unions at all, they mostly express disdain for the TARP bailouts and other government favors going to the banks during the Great Recession.
The Investigative Film Festival at the National Portrait Gallery and the Newseum, from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, will feature seven screenings and a two-symposium. The Workshop's executive editor, Chuck Lewis, will moderate the final panel discussion about the documentary film, "1971," based on the book "The Burglary," with journalist Betty Medsger. The panel also will include Edward Snowden via Skype.
The Investigative Reporting Workshop showcases anthropologist and author David Vine’s book today in a new project, “The Lily Pad Strategy.”
Vine, a professor at American University, has spent years documenting the growth and influence of the U.S. military worldwide. His latest book, "Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World" (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt 2015), shows the military’s increasing footprint across Asia and Africa. The Workshop’s Kelly Martin created more than a dozen historical maps for the new book and a new set of interactive maps for the Workshop’s website.
When NASA's New Horizons spacecraft sent back its first crisp images of Pluto last week, the culmination of a 3-billion mile, 9 1/2-year journey filled with cliffhangers and near disasters, you didn't need to be a scientist to feel the exhilaration of discovering what was, until then, a dark and blurry corner of the solar system.
Given my interests within research and media, I also thought about the lessons for journalism.
One way to constantly improve as a journalist is to observe and learn from the works of others. The Society of Professional Journalists' Quill Magazine announced its top journalism picks from 2014.
Read on for summaries of some award winners.
We publish online and in print, often teaming up with other news organizations. We're working now on a new program with FRONTLINE producers, to air later in the year, and on the "Years of Living Dangerously," a series on climate change that has begun airing on Showtime. A story last year on the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention centers was co-published with The New York Times. Our updates to our long-running BankTracker project, in which you can view the financial health of every bank and credit union in the country, have been published with msnbc.com, now nbcnews.com, and we co-published stories in our What Went Wrong series on the economy with The Philadelphia Inquirer and New America Media. Our graduate students are working as researchers with Washington Post reporters, and our new senior editor is a member of the Post's investigative team. Learn more on our partners page.
Profiles of notable journalists and their stories of key moments in U.S. history in the last 50 years can be found on the Investigating Power site. See Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis' latest video interviews as well as historic footage and timelines. You can also read more about the project and why we documented these groundbreaking examples of original, investigative journalism that helped shape or change public perceptions on key issues of our time, from civil rights to Iraq, here.