How to use inspection data to drive your stories

Joce Sterman of WMAR-Baltimore and Michael Pell of Reuters explain where reporters can find inspection data and how they can incorporate it into investigative pieces.

Where do you find inspection data? Pell suggested reporters check the following organizations:

Sterman said one of the first hurdles for a journalist to overcome is the expense of gathering data. She suggested reporters haggle to bring down copy costs. And maybe invest in a scanner. 

 

 

Sterman also encouraged reporters to built a rapport ...
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Virginia Supreme Court: FOIA does not cover faculty emails, unpublished research

Faculty emails and unpublished university research can be deemed “proprietary” and withheld under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the Virginia Supreme Court announced last week.

The law was called into question in 2011 when the American Tradition Institute and Virginia Del. Robert Marshall filed a request for emails of Michael Mann, a prominent climate scientist and former University of Virginia professor.

According to the Washington Post:

Lawyers for U-Va. turned over about 1,000 documents to Marshall and ATI, led by former EPA attorney David Schnare, but withheld another 12,000 papers and e-mails, saying that work “of a ...

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Education and Local Reporters (Press & Sun-Bulletin)

Looking for two watchdog-minded reporters

Would you like to work in a newsroom with a strong watchdog culture, a solid planning discipline, a sense of digital urgency and an appreciation for side-by-side editing and coaching? Join us, then. The Press & Sun-Bulletin and pressconnects.com in Binghamton, NY has two reporting openings. We’d prefer experienced reporters, but we’ve had great luck with recent college graduates who have had internships. The openings are:

  • Education Reporter to cover secondary and higher education. For this job, we need someone who can come up with great enterprise ideas on her or his own ...

Consider running for the IRE Board of Directors

2014 Board Election Schedule

May 1 – Period to declare candidacy for the IRE Board begins

May 30 – Deadline for candidates to file to appear on the initial ballot

June 6 – Voting period begins, candidate statements posted online

June 26 – Deadline to get on the ballot

June 28 – Candidate forum at 6 p.m., voting closes at 7:30 p.m. PDT

Starting May 1 we will begin accepting applications for candidates for the IRE Board of Directors. Seven of the board’s 13 seats are up for election.

For the first time this year, elections for the IRE Board of ...

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Complaints: A road map for killer investigations

Jill Riepenhoff, a projects reporter at The Columbus Dispatch, and Tisha Thompson, an investigative reporter for WRC-Washington D.C., use consumer and professional complaints to fuel their investigations. In these audio clips the two reporters offer advice on where to look for complaints and how to use them.

In Columbus, Ohio, landlords allowing homes to become rundown is a major problem. Riepenhoff used complaints from homeowners and court documents to create The Columbus Dispatch’s “Legacy of Neglect” series.

She found the subject of her story, chronic offender Joseph S. Alaura, from court documents. He had gone to court multiple ...

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Computer-Assisted Reporting Editor / Data Journalist (NerdWallet)

NerdWallet has been around since 2009, helping consumers make smart financial decisions. We're doubling our staff this year, including adding an experienced computer-assisted reporting editor, who will help drive our content decisions. Join us, work with a bunch of collegial brainiacs and help shape a business that's rapidly growing. (Among our recent hires: a key VP from LinkedIn, a senior editor from CNN, one of the top recruiters in Silicon Valley, and a physician with an MBA -- both degrees from Stanford.)

The job:

  • Analyze data to spot stories and story angles with a high return on investment in ...

Do universities play a role in student suicides?

By Nikhila Henry, The Times of India

Can the dead talk? In rare cases they do.

Mudassir Kamran, a 25-year-old Kashmiri student hanged himself in a single bed hostel room at English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, India on March 2, 2013.

A day before, the scholar was summoned to a nearby police station and questioned on counts of “harassing” a fellow male student, Vasim Salim. Some administrative staff of the university worked with the police in this round of questioning.

While this at first seemed ...

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Extra Extra Monday | Mass. deals with ‘zombie’ boards, new details about GM recall, Minn. screens out child abuse reports

Minnesota counties 'screen out' most child abuse reports | Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minnesota’s counties received nearly 68,000 reports of child abuse or neglect last year but closed most of those cases without investigation or assessment.

A review of state and federal data by the Star Tribune shows that the number of child abuse reports being screened out without any protective action rose last year to the third-highest rate in the country.

In all, the state screened out more than 48,000 such abuse reports last year ­— and authorities often made their decisions after only gathering information from a phone ...

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