IRE Radio Podcast | Hazardous Health Care

It's not easy prying information out of hospitals and health departments. On our podcast this week we’ll hear from journalists who successfully negotiated for the data or documents they needed to fuel an investigation. Here’s the lineup:

  • Gary Dotson of the Belleville News-Democrat shares the paper’s 2012 story about the state’s failure to investigate after disabled adults living at home died from abuse or neglect.
  • Robin Fields of ProPublica explains how she successfully argued for data on dialysis facilities across the country.
  • Ellen Gabler of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discusses “Deadly Delays,” an investigation that ...
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NECIR director freed after detainment in Russia

The executive director of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting was detained in Russia Thursday "for allegedly illegally conducting a journalism workshop in St. Petersburg," according to the center’s website.

Joe Bergantino was kept for several hours along with University of South Carolina professor Randy Covington. The two men were teaching a journalism workshop to a group of 14 journalists in Russia that was supposed to last two days, NECIR wrote. The workshop was part of a grant to teach Russian journalists and was awarded to the university by the U.S. government.

The two men were not ...

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New York newspaper asks judge to force release of license plate data

The Democrat & Chronicle is fighting a county’s denial to provide license plate information about seven newspaper employees and a couple government-owned vehicles, the paper reports.

The Rochester, New York-based paper has reported that Monroe County is indiscriminately amassing license-plate information from high-speed cameras. During the summer, a reporter filed a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain the records about his own license plate and that of six colleagues and two government vehicles.

County officials denied the request because, they said, a release of the data could violate personal privacy or interfere with a law enforcement investigation. The paper ...

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Investigative Reporter (Times-Union Media)

Times-Union Media in Jacksonville, Fla., is seeking an Investigative Reporter with a proven record of holding officials accountable, digging into public records, getting past the spin and exposing wrongdoing.The right reporter will break down complicated topics and present them in easy to understand ways for a digital and print audience. We’re looking for candidates who have excelled on their beats – whether government, criminal justice or business – and who are looking to join an investigative team. Database experience is a plus.

Our investigative team does anything from helping add depth to daily breaking news to spending months examining complex ...

Behind the Story: New Jersey reporter finds inconsistencies in 2008 death investigation

Chris Baxter

Chris Baxter and NJ Advance Media wrestled out a compelling and untold story, let the digital presentation take the lead and came away with a “smashing” investigative success.

Using a system he developed to keep tabs on lawsuits involving state police, Baxter came upon the stifled story of Kenwin Garcia, a Newark man who died in 2008 after an altercation with police along the side of the highway.

Baxter embarked on a deep reporting project that resulted in 7,000 words, an 8-page special print section in The Star-Ledger and a digital presentation as rich as any Baxter ...

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From the IRE Archive: Gary Webb's "Dark Alliance"

Interested in learning more about the story behind the new movie, "Kill the Messenger"? Listen to this panel from the 1997 IRE National Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. titled "Can Investigative Reporting Go Too Far?".

In the early 90's investigative reporter Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News dug into the CIA's involvement of cocaine trafficking into the US.

After the story was published in 1996, Webb and the Mercury News experienced intense criticism not only from the U.S. government but from fellow reporters and news organizations.

On this panel, Webb defends himself and the story while ...

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Despite big job promises, incentives often fail to deliver

 North Carolina, much like other states, uses millions in taxpayer dollars to lure and retain businesses, bringing new jobs. But years after these jobs were announced by executives and state leaders, most failed to fully materialize, a WRAL News analysis found. More than 100 companies named in job announcements since 2009 have since reported no new jobs. Some have laid off workers or closed up shop altogether.

Water officials in California refuse to follow own conservation rules

In Southern California, a region in severe drought, many cities have passed rules on water usage per household per day. While the average water usage in a single-family home is now using 361 gallons per day, water conservation advocates on city councils haven’t been following their own regulations. Mike Soubirous, a Riverside City Council member who voted for new, strict rules in July, used over a million gallons in his home last year, nearly ten times the amount of the average family.

Soubirous is far from alone. According to The Center for Investigative Reporting, 25 other officials in similar ...

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