IRE News

Behind the Story: The Indianapolis Star’s probe into the billion-dollar deer farming industry

Ryan Sabalow

It’s like a gold rush. There’s money to be made, but the cost of those riches is a host of harmful, unintended consequences.

A recent Indianapolis Star investigation uncovered evidence linking lucrative deer farming operations to the spread of invasive lice and diseases such as bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease in wild deer populations. The detailed story, told in five chapters each accompanied by a video, chronicles the rise of commercial deer farming from one Amish farmer with pet deer to the profitable industry that exists today.

“No one really saw this coming,” said Indianapolis ...

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IRE members recognized in 2014 Pulitzer Prizes

Several members of Investigative Reporters and Editors were among journalists recognized in the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes on Monday.

The Washington Post and The Guardian US won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their work exposing secret surveillance by the National Security Agency. Several IRE members contributed to the reporting.

Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity won for Investigative Reporting for “his reports on how some lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal miners stricken with black lung disease, resulting in remedial legislative efforts.”

Will Hobson and Michael LaForgia of the Tampa Bay Times ...

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8 news organizations chosen for Total Newsroom Training

Total Newsroom Training provides intense, in-house training for small and medium-sized newsrooms dedicated to watchdog journalism. This is the second year IRE has offered the free program. 

More than 80 applications were submitted. Training is customized and includes two days of sessions ranging from public records battles to hands-on data analysis.

"We had a large number of very qualified applicants, which made it tough to select winners," said IRE Executive Director Mark Horvit. "It's very encouraging to see that so many newsrooms are putting a premium on watchdog journalism and on gaining additional skills that will help them better ...

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Start planning for the 2014 IRE Conference in San Francisco

The IRE Conference in San Francisco is only a few months away. Here are a few things to consider as you make your travel plans:

 

Expected Speakers and Sessions

The best in the business will gather for panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats. Still on the fence? Check out our lists of expected speakers and sessions. More names and titles will be added as the conference approaches.

SPEAKERS | SESSIONS

 

Baseball Tickets

Grab your friends and enjoy a night cheering on the San Francisco ...

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Catch up with some of IRE’s international members

While many of our members work in the United States, hundreds of international journalists contribute to the IRE community. IRE membership stretches from Australia to Argentina. It includes journalists in more than 50 countries, including Pakistan, Kenya, India, Finland and Switzerland. We asked a few of our international members to tell us what they’ve been working on.


Screen shot from Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Swiss data journalism team investigates commercial interests of those with parliamentary access

About 400 people have a badge that allows them to access the Swiss Federal Assembly in Berne. The Swiss daily Neue Zürcher ...

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Announcing the 2013 IRE Awards

The winners of the 2013 IRE Awards provided unprecedented insight into the ways in which the government deploys technology in surveillance programs with a shockingly wide net. They used deep sourcing to overcome government roadblocks and uncover atrocities and corruption. They fought and won precedent-setting victories in open records battles to shine light on increasingly opaque government agencies. They exposed threats to children, uncovered financial malfeasance, highlighted government waste and tracked hidden assets across the globe.

Ziva Branstetter, chair of IRE's Contest Committee, said the winners show that powerful investigative journalism is being published, aired and posted at all ...

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Learn how to use genealogy records with IRE's new webinar

Paul Parker of the Providence Journal walks through how to use online genealogy records and ancestry databases to profile subjects and verify stories in this 20-minute webinar.

Learn how to use popular genealogy websites like Ancestry.com as well as lesser-known sites such as cyndislist.com.

So how do you use this stuff? Parker explains how he used online records for his front-page story “A letter from England.”

"I See Dead People: Online genealogical records for journalists" is the latest in a series of webinars from IRE. You can view them all at ire.org/webinars.

 

Behind the Story: How USA TODAY pieced together a confidential FBI database to count fugitives who go free

Brad Heath

Lamont Pride was a wanted man the day he fatally shot a New York City police officer during a 2011 robbery. Officials had already passed up opportunities to lock up Pride, who was wanted in connection with a North Carolina shooting. And when the fugitive appeared in a Brooklyn court on a drug charge, a judge aware of the warrant also decided to let him go. A few weeks later Officer Peter Figoski was dead.

USA TODAY reporter Brad Heath followed coverage of the high-profile case.

“This must be out of the ordinary,” Heath remembered thinking. “I wonder ...

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Coming soon: Learn how to use online genealogy records in your reporting

Photo from "A letter from England," courtesy of the Providence Journal

If you’ve ever struggled to find relatives of a person you’re profiling or verify a source’s story, we’re putting together a webinar that’s sure to help.

Paul Parker of the Providence Journal will explain how to use genealogy records as a reporting tool. Using popular sites like Ancestry.com and lesser-known pages like cyndislist.com, journalists can track down original documents that tie people to places, events, and institutions.

Parker will explain how he used online records in his story "A letter from England ...

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IRE nomination call for most secretive government agency or individual

The Golden Padlock Award. Photo: Travis Hartman

Investigative Reporters and Editors is now welcoming nominations for its second annual Golden Padlock award recognizing the most secretive government agency in the United States.

“This award acknowledges government officials across the country who excel in the art of suppressing public information,” said David Cay Johnston, president of IRE. “Undermining the public’s right to know can be tireless work. We seek out the very best to be broadly recognized with this honor.”

Nominations should be emailed to goldenpadlock@ire.org including the name of the government department or individual along with reasons ...

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