On the Road : December 2011

Behind the Story: Tracking problem police officers in Florida

It was an unbelievable record for anyone, let alone a public employee. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that one Opa-Locka, Fla., officer had been:

“Fired five times and arrested three, he was charged with stealing a car, trying to board an airplane with a loaded gun and driving with a suspended license.…(He) split a man's lip with a head butt. He opened another man's head with a leg sweep and takedown. He spit in the face of a drunken, stumbling arrestee. One time, he smacked a juvenile so hard the boy's face was red and swollen the ...

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Using documents to cover religious organizations

Covering religious organizations can be difficult, because it can be tough to get public documents. Kansas City Star reporter Judy Thomas, spoke at an IRE training session for McClatchy journalists and offers the following tips:

  • Get to know your subjects inside out. Subscribe to newsletters, magazines and other publications of the organizations you cover. Get a flow chart of the organization, learn the chain of command, become familiar with the acronyms.

  • While churches typically don't have to file IRS 990 forms, it's worth checking because some do so voluntarily. (www.guidestar.org is a good place to check ...
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