On the Road : March 2012

Behind the Story: Firefighters disabling the city's budget


Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

Photo credit:
Elie Gardner/Post-Dispatch

Social media can be an individual’s nightmare and a reporter’s goldmine. In “Disability pensions allow some firefighters to collect while working elsewhere,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s reporters used an array of investigative tools to publicize a mismanaged disability pension system that is eating away the city’s funds.

But even when firefighters are capable of moderately heavy workloads, doctors will recommend they retire. Pvt. Romondo Battle, a three-year firefighter, injured his back while fighting a fire in 2008. Two months after surgery, his doctor found Battle could shoulder "medium-heavy" to "heavy" physical work ...

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Behind the Story: Investigating questionable police work when documents are redacted


California Watch

One of the redacted documents
California Watch received.

In California Watch’s series Broken Shield, Ryan Gabrielson uncovered abuse and unknown injury cases at developmental centers that weren’t reported to the local police or district attorneys’ offices. 

Despite a number of condemning reports and a decreasing patient population, the number of abuse and unknown injury cases increased from 2008 to 2010 at developmental centers, which are state-run homes for people with developmental disabilities, such as autism and cerebral palsy.

Throughout Gabrielson's investigation, the California Department of Public Health, which monitors the developmental centers’ oversight department, the Department of ...

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In Mexico City, IRE brings together top transnational journalists

by Lise Olsen

Twenty leading journalists gathered in Mexico City on Feb. 18 to exchange information and discuss ways that Investigative Reporters & Editors can continue helping reporters who, under pressure and often at great personal risk, continue to do investigative reporting on transnational (U.S. – Mexico) topics such as cartel violence, wasteful government spending, political corruption, and the economic and social costs of the war on drugs. The event was the fifth in a series of bilingual workshops that IRE conducted from 2009 -2012, which were supported in part by grants from the Ford Foundation. To discuss next steps, IRE ...

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Behind the Story: When does an ongoing story warrant an investigation?


Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

Photo credit:
Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

(Editor's Note: This is Part 2 of our "Behind the Story" look at coverage of the Hanford nuclear reservation's environmental issues.)

Determining when an ongoing issue becomes an issue worth investigating isn’t always easy.

Craig Welch, an environmental reporter for The Seattle Times who juggles topics from oceans to forests, also keeps his eye on the Hanford nuclear reservation, which had become, as one of his stories stated, an "atomic mess after 40 years of bomb-making."  

In Welch’s investigative stories "Big cleanup questions still loom at Hanford" and "Will ...

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