Tags : online

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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Online data and tools for environmental investigations

By Gwen Girsdansky

Lisa Song of InsideClimate News, Ingrid Lobet of the Houston Chronicle, David Sheppard of the San Antonio Express-News and Jim Morris of the Center for Public Integrity gave suggestions for online resources available for investigating environmental issues on Thursday at the IRE Conference.

Lobet mentioned a good tactic is thinking about what information you want and then working backward, because a database probably exists for that information. A few databases they suggested:

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CIR, Tampa Bay Times join IRE in live discussion about America's Worst Charities

A joint investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting, the Tampa Bay Times and CNN identified America's 50 worst charities -- organizations that plead for financial support and lie to donors about where their money goes, taking multiple salaries and secretly paying themselves or their friends through consulting fees and fundraising contracts.

Reporters Kris Hundley and Kendall Taggart spent more than a year reviewing documents and building a one-of-a-kind database of the country's worst charitable organizations.

Find out more about what they found and how they found it as they join IRE in a live Google Hangout tomorrow. Tune ...

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Learn about online storytelling with data at Tapestry

Tapestry is a new conference about online storytelling with data. Tapestry is bringing together people from the worlds of design, academia and data journalism, each of whom has been thinking about data storytelling from a different angle.

The conference is invitation-only and limited to 100 people, but some openings remain available. It will be held on February 27, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. Keynotes are Jonathan Corum of The New York Times; Robert Kosara of the Eager Eyes blog, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Tableau; and Scott McCloud of Understanding Comics. There will also be short talks and ...

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State of New Jersey sues itself over release of records

Mark Lagerkvist of New Jersey Watchdog reports that the State of New Jersey is suing itself over a possible release of records to the website.

Lagerkvist reports that on Oct. 15, the state attorney general filed a motion seeking to stop the state Government Records Council from reviewing files, which on Aug. 31 had ordered state pension officials to turn over 26 records for inspection, to determine if any of those records should be released to New Jersey Watchdog.

The records relate to an alleged $245,000 pension scheme involving Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, which New Jersey watchdog first reported ...

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Behind the Story: The San Diego port, altered public records and interactive presentation

San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal is home to a rare deep water port that’s valuable to the maritime industry, but for the last ten years, developers have argued that the area should be transformed into an entertainment district.  When two businessmen responsible for running the U-T San Diego began promoting the stadium, Brooke Williams of iNewSource.org along with reporters from KPBS San Diego decided to investigate.  Their series “Port Authority:  What’s a Port Worth, Anyway?” compiles reporting, documents, interactive pieces, and video to show the plans and potential effects the changes would have on San ...

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Transparency Watch: What journalists need to know about FOIAonline

Federal agencies have launched FOIAonline, a tool that journalists can use to file, track and appeal requests for documents and data under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Here's what you need to know about the service, which was announced just last week.

Not all federal agencies are participating. Here's who's on board:

  • Department of Commerce, minus the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Labor Relations Authority
  • Merit Systems Protection Board
  • National Archives and Records Administration

You can search for other FOIA requests. This search for "pollution" turns up 31 results.

You ...

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Behind the Story: Investigating a building collapse, creating an interactive timeline

A normal day on the local government beat became two months of investigating for Lansing State Journal reporter Lindsay VanHulle.  After a portion of the residential St. Anne Lofts building collapsed in East Lansing, Mich., VanHulle discovered problems in the city’s building code and development programs.  Prior to the building’s collapse, these problems allowed unpermitted construction to continue for months.  

VanHulle’s findings were released in an interactive timeline for the Lansing State Journal in September.  Shortly before the article was published, East Lansing’s code enforcement and planning departments were restructured in an effort to improve communication ...

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IRE members winners in Knight News Challenge

Three IRE members were awarded Knight Foundation grants that will create online resources for journalists.

The grants are part of six news innovations intended to improve access to information on local communities, air quality, elections, demographics and more that in total received $2.22 million as winners of Knight News Challenge: Data. The Knight Foundation said it sought ideas that make the large amounts of information produced each day available, understandable and actionable.

IRE member Joe Germuska of The Chicago Tribune and project partners John Keefe of WNYC and Ryan Pitts of The Spokesman-Review were awarded $450,000 to continue ...

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How to build the digital newsroom

By Châu Mai
@maingocchau

To survive and succeed in the Internet era, the newsroom has to transform itself and instantly keep up with the latest technological developments. Matt Wells, The Guardian US blogs and networks editor based in New York, and Emily Ramshaw, editor of The Texas Tribune, talked about ways to remake the newsroom during “Building the digital newsroom.”

Ramshaw shared four successful strategies her news organization applied since it was launched in 2009.

  • Reporters are also editors and editors are also reporters.
  • Hire “the absolutely best in the business” to draw in the most attention.
  • Pushing not ...
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