Investigative Books of 2015: “Ghettoside” leaves lasting impression

By Steve Weinberg With so many superb investigative/ explanatory books published by U.S. journalists during 2015, singling out just a few to this year’s IRE investigative book list feels daunting. That is true every year, but for reasons I cannot decipher precisely, the year 2015 felt more that way. Certainly, the impressive quality and quantity…

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Investigating racial inequality: Dig deeper and stop obsessing over intent

Find this story in the latest issue of the IRE Journal By Nikole Hannah-Jones | New York Times Magazine The last year has been a particularly tumultuous one when it comes to race in the United States. We’ve seen riots in two cities following the police killings of unarmed black men. There have been nationwide protests…

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Crammed Quarters: Exposing inequities of female student housing in Yemen

By Shada Hottam | Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism  Read more from this issue of the IRE Journal. A digital copy is available online. The idea of investigating “Nightmare Dorm at Sana’a University” started after I enrolled at Sana’a University to study TV and radio journalism in 2010. Over the years, I came to hear…

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Investigative reporter sentenced to prison

Khadija IsmayilovaPhoto by Radio Free Europe Today investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison in the country of Azerbaijan. According to one of Ismayilova’s employers, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Ismayilova was found guilty of embezzlement, tax evasion, abuse of power and running an illegal business. OCCRP reports that human rights…

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Global FOI: AP tests laws in 105 countries

**This article appeared in the Winter 2012 IRE Journal** By Martha Mendoza, The Associated Press My freedom of information lesson at The Associated Press Mexico City bureau was not going well. Everyone kept inexplicably cracking up. MISTAKE #1. It ends up that “FOIA” sounds remarkably close to a vulgar f-word in Spanish. Also, because Mexico actually…

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American clunker: U.S. FOIA falling behind other countries

**This article appeared in the Fall 2014 IRE Journal** By David Cuillier, University of Arizona School of Journalism When it comes to freedom of information, the United States can learn a lot from other countries. Now, 103 countries have freedom of information laws, most of those passed in the last 15 years. Many were modeled after the…

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Beyond narco tunnels and border security: Tips and techniques for investigating stories along the U.S.–Mexico border

**This article appeared in the 2015 1st Quarter IRE Journal** BY CELESTE GONZÁLEZ DE BUSTAMANTE » BORDER JOURNALISM NETWORK Geopolitical borders and the communities that thrive among them are unique places where cultures can be both connected and contested at the same time. Borderlanders, those who live on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border region,…

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Foreign FOI: How to request records in another country

**This article appeared in the 2015 1st Quarter IRE Journal** BY EMILIA DÍAZ-STRUCK » CENTRAL UNIVERSITY OF VENEZUELA The lack of information in one country does not mean that the information does not exist. Many times, stories connect with different parts of the world, and searching in other countries could improve the findings. Persons and…

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Reporter finds hundreds of unpunished water violations in Minnesota

By Mark Steil Minnesota Public Radio I’ve always enjoyed looking through large piles of data in my job as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio. My primary beats are the agriculture and energy sectors. I’ve been on the job 35 years now, and for most of that time a document hunt generally meant one thing:…

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