FOI Files: Reaction to ‘fracking’ investigation typifies journalists’ challenges

Journalists and journalism advocates rightly focus a great deal of energy on freedom of information law, defending the rights of the press and public to access governmental information. Attempts to control the press through legal means constitute a daily threat to democracy and must be met with systemic pushback. Not all controls on information flow…

Read more »

From the IRE Office: Awards, website change with the times

This is a season of evolution at IRE We have rebuilt our IRE Awards categories to better reflect the ways in which news is gathered and presented. And we have launched a new website that is easier to navigate, makes it easier for you to take advantage of our resources and gives you more control over…

Read more »

Haiti’s Aftershocks

Collaborative watchdog group follows the funds for rebuilding When a massive earthquake killed some 200,000 people and devastated Haiti, billions of aid dollars poured in from aroundthe globe. Groups such as “God’s Pit Crew” and “Drops of Hope”descended on the island, ostensibly to help people rebuild their lives. Although many of us in Haiti had…

Read more »

Investigative books of 2010

IRE’s annual list of investigative books can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet. More than 250 books published in 2010 made the list, which includes title, author and publisher. The annual list is compiled by Steve Weinberg. Author(s) Title Publisher Year published Abraham, Laurie  The Husbands and Wives Club  Touchstone 2010 Alter, Jonathan  The Promise:…

Read more »

IRE Members Win Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards

Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent for ABC News’ 20/20, received the award for his investigation into the failure of USA Swimming, the national governing board assigned to protect young female swimmers. Other members of the news team were Megan Chuchmach, producer; Avni Patel, producer; Tom Marcyes, Jack Pyle, editors; Rhonda Schwartz, chief investigative producer; David…

Read more »

IRE Mentoring works

By Reyna Gobel and Margaret Engel Here’s a reminder to those attending this year’s IRE convention — don’t forget to sign up to be a mentor or a mentee. We did and lives changed as a result. Three years ago, we were matched by IRE and had breakfast in Phoenix during the annual conference. The…

Read more »

Pork or Protection? Follow the money in your community to fight terrorism

By G.W. Schulz Center for Investigative Reporting Nearly $70,000 worth of surveillance gear left unused in its original packaging by a county north of San Francisco. A $2,300 plasma TV for university cops. More than $1.3 million spent without maintaining proper documentation to show where it went. Millions more in bomb-disposal robots and new communications…

Read more »

Wrestlers and real estate: Student investigation leads to probe of sales involving coaches, athletes

By Chris Ison University of Minnesota Even to seasoned reporters, long-term investigative projects look like mountains. The long climb will bring breaking news stories and beat duties that distract them, impatient editors who divert them, and months of digging that might turn up little to justify the time and expense. Combined, an exciting idea can…

Read more »

Staying On Track

By Mike McGraw The Kansas City Star This is a “Collected Wisdom” centerpiece story from The IRE Journal, Fall 2009 I’ve been a reporter for nearly 40 years, with most of that time spent as an investigative reporter. I love what I do and have never wanted to do anything else. Three things turned me…

Read more »

A push for investigative reporting in Bolivia

By Tracey Eaton Flagler College Some reporters wanted to explore eastern Bolivia, where hundreds of Guaraní Indian families live in a state of semi-slavery. Others proposed investigating women’s rights and sexuality. No doubt, Bolivian reporters are eager to dig into all kinds of difficult and intriguing issues. Mexican journalist Pedro Enrique Armendares and I found…

Read more »