Campaign cash flow at the state level: Look at contributors, ballot measures

 By Beverly Magley and Anne SherwoodNational Institute on Money in State Politics For your stories about 2012 state elections, check out free campaign-finance information at The National Institute on Money in State Politics (followthemoney.org), a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization. In addition to downloadable data sets, you can mine reports on trends and anomalies, as well as…

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National: Home in on top donors, bundlers, super PACs

By Viveca Novak Center for Responsive Politics The 2012 election promises to be the most expensive on record. One important way in which it differs from the 2008 contest: the presence of more outside groups, spending much more money, thanks to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United v. FEC in 2010 and subsequent legal…

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2011 IRE Investigative Books List

IRE’s annual list of investigative books can be viewed here and seen below. More than 200 books published in 2011 made the list. The annual list is compiled by Steve Weinberg.  If you know of an investigative/explanatory book written by an American journalist published last year for public sale and fail to see it listed, please…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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:…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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