IRE Radio Podcast | Eviction City

A slow-moving housing crisis has been tearing apart communities in the city of Detroit. Homeowners have been replaced by renters. Mortgage and tax foreclosures have allowed landlords to scoop up potential rental properties on the cheap. On this episode, Detroit News reporter Christine MacDonald walks us through her data-driven investigation into evictions. Christine explains how…

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Investigating tax credits, subsidies and incentives

By Zachary Matson Each year local and state governments provide private companies with billions of dollars of tax credits, subsidies and other forms of incentives to mover or open new facilities in their communities. These deals are shrouded behind layers of quasi-public agencies, weak disclosure rules and secretive businesses, but rarely the economic benefits turn…

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The great divide: Investigating income inequality

By Gwen Girsdansky IRE Board President David Cay Johnston and Paul Overberg from USA Today spoke about how to investigate income inequality on Friday at the IRE Conference. When researching trends, the speakers recommended looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, bank deposits (which are available for every bank branch in the United States), the…

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Don’t miss at IRE 2013: Breaking local stories with economic data

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will offer a free workshop from 2-5 p.m. on June 19 at the IRE Conference in San Antonio: Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data. Government data offer unparalleled opportunities to distinguish your reporting with trend stories about what’s happening in your local economy. Especially this year, with the release…

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Investigating the Workforce

Unions and pensions may sound like daunting subjects to cover, but Tom McGinty of The Wall Street Journal and MaryJo Webster of the St. Paul Pioneer Press lay out compelling reasons to get past that impression, and helpful tools to get you there. McGinty (who stresses he is not a labor reporter, but learned a…

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Wednesday wrap-up: Breaking local stories with economic data

Wednesday was a busy day preparing for the start of sessions on Thursday, but one panel was already under way — “Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data,” hosted by the (Sponsored by Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism). Paul Overberg of USA Today and Thomas Dall and Jeannine Aversa of the Bureau of…

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Covering the repurchase market and shadow banking

Veteran journalist Mary Fricker has put together a guide for the Reynolds Business Journalism Center on how to cover the repurchase market and shadow banking, which she says is “inherently unstable. It triggered the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. It’s a key reason that our recovery is weak. Yet in 2008, when the financial…

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Resources for covering the federal budget, fiscal cliff

As the White House and Congressional Republicans inch toward an agreement before the fiscal cliff deadline, the opportunity remains for digging deeper into the federal budget and the impact of a deal — or lack of deal — on both the country’s broad economic health and local communities. Find help in these links and resources.…

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Behind the Story: The reality of Oklahoma’s Quality Jobs Program

Last month, the Oklahoma Impact Team for KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City and KOTV News on 6 in Tulsa, Okla., examined the much-touted Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program to see if it works as intended or amounts to a corporate giveaway. They found that three-quarters of a billion dollars in tax rebates have been awarded…

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