Behind the Story: The big business of ‘green’ buildings and LEED certification

Can a 50-story Las Vegas hotel be environmentally-friendly?  This is the question USA Today reporter Tom Frank sought to answer when he began reporting on the increase in construction of so-called environmentally friendly buildings.  Through his investigation, Frank found that green commercial construction has increased.  Non-profits are behind the movement, but few have assessed the…

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SBA disaster loan data updated in NICAR Database Library

In the wake of a disaster, individuals and business owners are often left with severely damaged property. Many turn for help to the Small Business Administration, which approves low-interest loans to help rebuild. For declared disasters in 2011 alone, the Small Business Administration approved over $1 billion in loans. NICAR has updated the SBA database of these loans,…

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Join a live discussion about Econocheck

NICAR adviser David Herzog will be on hand Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific) for a live Q&A about EconoCheck on the Journalism Accelerator. EconoCheck, an IRE-Sunlight Foundation resource launched during the 2012 campaign, helps reporters quickly find and understand data about key indicators. Drop by to discuss how journalists can continue to…

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Behind The Story: Investigating credit report errors

Courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch When Jill Riepenhoff and Mike Wagner began researching credit report errors in 2010, virtually everyone they spoke with knew someone who had been affected.  Although the industry lacks an official outlet for consumers to dispute credit claims, the reporters’ nationwide FOIA requests returned nearly 28,000 files from the Federal Trade…

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Data to fact check economic claims

Economic issues have taken center stage during this year’s elections. Candidates for office are trying to tap into voters’ discontent about unemployment, government spending and housing. It’s easy for journalists and the public to get lost when politicians toss out economic statistics to score points. So IRE and the Sunlight Foundation have teamed up to…

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NICAR 2012 Wrap-Up

Hundreds of attendees and dozens of speakers descended on St. Louis for the 2012 Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference, for a weekend packed with data analysis, web development, other sessions, and a panda costume. We had a full team of students attending and blogging about panels throughout the conference. In all, the bloggers covered dozens of sessions,…

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