Online data and tools for environmental investigations

By Gwen Girsdansky Lisa Song of InsideClimate News, Ingrid Lobet of the Houston Chronicle, David Sheppard of the San Antonio Express-News and Jim Morris of the Center for Public Integrity gave suggestions for online resources available for investigating environmental issues on Thursday at the IRE Conference. Lobet mentioned a good tactic is thinking about what…

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Journalism organizations call for greater transparency

Last week, The Association of Health Care Journalists, along with IRE and five other journalism and open-government groups, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for the release of public information about the country’s food stamp program. From the AHCJ blog:  Currently, the USDA refuses to reveal how much money individual retailers…

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2012: The Year in CAR

IRE executive director Mark Horvit and training director Megan Luther presented the Year in Car yesterday, highlighting data-driven journalism from across the country in 2012 and what can be learne from them. Here’s their list: California Watch: Broken Shield FINDINGS: Exposed flaws in the way a special state police force handles crimes against the developmentally…

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CAR guides: What a journalism/computer science student is looking forward to

By Dan Hill The hands-on workshops at last year’s conference blew me away, and I hope to leave Louisville with exposure to new tools I can put to use in the newsroom. Although technology is always changing and this year’s tools may soon be obsolete, there are some skills workshops I don’t want to miss.…

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CAR guides: Valuable sessions for an interactive news developer

By Derek Willis The first eight or 10 NICARs that I attended, I went heavy on the skills-based sessions, learning specific software from experienced users. As I’ve gravitated towards a (relatively) compact set of everyday tools, I find myself at more thematic sessions that dig deep into a specific problem or approach. One of the…

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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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2012 IRE Awards now open for submissions

ENTER YOUR BEST INVESTIGATIVE WORK INTO THE 2012 IRE AWARDS, NOW ONLINE. It’s that time of year again – time to consider entering your best work into the IRE Awards. Among the most prestigious in journalism, the IRE Awards recognize outstanding investigative reporting across all media. Eligible entries must have been published or aired between…

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Behind the Story: The cost of sugar supports

In a recent piece for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, Amy Green reports on the cost of sugar supports to American taxpayers.  She is currently working on a book about the Florida Everglades, which will explore political and environmental impacts on the area.When Amy Green, a native Floridian, thinks of the Florida Everglades, she…

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