Federal agencies fail FOIA test conducted by Syracuse University

Card If you report on the government, it may not surprise you to read that only seven of the 21 federal agencies recently FOIAed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) have provided records more than two months after the requests went out. TRAC, a research center that administers the FOIA Project out of Syracuse…

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Much judicial secrecy in Consumer Protection Safety Commission case

Two years ago, the federal Consumer Protection Safety Commission launched saferproducts.gov, an online tool for consumers to review complaints and warnings about hazardous products. Since it launched, Fair Warning reports, the first lawsuit by a business attempting to conceal a complaint is “blazing new trails in judicial secrecy.” “Thanks to closed-door hearings, sealed records and…

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Behind the Story: How the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel learned about an ATF sting gone wrong

Credit: Lou Saldivar, Journal Sentinel Graphics Editor John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge of the Journal Sentinel had an opportunity to gain rare insight into an undercover government operation in 2012. Their watchdog reporting on the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ sting operation in Milwaukee revealed the operation may have done more harm…

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IRE trains South African journalists as part of Power Reporting conference

By Megan Luther African journalists face different reporting barriers than their colleagues in the U.S., yet they share the desire to learn investigative techniques. IRE traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa at the end of October to train reporters at the annual Power Reporting: The African Investigative Journalism Conference. More than 200 journalists attended the three-day conference, which included typical sessions…

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State of New Jersey sues itself over release of records

Mark Lagerkvist of New Jersey Watchdog reports that the State of New Jersey is suing itself over a possible release of records to the website. Lagerkvist reports that on Oct. 15, the state attorney general filed a motion seeking to stop the state Government Records Council from reviewing files, which on Aug. 31 had ordered state…

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IRE members winners in Knight News Challenge

Three IRE members were awarded Knight Foundation grants that will create online resources for journalists. The grants are part of six news innovations intended to improve access to information on local communities, air quality, elections, demographics and more that in total received $2.22 million as winners of Knight News Challenge: Data. The Knight Foundation said…

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IRE looks to hire new training director

Training Director Doug Haddix has accepted a position at the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Reporting at Ohio State University. He has served as one of two IRE training directors for the past three years, helping plan conferences and leading dozens of training sessions. Haddix also edited The IRE Journal, IRE’s award-winning, quarterly magazine on…

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