A look at how journalists are handling the shutdown

Journalists have been searching for alternative resources after the government shutdown caused many online databases to go down and government offices to close as employees went on furlough.  For more information about how the shutdown is affecting news coverage, see the stories below.   For information on closed FOIA offices:Both the Reporters Committee for Freedom of…

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Behind the Story: A source comes forward in the backlog of veterans’ disability

In April,  Jamie Fox contacted reporter Aaron Glantz after losing her job at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Oakland office in 2008. Credit: Michael Short/Center for Investigative Reporting. Aaron Glantz of the Center for Investigative Reporting was reporting on delays in veterans’ disability claims in Oakland, Calif. when a reader reached out to him.  Jamie…

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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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CAR 2013 offers training for all skill levels

So you’re thinking about coming to the CAR Conference, but you’re wondering, “Is this for me?”  Whether you’re a reporter, editor, producer, developer, edcuator, blogger, student, etc., chances are your life has become increasingly electronic. To stay competitive in the workplace and continue to produce compelling journalism you are required, at some level, to interact…

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Knight-Mozilla OpenNews announces 2013 fellows

Knight-Mozilla OpenNews yesterday announced its 2013 class of fellows, who will work as developers and technologists embedded in newsrooms around the world. Fellows spend a year writing code along with reporters, designers and newsroom developers to create new tools for journalism. Fellows for 2013 and their placements include: Brian Abelson, The New York Times Manuel…

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Transparency Watch: What journalists need to know about FOIAonline

Federal agencies have launched FOIAonline, a tool that journalists can use to file, track and appeal requests for documents and data under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Here’s what you need to know about the service, which was announced just last week. Not all federal agencies are participating. Here’s who’s on board: Department of Commerce,…

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Transparency Watch: FOIA requests getting outsourced

In a follow-up to its story on the failure’s of Obama administration agencies to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests, Bloomberg News reports that at least 25 percent of FOIA requests are outsourced to contractors.  “Since fiscal 2009, the year President Barack Obama took office, spending on FOIA-related contracts has jumped about 40 percent, leaving transparency advocates wondering…

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Scranton Workshop: Invaluable investigative tools

By Christopher Dolan, University of Scranton From the art of the interview to “Facebook creeping,” we learned many invaluable investigative tools at IRE’s Scranton Watchdog Workshop. During the day-long event, various expert investigative journalists taught the tricks and techniques needed when hunting down a good story. Tisha Thompson from WRC-Washington had many tips for crafting a…

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Transparency Watch: Yearlong quest for open records yields story on million dollar spending

This is the first post under Transparency Watch, an occasional series from IRE tracking the fight for open records. If you have a story about a quest for public records you’d like to share, email us at web@ire.org. By Laura Bischoff, The Dayton Daily News The Dayton Daily News published a hard hitting Sunday story on…

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