CAR through the ages

There’s been talk of a couple books IRE put out back in the early 90’s titled 101 (and later 100) Computer-assisted reporting stories. Sadly, there’s only one copy of each here at the home office, both of which we’d like to keep for our archives. However, all of the story questionnaires that are featured in…

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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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Bloomberg reporters find FOIA failures in Obama administration

Transparency Watch is 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 Danielle Ivory, Bloomberg President Barack Obama on his first full day in office ordered federal officials to “usher in a new era of open…

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Health care reporting: AHCJ announces yearlong fellowship, and IRE resources to help coverage

Working on a project about health care systems? About to start one? Here are some resources to help: The Association of Health Care Journalists is offering Reporting Fellowships on Health Care Performance, a yearlong program that funds reporting on health care systems in the United States. The program is designed for mid-career journalists, who continue their…

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Several IRE Members win Pulitzers for investigative work

Congratulations to several IRE members who won Pulitzer Prizes today. Members Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong of The Seattle Times were awarded the Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting for their project, “Methadone and the Politics of Pain.”-an investigation that exposed Washington State’s push of the cheaper painkiller methadone.  Berens and Armstrong were also awarded the…

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National: Home in on top donors, bundlers, super PACs

By Viveca Novak Center for Responsive Politics The 2012 election promises to be the most expensive on record. One important way in which it differs from the 2008 contest: the presence of more outside groups, spending much more money, thanks to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United v. FEC in 2010 and subsequent legal…

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Behind the Story: When does an ongoing story warrant an investigation?

Photo credit:Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times (Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of our “Behind the Story” look at coverage of the Hanford nuclear reservation’s environmental issues.) Determining when an ongoing issue becomes an issue worth investigating isn’t always easy. Craig Welch, an environmental reporter for The Seattle Times who juggles topics from oceans to forests,…

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Excel on steroids: NodeXL and PowerPivot

By Hilary Niles@nilesmedia Excel has two free, plug-ins for Windows users that can dramatically help reporters: NodeXL and PowerPivot. (Sorry Mac devotees, nothing for us.) Tom Torok, CAR editor of The New York Times, and Peter Aldhous, New Scientist’s San Francisco Bureau Chief demoed the two plugins at the 2012 CAR Conference. NodeXL is a network analysis tool compatible…

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Learning to liberate data

By Anna Boiko-Weyrauch@AnnaBoikoW Syntax error. What does this bit of code do? Syntax error. Let’s go back to the source. Syntax error. Maybe try this? After two hours of educated guesses, trial, error and some friendly help, Pam Dempsey, of cu-citizenaccess.org, and I had finally scraped our first bit of text: the word “2011” from a page of…

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