IRE Radio Podcast | Wards of Neglect

What happens when a state cuts $100 million from its mental health budget? Reporters from the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune spent 18 months finding out. Their Pulitzer-winning investigation exposed deadly violence in Florida’s mental hospitals, where staff shortages, regulatory fumbling and years of neglect were, for years, hidden from the public eye. In…

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Behind the Story: How Reuters investigated the preventable deaths of drug-addicted babies

Duff Wilson Any good reporter knows that keeping your eyes and ears open to the world can spark an idea for an original investigation. That was the case for Duff Wilson, an investigative reporter for Reuters. Wilson came up with the idea for the project “Helpless and Hooked” after reading an article in a Massachusetts…

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IRE Radio Podcast | Hazardous Health Care

It’s not easy prying information out of hospitals and health departments. On our podcast this week we’ll hear from journalists who successfully negotiated for the data or documents they needed to fuel an investigation. Here’s the lineup: Gary Dotson of the Belleville News-Democrat shares the paper’s 2012 story about the state’s failure to investigate after…

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Behind the Story: Tracking food waste at a local institution

Forty percent of food grown in the United States goes uneaten, according to the National Institutes of Health. That’s everything from misshapen potatoes left in the field to the half jar of salsa going bad in your refrigerator. Most of us believe wasting food is bad, but many large institutions write off that waste as…

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David Dietz Fellowship for 2013 IRE Conference

In 2012 IRE added a new fellowship in remembrance of longtime IRE member and supporter David Dietz. The fellowship honors his memory and legacy by helping a journalist who has demonstrated an interest in financial investigative journalism and who has fewer than 10 years professional experience. This fellowship covers IRE conference registration fees, provides $750 in…

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In Pennsylvania, culture of secrecy, Right to Know Law remain work in progress

Pennsylvania’s records laws were for many years among the most restrictive in the country, and though the letter of the law has since improved drastically, freedom of information advocates say the spirit of the law has lagged. Pennsylvania overhaul of its Right to Know Law four years ago was a major victory for government transparency,…

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Seeking communications between the White House and Department of Labor

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. This past summer, I reported for The Oregonian on the issue of child labor on farms, specifically the health and safety risks of such work and…

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Behind the Story: Using tips from sources, data and documents to uncover inflated hospital prices

On Thursday, The Charlotte Observer and the News & Observer in Raleigh won bronze in the Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism, funded by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, for their series “Prognosis: Profits,” in which the reporters dissected the finances of large healthcare institutions and discovered inflated prices, lawsuits against thousands…

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