New video series highlights reporting tips, techniques

This week we launched Story Shorts, a new series of web videos designed to help journalists share tips and techniques they’ve used on a variety of investigative stories. We’ve paired the minute-long videos with related resources (tipsheets, stories, webinars and audio) curated by IRE staff. We’ve even made a few of our tipsheets free for a…

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Behind the Story: How KSHB-Kansas City uncovered a trail of dirty deeds

Video by Ryan Kath and John Woods, KSHB KSHB-Kansas City’s year-long investigation into a widespread real estate fraud scheme started simple – with a tip from an observant neighbor. But when reporter Ryan Kath started looking into the housing documents, he spotted a bigger problem. Someone had been stealing homes by forging signature of both the living…

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Complaints: A road map for killer investigations

By Hannah Schmidt Jill Riepenhoff, a projects reporter at The Columbus Dispatch, and Tisha Thompson, an investigative reporter for WRC-Washington D.C., use consumer and professional complaints to fuel their investigations. In these audio clips the two reporters offer advice on where to look for complaints and how to use them. In Columbus, Ohio, landlords allowing homes…

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PANDA: Make the robots work for you

As expected, there was no shortage of swag at “Make the robots work for you,” a panel on implementing PANDA, data store of the gods, brought down the mountain to a newsroom near you. (In the interest of full disclosure, the integrity of your reviewer was compromised by a free T-shirt.) For those of you…

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Behind the Story: Tackling the unusual, problematic ‘contract for deed’ housing deal

Minneapolis Star Tribune photoRon Folger of Minneapolis lost his rental license last year city and began selling properties to low-income families on a plan known as a contract-for-deed transaction. In January, Jeffrey Meitrodt, Investigations Editor at the Star Tribune, reported on problematic contract-for-deed sales of homes in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The sales are frequently used…

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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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Behind the Story: The San Diego port, altered public records and interactive presentation

San Diego’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal is home to a rare deep water port that’s valuable to the maritime industry, but for the last ten years, developers have argued that the area should be transformed into an entertainment district.  When two businessmen responsible for running the U-T San Diego began promoting the stadium, Brooke Williams…

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