The art of access: Strategies for acquiring public records in an increasingly anti-media world

By Ashley Sutherland, Arizona State University Delays. Excessive redactions. Fees. These are just some of the issues journalists and other citizens face when requesting public records from the government. David Cuillier, director of the University of Arizona School of Journalism, and Miranda Spivack, a professor of journalism at DePauw University, offered tips and strategies on how…

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Tips for digging into special education

Mining data and digging for documents can be powerful tools for finding families who may not be getting the best special education services. David DesRoches of WNPR in Connecticut, Brian Rosenthal of The New York Times and Heather Vogell of ProPublica shared this tip and more during their IRE Conference panel, “Investigating special education.” “Remember…

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Inspiration to make your storytelling hum

“But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.” To Ken Armstrong, a writer at The Marshall Project, these 12 words from Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” demonstrate the epitome of good storytelling. “A great lyric can tell you a story in just a few words,” Armstrong told conference IRE Conference attendees.…

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What to do when mental health and criminal justice collide

By Ashley Sutherland, Arizona State University Although mental health-related police shootings and violence against law enforcement occur nationwide, there’s limited data on these kinds of cases. During the “When mental health and criminal justice collide” session at the 2017 IRE Conference, Eric Wieffering of the Star Tribune, Kimbriell Kelly of The Washington Post and Josh Hinkle…

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Six elected to IRE Board of Directors

IRE members elected six directors to the IRE board on Saturday evening at the organization’s annual conference in Phoenix. The newly elected members are: Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times; Ziva Branstetter, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Matt Goldberg, KNBC-TV; T. Christian Miller, ProPublica; Steven Rich, The Washington Post; and Cheryl W. Thompson, The…

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Scott Pruitt wins 2017 Golden Padlock

Investigative Reporters and Editors has named Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the winner of its annual Golden Padlock Award recognizing the most secretive U.S. agency or individual.  Pruitt was selected for this honor for steadfastly refusing to provide emails in the public interest and removing information…

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Sourcing people of color: Going beyond the community leader

Friday’s “Sourcing people of color: Going beyond the community leader” panel, moderated by Manny Garcia of the USA TODAY Network, Diego Santiago of Telemundo, Maria Polletta of The Arizona Republic, and Warren Trent of KTVK/KPHO-TV offered a variety of helpful tips for journalists wanting to improve how they cover historically marginalized communities. Below are some…

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Tips for digging into prisons and jails

“I was the first person who asked him why he killed someone,” recalled Amy Brittain, an investigative reporter for The Washington Post. As part of a Thursday session on prison and jails, Brittain discussed one of the subjects of her investigation into an old Washington, D.C. law that allowed violent offenders to remain on the…

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IRE17 | Day 1 Update

Wireless network and password Wireless internet is available throughout the meeting space thanks to Raycom Media. Join the network IRE17 and follow the steps to enter the access code: Raycom.   Look for IRE Conference buttons At the registration desk: All attendees can pick up an #IRE17 button when checking in. At the Tipsheets &…

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