Money trail for Sandy begins as Congress approves $51 billion in disaster aid

On Monday Congress approved $51 billion in disaster aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy, three months after the storm that killed more than 130 people and caused billions in damage to the Atlantic coast. Follow the money with IRE’s coverage page, Hurricane Sandy: Covering the Aftermath The spending was heavily debated and at a time sparked bipartisan…

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One-on-One Mentoring available at CAR Conference

IRE’s Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference offers an opportunity for in-depth, one-on-one coaching on data-driven investigative reporting techniques, news applications and tools. These private sessions allow attendees to seek advice on challenging projects or followup ideas and professional development. These sessions are not for job seekers; they are designed for teaching and sharing information. You must have…

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Behind the Story: Post-Dispatch mapping finds ‘hot spots’ of pedestrian railroad deaths

Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In December, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch released Death on the Rails, a special report on the surprising number of pedestrian deaths that have occurred on railways.  Reporter Todd Frankel explains how he cross-referenced databases and resources to build his own map…

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Deadspin reporting of Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax highlights need for backgrounding story subjects

The ability to background a person  is an essential tool for journalists regardless of beat, as shown by news of Lennay Kekua, the deceased girlfriend of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o who never existed but became one of the prominent storylines in sports this year. The fact that Kekua was a complete fabrication is a…

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Using DocumentCloud, FOIA Project to track requests, responses by agency

The FOIA Project has documented more evidence of what its staff calls apparent failure of the Obama administration to fulfill transparency promises, and an upcoming expansion of the project could be a step toward establishing definitive evidence regarding the administration’s level of transparency.   At the end of December, the DocumentCloud-powered venture from the Transactional…

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San Antonio withholds employee identifiers, with backing from Attorney General

By Joe Yerardi Back in September, I filed a public records request with the City of San Antonio asking for their last five years of payroll data. When I received the responsive records earlier this month, I was surprised to find that the data did not include employee identification numbers. As any data journalist worth…

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Winning T-shirt selected for NICAR 2013

RUNNER-UP             WINNING PROPOSAL  THIRD AND FOURTH PLACE     The votes are in and the 2013 NICAR T-shirts have been selected! Proposal 8, a blue T-shirt with NICAR across the chest, came in first among finalists and is this year’s winning T-shirt. The winning design comes from Ben Welsh of the…

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