NY opens millions of records on state data portal

New York State this week announced the addition of millions of records to the state’s data transparency website, open.ny.gov, which launched during Sunshine Week of 2011. New York’s is one of 39 state open data sites, according to data.gov. At least 39 county and city governments have similar portals. The records span multiple state agencies…

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Supreme Court says Virginia can limit FOIA to state residents

The U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously today that the state of Virginia had the power to restrict public records access to residents of that state. Virginia limits freedom of information requests to its own residents and certain media outlets. The case reached the court after Rhode Island resident Mark J. McBurney and California resident Roger…

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Behind the Story: An information gap in child abuse cases

There were signs of problems before 15-year-old Jeanette Maples died of starvation and abuse in Oregon in December 2009.  Although child services had been involved in the case, residents were shocked to find that Maples death had not been prevented.  Oregonian reporter Michelle Cole wanted to know what, if anything, could have been done to…

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Investigating charities calling for disaster relief money

In the wake of Sandy’s destruction, countless efforts will be made to help victims. Already, ABC/Disney has designated a “Day of giving,” the National Football League and it’s players association has pledged $1 million to the Red Cross and iTunes is directly accepting donations. Countless calls will be made for the public to donate to charities large and…

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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 [email protected] 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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Data to fact check economic claims

Economic issues have taken center stage during this year’s elections. Candidates for office are trying to tap into voters’ discontent about unemployment, government spending and housing. It’s easy for journalists and the public to get lost when politicians toss out economic statistics to score points. So IRE and the Sunlight Foundation have teamed up to…

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Making the most out of the 2012 CAR Conference

More than 100 panels, demos and hands-on training sessions will be offered at the 2012 Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference. From the basics of data analysis using Excel and Access to editing a news app and mining unstructured text for stories, this year’s conference has panels for all skill levels of data journalists, as well as general panels for…

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IRE welcomes new trainer

Megan Luther joins IRE today as the newest member of our training team. She will work with training director Jaimi Dowdell to run our workshops, in-newsroom training and other initiatives. Megan has worked in radio, TV and most recently, newspapers. Before she joined IRE, Megan was a government reporter for the Argus Leader in South…

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New IRE Award categories better reflect changes in news industry

We have rebuilt our IRE Awards categories to better reflect changes in our industry that have had great impact on the ways in which news is gathered and presented. Over the past few years, technology has continually offered new ways to gather and present investigative work, while economic cutbacks have squeezed resources and helped encourage…

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