Data negotiation: To FOIA or not to FOIA

  • Event: 2015 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Mark Horvit of University of Missouri; Michael Grabell of ProPublica; Paula Lavigne of ESPN; Anu Narayanswamy of The Washington Post
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 7 at 2:10pm
  • Location: International 8-9
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

*Moderated by Mark Horvit, IRE/NICAR

We've all been there: They've got the data, you want it, and they're saying you can't have it. The law seems to be on your side, but that doesn't seem to be enough. Learn strategies for wrestling data and documents out of the grip of government agencies, how to deal with various kinds of rejection, and ways to think about obtaining data when all seems lost.

This session is good for: Anyone.

Speaker Bios

  • Michael Grabell covers economic and labor issues for ProPublica. He has produced stories for the New York Times, Vice, NPR and Time. His investigative work has included stories on workers' comp, temp labor, the TSA, Lance Armstrong, bus safety and toxic chemicals. Grabell previously worked at The Dallas Morning News. He is the author of "Money Well Spent?," a book about President Obama’s stimulus package and the Great Recession. @MichaelGrabell

  • Mark Horvit is an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he teaches investigative reporting, and is director of the school’s State Government Reporting Program. He previously served as executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR). Horvit worked as a reporter and editor for 20 years before joining IRE.

  • Paula Lavigne has been an investigative reporter for ESPN since 2008, working for both digital and TV. She has a background in data journalism. Her work has been recognized with several awards including a Peabody, duPont and IRE's first sports investigation award. Prior to ESPN, she worked at newspapers in Dallas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Tacoma, Wash. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and Creighton University.   

  • Anu Narayanswamy is the data reporter for the political enterprise and investigations team at The Washington Post, with a focus on money and politics. Previously, she was an investigative reporter with the Sunlight Foundation and for the Center for Public Integrity.

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