Tipsheets

Browse more 5,000 tipsheets from our national conferences and Watchdog Workshops on how to cover specific beats, conduct a great interview and learn countless tips on where to find the information you need.

Logged-in members can download any tipsheet, for free. Contact the Resource Center 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org for questions.

Search results for "states" ...

  • Open Government Guide

    The OPEN GOVERNMENT GUIDE is a comprehensive guide to open government law and practice in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Fifty-one outlines detail the rights of reporters and other citizens to see information and attend meetings of state and local governments.

    Tags: law; foi; states; rights; meetings

    By Dan Barr

    2017

  • The National Registry of Exonerations

    The National Registry of Exonerations collects, analyzes and disseminates information about all known exonerations of innocent criminal defendants in the United States from 1989 to the present. They publish narrative accounts of each exoneree’s case and provide accessible, searchable online statistical and demographic data about the cases. They also conduct empirical studies of the process of exoneration and of factors that lead to the underlying wrongful convictions.

    Tags: exoneration; prison; innocent; defendants; criminal

    By Maurice Possley

    2017

  • Local incentive reporting

    States and cities spend tens of billions of dollars on “corporate welfare,” or economic development tax breaks for all kinds of projects. Persistent shoe-leather reporting has long proven effective in exposing problems with many deals.

    Tags: deals; incentives; government; corporate; welfare

    By Janelle O'Dea

    2017

  • Reporter's guide to using EMMA

    For reporters covering state or local news, the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website provides free access to a wealth of information about the financial health of states, cities and counties, plus many hospitals, universities and other ventures financed by public debt. This guide to EMMA can help you along the trail to a good story.

    Tags: local; city; finance; health; states; county; hospital; university

    By Leah Szarek

    2017

  • U.S. data –international information

    The U.S. Freedom of Information Act can be used to help you get information from your country. The following resources can help:

    Tags: data; united states; foia; international

    By Jaimi Dowdell

    2016

  • New tools for political accountability reporting

    From engaging the public with background checks on public officials to programmatically identifying model bills in state legislatures, this session will focus on new tools you can use to bring greater accountability to the political process. The Background Machine is an open-source tool that uses crowd-funding and tips to organize and pay for deep checks on political candidates. The Legislative Influence Detector is a powerful tool using an algorithm to identify similar or identical phrases in legislation, comparing bills introduced throughout the United States. And what’s best, we’re giving away what we’ve developed. With just a list of candidates, you can start using The Background Machine in your newsroom for this election, and by changing just a few lines of AZCIR’s LID python code, you can start finding model legislation introduced in your state.

    Tags: political reporting; backgrounding; checks; public officials

    By Brandon Quester

    2016

  • Tipsheet for reporting on GASB 77 and development incentives

    An obscure new government-accounting rule covering budgets from calendar 2016 and beyond will require states and most cities, counties and school districts to report how much revenue they lose to economic development tax breaks. Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 77 will enable big-picture and comparative analyses never before possible. From an activist who helped win the rule, a state official overseeing the rule's implementation, and veteran GASB reporter, learn how the Statement works, where the data will reside, who else is watching, and what the data could reveal. For reporters covering public budget issues, Statement No. 77 is likely to prove an investigative gold mine.

    Tags: gasb 77; accounting; government; rule; tax breaks

    By Hilary Russ

    2016

  • Tipsheet for Reporting on GASB Statement No. 77, Economic Development Subsidies, Fiscal Impact & Recipient Companies

    An obscure new government-accounting rule covering budgets from calendar 2016 and beyond will require states and most cities, counties and school districts to report how much revenue they lose to economic development tax breaks. Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 77 will enable big-picture and comparative analyses never before possible. From an activist who helped win the rule, a state official overseeing the rule's implementation, and veteran GASB reporter, learn how the Statement works, where the data will reside, who else is watching, and what the data could reveal. For reporters covering public budget issues, Statement No. 77 is likely to prove an investigative gold mine.

    Tags: accounting; government; law; budgets; revenue

    By Greg LeRoy

    2016

  • Finding U.S. Data tipsheet and links

    Data exist. It's up to us to find it. We will take you to the hidden places and best techniques to unearth the goldmines. We'll be focusing on local, state and national U.S. data, but international attendees can use these tips and sources to access information about their own country within the U.S.

    Tags: united states; hidden; local; state; national

    By Jaimi Dowdell

    2016

  • Hands on with health data

    The past two years have seen a proliferation of public data sets that let you search for doctors and see the pharmaceutical company payments they’ve received, the drugs they’ve prescribed and the money they’ve collected from Medicare. This is true not only in the United States, but increasingly, around the world. Check out this tipsheet and data set for a better understanding of what datasets are publicly available, how to create your own health data set and cautions to keep in mind.

    Tags: data; health; medical; public; doctors; pharmaceutical; companies

    By Charles Ornstein; Ryann Grochowski Jones

    2016