U.S. food aid program struggles to move forward

The U.S. government spends more than half of its international food aid budget transporting life-saving commodities through a tangled system of special interests and government bureaucracy – more than $9 billion in taxpayer dollars over the past decade, a Medill/USA Today investigation has found.

That makes it by far the most inefficient and expensive food assistance delivery system in the world, and one that delays or deprives sustenance to potentially millions of people who desperately need it—and in some cases, die without it, according to interviews with dozens of U.S. officials and experts, and a review of ...

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New video series highlights reporting tips, techniques

This week we launched Story Shorts, a new series of web videos designed to help journalists share tips and techniques they’ve used on a variety of investigative stories. We’ve paired the minute-long videos with related resources (tipsheets, stories, webinars and audio) curated by IRE staff. We’ve even made a few of our tipsheets free for a limited time.

Our first set of clips features KSHB reporter Ryan Kath, who filmed a “Behind the Story” video for us earlier this year. Kath’s series, “Trail of Dirty Deeds,” exposed a widespread real estate fraud scheme and was a ...

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Reports on college crime are deceptively inaccurate

College crime stats are inaccurate and misleading thanks to an abused reporting system that allows off-campus crime to sometimes slip through the cracks, according to an investigation by The Columbus Dispatch and the Student Press Law Center.

The Education Department does little to monitor or enforce compliance with the Clery Act, which was enacted in 1991 to alert students to dangers on campus but often fails at its mission, according to the investigation.

To read the full story, click here.

Extra Extra Monday: Injury-leave program, secret service fumbles, the cost of rape

Blacks disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession in Pinellas, Hillsborough counties | Tampa Bay Times

Black people in Pinellas and Hillsborough are at least six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as white people. It's not because of who smokes pot and who doesn’t.

Racial disparities in pot possession arrests is not a new topic. But the disparities are particularly pronounced in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found.

 

L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter claims rise | L.A. Times

An injury-leave program for Los Angeles police and firefighters has cost taxpayers ...

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Data Journalist (Connecticut Health I-Team)

The Connecticut Health I-Team is seeking a computer-assisted journalist to boost its data-driven reporting, by collaborating on stories with the editor and reporters, and producing user-friendly data sets and interactive graphics for its website.

Applicants must be able to work with large sets of data, such as data released under the Affordable Care Act.  Applicants should have basic programming skills, and be familiar with various digital programs.

This is a contract position and recent college graduates – with the skill sets – will be considered.

Please send a resume and cover letter to Lynne DeLucia, C-HIT editor, at delucia@c-hit.org. Include ...

AUDIO: Tips for getting key sources to talk

Investigative reporters spend months on story basics, building data and documents. But without the right sources, even the most telling facts can read a bit, well, boring.

With that in mind, four battle-tested investigative reporters spoke at the 2014 IRE Conference on the topic of building trust with sources. Ellen Gabler, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Tony Kovaleski, of NBC Bay Area; and Andres Cediel, who produced the recent documentary “Rape in the Fields,” used their own experiences to discuss strategies for getting people to talk.

Kovaleski stressed the importance of building a relationship by meeting as many times as ...

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Wall Street Journal publishes free ‘Deadly Medicine’ e-book

Last December, The Wall Street Journal told the world the story of Amy Reed, a Boston doctor who had a hysterectomy to treat what doctors thought was a benign fibroid tumor, only to find out later that she had cancer and that a device called a power morcellator had caused it to spread.

Now, the Journal has published an ebook, drawn from its investigative coverage throughout 2014. It tells the story of Amy and other women who have been made sicker or who have died because of this device. The ebook can be downloaded for free from the Journal website.