IRE News

Improve your watchdog skills for just $10 this summer

It’s the best deal you can get in the nation’s capital. For $10, you can learn investigative techniques from some of the best journalists in the country. Yes, $10.

IRE’s Watchdog Workshop will be held in Washington, D.C. on August 13. The workshop will take place at the AAJA annual conference, but it’s open to all journalists and students. Non-AAJA members are welcome to attend and you don’t have register for the full conference.

Check out our full line-up here: http://www.ire.org/events-and-training/event/1513/

Petition offers journalists a chance to support Risen

Last month, more than 1,600 IRE members gathered in San Francisco for training and to discuss the biggest issues facing our craft. Chief among them was the threat of government actions against investigative journalists and their sources, as underscored by Lowell Bergman's keynote speech, a panel on whistleblowers including Daniel Ellsberg and a showcase panel on surveillance.

Following the conference, we got a lot of inquiries from members about what they could do, specifically about New York Times reporter James Risen, who was the focus of much of Bergman's speech. The federal government is trying to force ...

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Behind the Story: How KATC exposed problems with early animal euthanasia in Louisiana

Video by KATC-Lafayette

You don’t need to work in a large newsroom to pull off an investigative story with impact. Earlier this year KATC-Lafayette’s Tina Macias and Allison Bourne-Vanneck revealed that in 2013 a Louisiana animal shelter euthanized a quarter of the dogs that passed through its doors in less than four days – the hold time stipulated by the parish’s animal control ordinance.

Macias, an investigative producer, used public records requests to track down documents on intakes and euthanasia drugs. When the shelter tried to charge the station thousands of dollars, Macias looked up the law and ...

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How to break through the secrecy surrounding the death penalty

Journalists from four states recently joined IRE to discuss coverage of the death penalty and execution secrecy. Ziva Branstetter, Chris McDaniel, Brian Haas and Della Hasselle shared reporting tips, story ideas and more during the 45-minute Google+ Hangout.

Here are four tips from the chat:

  • When you look into lethal injection practices, don’t stop at the drug name. It’s also worth checking on how much of that drug gets administered, said Della Hasselle, a contributor to The Lens in New Orleans. In Louisiana, for instance, execution protocols call for 10 milligrams of midazolam. The same drug was used ...
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Watch live: Google Hangout on execution secrecy

Today starting at 12 p.m. CDT we’ll be talking about how to investigate the death penalty and shed light on secrecy surrounding lethal injection practices. To watch the broadcast and submit questions, click here. You can also tweet us questions at @IRE_NICAR using the hashtag #IREHangout.

We’ll be joined by four journalists who have been covering executions: Ziva Branstetter of the Tulsa World, Chris McDaniel of St. Louis Public Radio, Brian Haas of The Tennessean and Della Hasselle, a contributor to The Lens.

After the broadcast, the recording will be posted to our Hangouts page.

Join us Wednesday for a Google Hangout on execution secrecy

Tune in Wednesday at 12 p.m. CDT to discuss coverage of the death penalty and the secrecy surrounding lethal injection procedures. We’ll be joined by four journalists who have been investigating executions:

  • Ziva Branstetter, enterprise editor at the Tulsa World and one of the witnesses to the botched Oklahoma execution of Clayton Lockett. You can follow her coverage of the case here.
  • Chris McDaniel, political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio. McDaniel has been involved in a lawsuit to free up information surrounding lethal injection drugs. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon also recently won IRE’s not-so-coveted Golden Padlock ...
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Seven members elected to IRE Board of Directors

IRE members elected seven new directors to the IRE board on Saturday evening at the organization's annual conference in San Francisco.

The newly elected members are: Sarah Cohen, The New York Times; Andrew Donohue, The Center for Investigative Reporting; Ellen Gabler, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Jill Riepenhoff, The Columbus Dispatch; Nicole Vap, KUSA-TV in Denver; Phil Williams, WTVF-Nashville; and Chrys Wu, The New York Times.

The board then selected members of the executive committee. They are: Sarah Cohen, president; Matt Goldberg, vice president; Ellen Gabler, secretary; Andrew Donohue, treasurer, Josh Meyer and David Cay Johnston.

The membership also elected ...

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U.S. Navy, Missouri and Oklahoma governors win Golden Padlock Award

Investigative Reporters and Editors has named the U.S. Navy and the governors of Oklahoma and Missouri as winners of its second-annual Golden Padlock Award recognizing the most secretive U.S. agency or individual.

The U.S. Navy FOIA office was named a winner for blocking access to records about a deadly shooting rampage in Washington, D.C. that killed 12 people last year. After the September 2013 massacre at the US Navy’s Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., the Navy circled the wagons, especially when WRC-TV reporter Scott MacFarlane submitted FOIA requests for images, videos and security-related memos ...

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Knight grant supports DocumentCloud improvements, sustainability

DocumentCloud, a free, open source tool used by hundreds of newsrooms to analyze and publish documents, will improve its offerings and develop a plan toward sustainability with $1.4 million in new support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The two-year support will focus on strengthening the future of DocumentCloud and introducing enhancements and features that will make the popular platform faster, easier to use and more robust.

DocumentCloud was created with the support of a Knight News Challenge Grant in 2009 and became a project of the Investigative Reporters and Editors in 2011. It now hosts ...

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Finalists announced for 2014 Golden Padlock award

Investigative Reporters and Editors is proud to announce the finalists for its 2014 Golden Padlock Award celebrating the most secretive government agency or individual in the United States. 

“The spirit of secrecy is alive and well across the United States at all levels of government,” said IRE president David Cay Johnston. “Efforts to hold power to account on everything from the misconduct of judges to executions to a high-profile massacre have been undermined by public servants highly skilled in the art of information suppression. We’re pleased to acknowledge their efforts.” 

The nominees are:

The US Navy FOIA office for ...

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