IRE News

NECIR director freed after detainment in Russia

The executive director of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting was detained in Russia Thursday "for allegedly illegally conducting a journalism workshop in St. Petersburg," according to the center’s website.

Joe Bergantino was kept for several hours along with University of South Carolina professor Randy Covington. The two men were teaching a journalism workshop to a group of 14 journalists in Russia that was supposed to last two days, NECIR wrote. The workshop was part of a grant to teach Russian journalists and was awarded to the university by the U.S. government.

The two men were not ...

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Behind the Story: New Jersey reporter finds inconsistencies in 2008 death investigation

Chris Baxter

Chris Baxter and NJ Advance Media wrestled out a compelling and untold story, let the digital presentation take the lead and came away with a “smashing” investigative success.

Using a system he developed to keep tabs on lawsuits involving state police, Baxter came upon the stifled story of Kenwin Garcia, a Newark man who died in 2008 after an altercation with police along the side of the highway.

Baxter embarked on a deep reporting project that resulted in 7,000 words, an 8-page special print section in The Star-Ledger and a digital presentation as rich as any Baxter ...

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From the IRE Archive: Gary Webb's "Dark Alliance"

Interested in learning more about the story behind the new movie, "Kill the Messenger"? Listen to this panel from the 1997 IRE National Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. titled "Can Investigative Reporting Go Too Far?".

In the early 90's investigative reporter Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News dug into the CIA's involvement of cocaine trafficking into the US.

After the story was published in 1996, Webb and the Mercury News experienced intense criticism not only from the U.S. government but from fellow reporters and news organizations.

On this panel, Webb defends himself and the story while ...

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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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Apply now for the 2015 IRE Knight Scholarship

2014 CAR Conference Knight Scholars and mentors pose for a group picture.

Applications are now being accepted from college students at several historically black colleges and universities for the Knight Scholarship to attend IRE’s 2015 data journalism and annual investigative reporting conferences. Apply online by Sunday, Dec. 7.

The 2015 conferences include our annual data journalism conference in March in Atlanta and the annual investigative reporting conference in June in Philadelphia. Both conferences offer great opportunities to learn, network with professional journalists and build new skills. More details about each conference can be found below.

Scholarships will cover travel ...

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Washington Post, Marshall Project collaborate with DocumentCloud to make note embeds responsive

This post originally appeared on the DocumentCloud blog.

On Aug. 3, The Marshall Project, a new nonprofit journalism organization focused on criminal justice issues, published an investigation in partnership with The Washington Post that revealed new evidence raising doubts about a high-profile Texas execution.

Tom Meagher, data editor at The Marshall Project: Our reporter, Maurice Possley, began working on this story months before most of the rest of our newsroom at the Marshall Project was even hired. By the time we were able to start helping, the story was mostly reported, so we dove into the documents to bring ourselves ...

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Behind the Story: How Chicago Magazine exposed the truth about the city’s crime rates

Chicago Magazine | June 2014

A story that helped change the way Chicagoans digest crime stats started with suspicion.

Immersed in a different crime-related piece, Chicago Magazine Features Editor David Bernstein and Contributing Writer Noah Isackson noticed something amiss with the statistics. When their trusted police sources voiced skepticism, the early trappings of an idea took hold.

In the spring of 2013, fresh off a year of 507 murders in Chicago, the most of any U.S. city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy started celebrating what the stats showed was a drastic turnaround in the amount of crime ...

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IRE remembers CNN photojournalist Sarmad Qaseera

2012 IRE Awards video

IRE is saddened to hear about the passing of Sarmad Qaseera, a photojournalist to whom we’d awarded an IRE Medal for his 2012 work in Benghazi. The 42-year-old was a longtime member of CNN’s Baghdad bureau.

Qaseera was hired by CNN to cover the war in his home country of Iraq in 2003, and in doing so risked his life, according to CNN’s story on his passing. He remained in Iraq until a “very specific death threat” forced him out in 2006. He fled to the U.S. to continue his work for ...

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NICAR Data Library to lower prices, offer free databases

The NICAR Database Library will be implementing some changes in the coming months: The first of these is a reduction in what we charge IRE members for most of our databases. Additionally, a handful of databases will be free to IRE members​. 

While the amount of work we put into each database remains the same, we also want to embolden the growing spirit of accessibility that exists promisingly in some government agencies, in places like Github where reporters share data and code, and on NICAR-L where all sorts of valuable information is shared on a daily basis. Our ultimate goal ...

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Behind the Story: How Kent State tracked student athletes missing class

By Karl Idsvoog, Kent State University

How do you get into college if you can only read at a grade-school level? Last January, CNN’s Sara Ganim answered that question in a powerful piece of reporting. In a few short sentences Sara personalized the reality of college athletics at the University of North Carolina as she told the story of learning specialist Mary Willingham. Sara writes: 

"Early in her career as a learning specialist, Mary Willingham was in her office when a basketball player at the University of North Carolina walked in looking for help with his classwork. He couldn ...

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