Tags : Resource Center

Investigating after an industrial explosion

A chemical plant explosion in Geismar, La. has injured more than 30 people and killed at least one, according to Louisiana State Police. It's the first major explosion since the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, killed 15 people. When a major plant explosion happens, how do you figure out what went wrong? Journalists have been asking that question and getting answers in Texas, some of which might be helpful for reporters starting to gather the facts in Louisiana. IRE compiled some of those stories, some IRE resources and some helpful databases for investigating after an industrial explosion.

Learning from ...

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Resources for coverage of the Oklahoma tornado

Moore, Okla. and the surrounding area are still reeling after the impact of a 2 mile-wide tornado yesterday. As damage is assessed and the death and injury tolls remain uncertain, journalists are working to obtain and verify information for the public. Many of IRE's members have been there before and have passed on their knowledge. To aid reporters on the story who are unfamiliar with covering natural disasters and newsrooms looking for help in their coverage of the disaster, IRE has compiled several of its resources and external links that can help guide reporting in the aftermath of such ...

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Investigating the Cleveland missing and rescued women case

On Monday, three young Cleveland women who had been missing for nearly a decade were found alive and, according to authorities, appeared unharmed. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight were kidnapped and held for years as prisoners inside a house in Cleveland. Police arrested the house owner, Ariel Castro, 52, and his two brothers, Pedro Castro, 54 and Onil Castro, 50.

Journalists are already starting to uncover details about the case and the brothers. In the search for further context, property records, background searches, court records and smart sourcing will be crucial. IRE is pulling resources, including tipsheets and archived ...

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Remembering journalist Richard Ben Cramer

Richard Ben Cramer, a journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979 as a foreign correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer, died this week from complications of lung cancer. Cramer's writing career spanned politics and sports, and in addition to the Inquirer his work appeared in magazines such as Esquire and Rolling Stone. Cramer authored several books, including What It Takes: The Way to the White House, an in-depth look at the 1988 presidential election.

This week, IRE pulled a 1991 Esquire story by Richard Ben Cramer from its archives:

George Bush: How He Got Here
"A life of ease ...

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CAR through the ages

There's been talk of a couple books IRE put out back in the early 90's titled 101 (and later 100) Computer-assisted reporting stories.


Sadly, there's only one copy of each here at the home office, both of which we'd like to keep for our archives. However, all of the story questionnaires that are featured in the books are now available online, for free, to all members. To search the archives of these old CAR stories, as well as most of the 25,000 plus other stories in our library, go here.

 

Major collection of investigative reporting 'roadmaps' now available online

A major new resource for journalists is available online for the first time. IRE contest questionnaires provide road maps to how many of the best investigative projects of the past three decades were done.

IRE members can now digitally search more than 15,000 of these valuable guides.

Each questionnaire provides detail on how projects, entered into the IRE Awards and later the Phil Meyer Awards, were done. Each one includes lists of sources, documents and data; advice to those who'd like to try similar work themselves, detail on any CAR analysis done, and much more.

The collection -- which ...

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Audio from 2010 IRE Conference now available to members

Audio from the 2010 IRE Conference (Las Vegas, Nev.) is now available for members to stream online. A DVD of the audio is available to order from the Resource Center. Conference attendees can obtain a copy for $5 (to cover shipping/handling). Additional copies can be ordered for $20 each. Members who did not attend the conference can purchase a copy for $20 (price includes shipping). (Please note, at the 2010 conference we did not tape every session. The panels held in Champagne Ballroom 1, Champagne Ballroom 2, Champagne Ballroom 3/4 and Versailles 3/4 were recorded.)

"The New Muckrakers" available from IRE

Be inspired by the greats who heralded in a new breed of watchdog journalism. "The New Muckrakers," with an updated forward by author Leonard Downie, Jr., is now available from IRE. Downie's classic examines a crucial era in the rich history of investigative reporting in America. His exploration of the "new muckrakers" includes insider anecdotes and personal insights from some of the biggest investigations and investigators of the last century, including:
  • Woodward and Bernstein's coverage of Watergate Seymour Hersh uncovering the My Lai massacre
  • Barlett and Steele's revelation of deep problems with Philadelphia's criminal court system ...
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Investigating nonprofits in wake of the crisis in Haiti

The crisis in Haiti has sparked an outpouring of concern and aid pouring in from around the world. With this goodwill comes an opportunity for charities to shine and journalists to make sure that those charities are doing what they promise. Check up on charitable organizations in your community or educate your readers and viewers to investigate those charities themselves. Form 990s are readily available for download via Guidestar. Charity Navigator can also help as it's a site that ranks and rates nonprofit organizations. Here are some tipsheets that can help you unlock a 990's secrets:
  • Ron Campbell ...
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Resource Highlights: Covering the Military

IRE has compiled some resources that may assist in covering the fatal shootings that occured today at Ft. Hood in Texas.  If you have other resources that could be of help to your fellow reporters, please feel free to contact us, and we can add it to the list.  (Email the IRE Resource Center, rescntr@ire.org.) Tipsheets 2360: Janet Lundblad's tipsheet lists resources that are helpful in tracking down people in the military - from books to websites. She also provides a few tips doing this sort of investigation, such as using social security numbers from personnel records to ... Read more ...