Infiltrating government agencies

  • Event: 2019 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Andrea Ball of Austin American-Statesman; J. David McSwane of The Dallas Morning News; Matthew Mosk of ABC News
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 14 at 10:15am
  • Location: Texas G
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

FOIA bombing, late-night parking garage meetings, immersing yourself in esoteric bureaucratic language, charming the secretary, snail mail, crashing Christmas parties. These reporters have infiltrated secretive state and federal agencies to expose wrongdoing, uncover hidden tragedies and improve public policy. This panel includes tips on source development, where to find data and records, and smart crafting of records requests to get what you want.

Speaker Bios

  • Andrea Ball is an investigative reporter at the Austin American-Statesman. Her work has included reports on medical care at state psychiatric hospitals, deaths of abused children, and corruption at state agencies. Ball graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1993. She has received national and state honors, including the 2019 Texas Associated Press Managing Editors award for community service for a series on dangerous conditions at day cares.

  • @davidmcswane McSwane is an investigative reporter with The Dallas Morning News, where his investigations have triggered state and federal investigations and prompted legislative change. His work has won awards including The Goldsmith Prize, the Worth Bingham Prize, the Peabody and a IRE awards. 

  • Matthew Mosk @mattmosk is a senior producer on the ABC News investigative unit, overseeing enterprise reporting on Washington and politics. Mosk came to ABC News 10 years ago, after a career in print journalism, including staff positions covering government and politics with The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record, the Baltimore Sun, and The Washington Post.

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