Shop Notes

Questions of environmental justice take center stage

Posted: March 16, 2018 | Tags: Environment


Photo by Josh Benson, IRW

From left, Talia Buford, Robert Bullard, Jon Waterhouse, Adrianna Quintero and Mustafa Santiago Ali talk about their research and reporting on the environment.

Over the past 14 months, the Trump administration has reversed dozens of U.S. environmental policies, overturning at least 33 environmental rules. And 24 additional rollbacks are in progress, including the announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, distinguishing the U.S. as the only country opposed to the accord, according to the New York Times.

Last year, President Trump also signed executive orders to greenlight the Keystone ...

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A NICAR newbie goes to Chicago

Posted: March 14, 2018 | Tags: journalism

Data journalism is still new to me. Despite that, I decided to dive in head first and attend the recent NICAR conference in Chicago. 

It was one of my best experiences as a journalist so far.

I was reluctant to attend after feeling ignored for being “just an intern” at another event last year. But my editor at The Investigative Reporting Workshop, where I now intern, pushed me to go, promising that NICAR would be different. I’m glad that I did.

I arrived late, hungry and eager and dashed into a session on digging deep for radio and podcasts ...

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Apprehensions at U.S.-Mexico border down from 2017

Posted: Feb. 9, 2018 | Tags: immigration

The number of people apprehended or denied entry into the U.S. at the Southern border was down 16 percent in January from 2017, new figures from U.S. Customs and Border Protection show.

Most of those — 35,822 — were those caught once they came into the U.S. About a quarter of them were turned away after they tried to enter with inadmissible documentation or for humanitarian aid.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton said in a statement that the numbers are still too high among unaccompanied children and families trying to ...

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Donations to nonprofit newsrooms continue to grow after 'Trump bump'

Posted: Feb. 9, 2018 | Tags: Donations

Despite his persistent claims of fake news and shoddy reporting, President Donald Trump’s contentious relationship with the media has actually provided a much needed financial boost for many nonprofit investigative journalism organizations across the country. And despite expectations, the swelling tide of financial support has not receded. Instead, donations have continued to grow over the past few years.

Take ProPublica, for example. Five days after the election, John Oliver called on his “Last Week Tonight” audience to support national, local and investigative journalism. ProPublica, which Oliver specifically referenced by name, received a flurry of new donations after the segment ...

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Students join WAMU reporter in long-form storytelling

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018 | Tags: journalism

Reporter Patrick Madden talks about his work with student journalists in this short video.

American University graduate researchers/reporters help reporter Patrick Madden research, fact-check and gather information for stories, including “Assault on Justice,” published in 2015, which examined whether police were overusing the charge of assaulting a police officer in Washington. The story won Madden two awards in 2016, the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize and the Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The students, who spend 10 hours a week at the Investigative Reporting Workshop during their master's program, gain experience reporting local ...

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Asbestos, highway safety and child strangulation prevention

Posted: Feb. 1, 2018 | Tags: Fair Warning

Baby powder battles: Johnson & Johnson internal documents reveal asbestos worries

Multiple memos at Johnson & Johnson reveal worries about asbestos being found in baby powder —and raise questions about the company's candor. 

Turning point in fight to stop child deaths from window blinds

More than 300 U.S. infants and toddlers have died from window blinds and cords, but a new industry decision might prevent more deaths.

California and 5 other states get best ratings for highway safety laws

California, along with Oregon, Washington, Louisiana, Delaware and Rhode Island, have the most protective road safety laws, according to an advocacy ...

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How Trump is shaping immigration policy

Posted: Jan. 31, 2018 | Tags: immigration

The timeline was updated on March 20.

It’s no surprise that President Donald Trump has pushed for stricter immigration enforcement since he came into office. It was a key focus of his campaign. In his first State of the Union address, President Trump spent more than 10 minutes of the address talking about immigration from the U.S-Mexico border wall to the need for more border officers and stricter enforcement.

“It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century,” he said.

What Trump didn’t talk about were the ...

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American trust in the media is low, but majority believes it is necessary

Posted: Jan. 31, 2018 | Tags: journalism

More than 80 percent of U.S. adults believe the news media are critical or very important to our democracy, according to a recent survey by Gallup and the Knight Foundation. But the findings, surprising in the current national climate of “fake news” and media mistrust, also revealed that 73 percent of respondents said inaccurate information spreading through the internet is a major problem and 43 percent held a negative view of the media (compared to 33 percent who held a positive view).

Sixty-six percent of Americans said most news media do not do a good job of separating fact ...

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Exceptional writing: a Workshop shortlist

Posted: Jan. 24, 2018 | Tags: Media Shortlist, What We're Reading

DIGS logo.

This season’s media shortlist from The Investigative Reporting Workshop covers a gamut of written works from January.

With the luxury of time off these last two months, I managed to read voraciously and halved my backlog of bookmarked journalism.

Here are some of my favorite pieces, which found themselves falling under three tidy headers — cryptocurrency, gender and biography. I hope you set aside some time to explore these examples of outstanding writing.



“Bitcoin Mania”

SUE HALPERN for The New York Review of Books, Jan. 18, 2018

A finely tuned portrait of the budding, oft-misunderstood cryptocurrency craze. Halpern reviews ...

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This week in immigration news

Posted: Jan. 19, 2018 | Tags: immigration

The Trump administration’s promise to tighten immigration efforts ramped up this week. Here’s a roundup of some of the coverage.

Earlier this month, Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, decided to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from El Salvador. Salvadorans and Haitians with TPS have 60 days to re-apply to the program one last time, according to the The Washington Post

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a notice on Thursday giving TPS recipients from El Salvador until March 9, and those from Haiti until March 19, to re-apply. The U.S. Department ...

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Recent Posts

Questions of environmental justice take center stage

The intersection of the First Amendment, environmental justice and racism was the focus at a recent National Geographic event, “Environmental Justice: What’s Next?” 

A NICAR newbie goes to Chicago

Data journalism is still new to me. Despite that, I decided to dive in head first and attend the recent NICAR conference in Chicago. It was one of my best experiences as a journalist so far. The conference led me to think about alternative sources for data — even for hidden communities. 

Apprehensions at U.S.-Mexico border down from 2017

The number of people apprehended or denied entry into the U.S. dropped from 2017.

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