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Drug-lobby

Oct. 18, 2016

When the Republican-controlled Congress approved a landmark program in 2003 to help seniors buy prescription drugs, it slapped on an unusual restriction: The federal government was barred from negotiating cheaper prices for those medicines. Instead, the job of holding down costs was outsourced to the insurance companies delivering the subsidized new coverage, known as Medicare Part D

The ban on government price bargaining, justified by supporters on free market grounds, has been derided by critics as a giant gift to the drug industry. Democratic lawmakers began introducing bills to free the government to use its vast purchasing power to negotiate better deals, but all of those measures over the last 13 years have failed.

Evictions

Aug. 26, 2016

D.C. tenants face eviction as "drug nuisances" even when no one is charged with a crime. During the past three years, city officials sent out about 450 nuisance-abatement letters to landlords and property owners, the vast majority aimed at ousting tenants accused of felony gun or drug crimes, including many bona fide drug dealers. But in doing so the District has also ensnared about three dozen people who were charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession or faced no charges at all, a Washington Post review of the letters has found.

Voting Wars

Aug. 20, 2016

With the presidential election less than three months away, millions of Americans will be navigating new requirements for voting — if they can vote at all — as state leaders implement dozens of new restrictions that could make it more difficult to cast a ballot. Since the last presidential election in 2012, politicians in 20 states passed 37 different new voting requirements that they said were needed to prevent voter fraud, a News21 analysis found. More than a third of those changes require voters to show specified government-issued photo IDs at the polls or reduce the number of acceptable IDs required by pre-existing laws. A News21 project.

Making a Case

Aug. 11, 2016

Tennessee Watson takes us on her journey from victim to survivor to reporter, investigating her own story of sexual abuse as a young girl. She documents her decision to report her coach years after the abuse and shows us what happened when a police detective and a prosecutor took on her case.  

It’s an intensely personal story, but also one that looks at how the system handles cases like hers, and the consequences for victims of sexual abuse everywhere.  

Cuba's Media Evolution

Aug. 9, 2016

While it’s too soon to tell if a true sea change is in the works, here are seven relatively recent shifts in the Cuban mediasphere. Many of them would have seemed inconceivable just a few years ago and bear watching in the future.

Fatal Force_WP

July 8, 2016

Two years after a white police officer fatally shot a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the pace of fatal shootings has risen slightly, while the grim encounters are increasingly being captured on video and stoking outrage. The toll for the first half of the year was nearly 500. The Washington Post has expanded the effort to track every case, and in 2016, culled media reports and filed hundreds of public-records requests to obtain the names and work histories of officers involved in fatal shootings — information that is not tracked by any federal agency.

The New Newsrooms

June 14, 2016

Nonprofit centers for investigative reporting have continued to grow outside of the United States over the past 10 years. The reporters who founded these centers followed the example of their colleagues in the U.S., where this model has thrived for the past two decades.


BankTracker: Analysis

June 9, 2016

The country lost 2,350 banks in the last eight years, but big banks grew bigger and richer, especially those in the top tier. Banks now have more assets, capital, deposits, profits, reserves and fewer losses and troubled assets than they did in 2007. But the Investigative Reporting Workshop's in-depth analysis shows every state was hit hard and lost at least one bank because of the Great Recession, with six states losing more than 100 financial institutions. The impact is still being felt, and some experts remain wary of improving financial data.

The Merger

June 1, 2016

The Pepco-Exelon merger was hotly debated because of concerns over competition, potential rate hikes and questions over commitments to green energy goals from opponents. Advocates for the deal argued Pepco needed a parent company with significant resources to improve the District's aging power grid. Pepco spent large amounts on lobbying and ads in an effort to shape public opinion, outflank opponents and give their shareholders big returns.

Business of Disaster

May 25, 2016

More than three years after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Northeast, thousands of homeowners are still struggling to return home, shortchanged by insurance companies and frustrated by bureaucratic recovery programs. The FRONTLINE-NPR joint investigation into the Sandy recovery reveals an unsustainable disaster response system that's costing taxpayers billions and failing to prepare increasingly vulnerable communities for the storms that lie ahead. 

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

From the Pentagon Papers to Trump: How the government gained the upper hand against leakers

The Pentagon Papers helped shape legal and ethical standards for journalistic truth-telling on matters of top secret government affairs. Openness, in the eyes of the public and the courts, would usually prevail over government secrecy, shifting power from politicians back to citizens and news organizations. That balance of power is taking on a renewed significance today in the wake of Reality Winner’s alleged recent national security leak, prosecution of members of the press and anti-press and anti-leak rhetoric by the Trump administration.

Asian journalists wrestle with new rules

Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea news organizations face new challenges online as their governments now include internet activity in their regulatory structures. What used to be a niche for independent media has instead become a new battleground for freedom of expression. 

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

TV news audience stabilizes

In its latest set of reports on “The State of News Media,” the Pew Research Center again delivered a dose of good news to the world of televised journalism.

In 2016, “Network TV news — appointment-viewing for more than 20 million Americans — has experienced relative stability in the size of its audience over the past decade,” the nonpartisan “fact tank” reported.

‘Dropped and Dismissed’ wins Murrow Award

“Dropped and Dismissed,” an investigation into child sexual abuse co-produced by the Workshop, just won an Edward R. Murrow award for News Documentary.

Free speech heated on campuses

Free speech controversies on college campuses nationwide show some experts that students need education about First Amendment protections earlier and often, according to a panel of academic and free speech authorities who spoke Wednesday afternoon at the Newseum. 


Rare footage, interviews highlight new Ken Burns doc

In preparation for the September premiere of PBS’s new documentary series on the Vietnam War, directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick talked Monday night at the Newseum about the importance of both press freedom and finding humanity during one of America’s darkest and most divisive wars.

Reporters need tools, training, time to combat fake news

Fake news has the potential to damage both mainstream media and the public.

That was the message at a June 12 National Press Club event titled “Is Seeing Still Believing,” which featured Santiago Lyon, who works with the World Press Photo Foundation, and Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan.

“I feel the term has become weaponized,” Sullivan told the crowd of two dozen about fake news.

Partners

Workshop Partners

We publish online and in print, often teaming up with other news organizations. We're working now on a new program with FRONTLINE producers, to air later in the year, and on the "Years of Living Dangerously," a series on climate change that has begun airing on Showtime. A story last year on the use of solitary confinement in immigration detention centers was co-published with The New York Times. Our updates to our long-running BankTracker project, in which you can view the financial health of every bank and credit union in the country, have been published with msnbc.com, now nbcnews.com, and we co-published stories in our What Went Wrong series on the economy with The Philadelphia Inquirer and New America Media. Our graduate students are working as researchers with Washington Post reporters, and our new senior editor is a member of the Post's investigative team. Learn more on our partners page.

Projects

Investigating Power update

Investigating Power update

Profiles of notable journalists and their stories of key moments in U.S. history in the last 50 years can be found on the Investigating Power site. See Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis' latest video interviews as well as historic footage and timelines. You can also read more about the project and why we documented these groundbreaking examples of original, investigative journalism that helped shape or change public perceptions on key issues of our time, from civil rights to Iraq, here.