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If Truth Be Told

May 30, 2014

The proliferation of new technologies may compromise the integrity of the newsgathering business, as web-crawling machines analyze large numbers of vast datasets and human decision-making gives way to automated algorithms that spit out “investigative” reports; at the same time, however, such technological developments offer journalists the sort of possibilities that may dramatically enhance their storytelling capabilities.

District's bus drivers rack up violations

May 25, 2014

Traffic cameras in the District have caught city school bus drivers speeding and running red lights hundreds of times in recent years, and — unlike most drivers in Washington — they haven’t had to pay the tickets, according to city records. Officials haven't had policies in place to discipline offenders, who are transporting children with disabilities throughout the city and, in some cases, as far away as Annapolis. There were 830 school bus crashes between May 2010 and May 2013, with about one in every nine leading to injuries, crash reports show. Most accidents were minor, but at least 40 children were hospitalized.  

Humanitarian Aid

May 4, 2014

The story of International Relief and Development reflects the course of America’s ambitions in Iraq and Afghanistan, which started with great enthusiasm and consumed tremendous resources, only to see many hopes go awry. Nation-building projects aimed at supplanting insurgents and securing the peace that looked promising on paper in Washington proved to be difficult to execute in dangerous and unpredictable war zones.

In Baghdad and Kabul, companies such as IRD were left to manage hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-funded programs with little meaningful oversight from USAID, according to interviews with government auditors and former IRD employees familiar with the projects.

Years of Living Dangerously

April 14, 2014

"Years of Living Dangerously," a new documentary series that explores how climate change is altering people's lives across the globe, has begun airing on Showtime. Each story features a Hollywood star or respected journalist as a correspondent. Workshop Senior Producer Margaret Ebrahim spent 15 months crisscrossing the country to report the impact of climate change, focusing on stories about the production of natural gas and also on renewable energy. The Workshop's site features additional stories, videos and an interactive drought graphic as well as program information.  

Bank Tracker: 2013 profits hit new level

March 7, 2014

The nation’s banks have recovered strongly from the financial crisis, and the results for 2013 provide even more evidence: Profits for the year hit $154.7 billion, according to reports filed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That's the highest level ever. And only 24 banks failed last year, the fewest since 2007.

Revolving doors

Dec. 11, 2013

In the “reverse revolving door,” key players outside of government, often in heavily regulated industries, leave their high-paying corporate lobbying jobs for the public sector, where they take staff jobs on Senate and House committees. But can someone shift his or her outlook from protecting business interests to protecting the nation’s interest? 

Bank Tracker

Dec. 10, 2013

Solid loan growth and continued low interest rates have helped the nation’s 6,600 credit unions rebuild from the 2008-09 financial crisis, according to new data from the National Credit Union Administration.

But there might be storm clouds on the horizon. NCUA Chair Debbie Matz warned recently that the prospect of higher interest rates could cut into credit union profits. 


Economic impact ripples

Dec. 4, 2013

Lawyers often see the criminal and civil courts as two separate entities, but for people caught up in the legal system, the problems often bleed from one arena into the other. Having a bad lawyer, or an overwhelmed one, can result in a felony conviction rather than a misdemeanor, or a plea deal rather than a trial. Those missed opportunities can have economic and social ripple effects that last beyond any prison sentence.


Bank Tracker: Five-Year Review

Oct. 29, 2013

By most accounts TARP achieved its primary purpose: To help bring about stability in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But the program has been called is "one of the most hated, misunderstood and effective policies in modern economic history."

Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria

Oct. 21, 2013

"Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria," a FRONTLINE program co-produced with the Investigative Reporting Workshop, looks at whether the age of antibiotics is coming to an end. From a young girl thrust onto life support in Arizona to an uncontrollable outbreak at one of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals, FRONTLINE investigates the alarming rise of a deadly type of bacteria that our modern antibiotics can’t stop. You can watch the full video, learn more about the global spread of superbugs and read about the making of the film. 

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

'Future of Truth'

'Future of Truth'

Charles Lewis, founding executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop, wrote “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity,” now in bookstores and available online. The Workshop has published a special series related to the book, and NBC's Chuck Todd recently interviewed Lewis about the public's disenchantment with Congress, the courts and the media.

Navigating FOIA in DC

Access to government documents and data is essential to local investigative “street” reporting and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the most important tool to get them, say journalists in the D.C. community.

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

Trouble with Antibiotics airs Oct. 14

"The Trouble with Antibiotics," a new PBS FRONTLINE program co-produced by the Workshop, will air Oct. 14 at 10 p.m. (check local listings). Check out the trailer. 

Bank Tracker updates

BankTracker has been updated with second-quarter data on banks and credit unions around the country. Our ongoing study is based on reports from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. You can search for information by the name of your bank or by state and city.


'Years' series will air again in September

SAVE THE DATE: Showtime Networks will re-run the "Years of Living Dangerously" in September. All nine episodes of the documentary series, which recently won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series, will be shown on the following days:

• Friday, Sept. 5, at  7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET/PT

• Saturday, Sept. 6 at  7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET/PT

• Sunday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET/PT


'Years' series wins Emmy Award

The "Years of Living Dangerously" documentary series on climate change won Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards this past weekend. Margaret Ebrahim, senior producer at the Workshop, was a producer on the series, which aired on Showtime earlier this year. She spent 15 months traveling the country to report stories on the impact of climate change.

Festival showcases power of documentary reporting

The selection of films at the 2014 AFI Docs Festival along with new documentary techniques allow for a greater exchange about little-known subjects between filmmakers and audiences. 

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.