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Coal Trial

Sept. 30, 2015

The long-awaited prosecution of Massey's former CEO, Don Blankenship, begins Oct. 1 with jury selection. He is charged with conspiracy to violate mine safety standards and mislead government inspectors before the explosion, and with lying to securities regulators about Massey's safety practices and policies after the disaster.

“We’ve never seen anybody charged of any consequence,” said former federal mine safety chief Davitt McAteer, who led an independent investigation of Upper Big Branch mine. “That alone is just a very dramatic shift.”

Lily Pads

Aug. 25, 2015

Even though the U.S. military has fewer bases than it did at the end of the Cold War, it has increasingly inserted itself into new corners of the globe with the help of small, often secretive “lily pad” bases; today, there are bases in around 80 countries and U.S. territories — roughly twice as many as in 1989. 

The Trouble With Chicken

May 12, 2015

FRONTLINE investigates the spread of dangerous pathogens in our poultry — and why the food-safety system isn't stopping the threat.

Assault on Justice

May 9, 2015

People can be arrested, charged and convicted for assaulting a police officer in the District of Columbia even when no physical violence occurs. We analyzed almost 2,000 court cases from 2012-2014 and found about 90 percent of those charged with assaulting a police officer were black and nearly two-thirds of people arrested for assaulting an officer weren’t charged with any other crimes. Some defense attorneys see troubling indicators in these numbers, alleging that the law is being used as a tactic to cover up police abuse and civil-rights violations.

Shaken Science

March 21, 2015

In a year-long study, The Washington Post used court records and news media accounts to track the dispositions of about 1,800 cases nationwide since 2001 that reportedly involved shaking, finding some of the heaviest concentrations in counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nebraska. The study for the first time identified about 200 cases in 47 states that ended when charges were dropped or dismissed, defendants were found not guilty or convictions were overturned.

Dashed Dreams

Jan. 25, 2015

This three-part series looks at the plight of the black middle class, particularly in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, the nation’s highest-income majority-black county. 

Although African Americans have made once-unthinkable political and social gains since the civil rights era, the severe and continuing damage wrought by the downturn — an entire generation of wealth was wiped out — has raised a vexing question: Why don’t black middle-class families enjoy the same level of economic security as their white counterparts?

USAID's Watchdog

Oct. 23, 2014

The inspector general’s office removed many critical findings and had increasingly become a defender of the agency under the acting inspector general, employees said. The USAID inspector general is responsible for ensuring that the billions of dollars the agency devotes to foreign assistance programs each year are spent wisely. The agency hires nongovernmental organizations and private contractors to carry out its projects, which include improving medical facilities, stabilizing economies and rebuilding war-wrecked nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dollars and Deals

Oct. 14, 2014

WAMU and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University examined more than a thousand contracts — worth an estimated $10 billion — that went to the D.C. Council for approval from January 2007 to January 2014.

From simple grass-cutting jobs to complicated D.C. Lottery services worth tens of millions of dollars, Council members have the final say over lucrative contracts. WAMU and the Workshop identified more than $5 million in political contributions from more than 300 firms with Council-approved contracts from 2005 to 2014. Roughly half of the contractors’ campaign cash was donated to lawmakers within a year of their contracts getting approved. The money was a crucial source of fundraising as well: Roughly one-fifth of Council members’ campaign contributions analyzed by WAMU came from firms seeking their approval for city contracts.

Contributions were often made months and weeks ahead of when the contracts were voted on; in some cases, the campaign checks were dated the same day a firm’s lucrative contract was sent to the Council for approval.

The Trouble with Antibiotics

Oct. 8, 2014

FRONTLINE investigates whether the widespread use of antibiotics in food animals is fueling the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance in people. Also in this new one-hour program airing next week: An exclusive interview with the family of a young man who died in a nightmare bacteria outbreak at the National Institutes of Health. 

Stop and Seize

Sept. 8, 2014

The federal government and private police trainers have been encouraging officers to target cash on the nation’s highways since 9/11.  To examine the scope of asset forfeiture since the terror attacks, The Washington Post analyzed a database of hundreds of thousands of seizure records at the Justice Department, reviewed hundreds of federal court cases, obtained internal records from training firms and interviewed scores of police officers, prosecutors and motorists. The Posts found tens of thousands of cash seizures totaling more than $2.5 billion from people who were not charged with a crime. 

Incubating new economic models for journalism.

Latest from iLab

Collaboration: the key

Collaboration was key for the teams of international journalists who produced The Panama Papers, a report that showcases how reporters can hold people and institutions accountable across borders. 

The Buying of the President

Every four years, the American people endure by far the longest and most expensive election of any nation in the world — until the next one. Who profits the most?

Blogs

Most Recent Posts

Madden wins Schorr prize

Patrick Madden of NPR member station WAMU 88.5 is the winner of the annual Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize, named for the respected NPR senior news analyst and veteran Washington journalist who died in 2010. His winning entry was "Assault on Justice," a collaboration with the Workshop and Reveal News.

MacArthur Foundation awards Workshop

The Investigative Reporting Workshop will receive $1.5 million in general operating support over the next five years from the MacArthur Foundation, which today announced its renewed and expanded commitment to journalism and media.

The Workshop is one of 12 news organizations across the country to receive these unrestricted grants. 

Superstorm Sandy victims still struggling

A new FRONTLINE/NPR investigation, "Business of Disaster," examines why thousands of residents of New Jersey and New York are still struggling three years after Superstorm Sandy devastated their communities. See the trailer here.

What we're reading: Homicide coverage

Great journalism continues to be produced by reporters immersing themselves in the lives of others, particularly on the issue of homicide. At the recent Logan Symposium, Jill Leovy talked about the making of her new book, "Ghettoside," and Doug Pardue gave his audience the backstory of "Till Death Do Us Part."

The power of images can make stories more memorable

At the recent Society for News Design conference, designers, illustrators and photographers showed what it takes to make stories visually appealing. El Mundo's art director displayed the creative efforts, from his sketches to finished magazine covers, that the staff undertakes to explain and showcase their journalism.

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.