The Investigative Reporting Workshop’s Blogs

Exemption 10

No, government is not too open

March 13-19 was Sunshine Week — a nationwide celebration of access to public information. Across the country, the week was marked by panel discussions, workshops and other events about using and understanding the latest developments in freedom-of-information resources. One of those was an event at the University of Missouri in which Charles Lewis, the Workshop's executive editor, argued that government has not become too transparent.

iFOIA's new site features tracking

Since 1996 the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has offered a free letter-generating service to provide users with the correct language and structure for FOIA requests. Over the past year the committee looked for ways to expand this tool to better serve reporters. In recognition of the fact that a single investigation can require hundreds of FOIA requests, they sought to make it easier for journalists to track and organize records requests.

“Reporters are always trying to remember where they’ve submitted requests, how much time has passed since they made the request and who they need to follow up with,” said Emily Grannis of the new ifOIA website.

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Shop Notes

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.

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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.