The Investigative Reporting Workshop’s Blogs
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.
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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Top editors of two of the country’s leading news organizations said that their reporters were at the forefront of covering the Trump administration, but they were not competing with each other to topple the presidency.
Dean Baquet and Marty Baron, executive editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post, respectively, said that a journalist’s mission of pursuing truth and fairness hasn’t changed in the Trump era.
Graduate student and Workshop intern Reis Thebault was a contributing reporter to a recent Washington Post investigation into congressional action that many in the Drug Enforcement Agency saw as hampering their efforts to stem the opioid crisis.
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