Articles about "Investigative journalism"


Center for Public Integrity will hire 50 freelancers to probe statehouse corruption

Center for Public Integrity

The Center for Public Integrity is launching a nationwide investigation into indicators of statehouse corruption, and it’s looking for 50 freelancers to help get it done.

The State Integrity Investigation, conducted first in 2011, is a deep-dive look at factors that cause corruption in each of America’s 50 capitols, Nicholas Kusnetz, the initiative’s project manager, told Poynter in an email.

The last project resulted in more than 1,100 stories and led to reform measures passed in seven states, according to the the Center for Public Integrity. It was a 2013 finalist for Harvard’s Goldsmith Investigative Reporting Prize.

Participants will work part-time starting in fall and through early 2016 and will be expected to answer 200-300 questions using data during the first two months of the project. Pay is $7,000.

Here’s the full job description:

The Center for Public Integrity is looking for top-notch journalists to investigate the risk of corruption in their state governments. We’re hiring one reporter in each state to carry out a combination of research and reporting into state government ethics, transparency and accountability laws, and their enforcement. Your work will lead to nationally-distributed stories and state-by-state rankings of government accountability, complete with scorecards, grades and stories that demonstrate where states succeed and where they fail.

The State Integrity Investigation will rely on original, in-depth reporting and detailed data collection in each state to uncover areas of corruption risk in our statehouses. The project will cover a wide range of “integrity indicators,” including campaign finance laws, state budget processes, auditing capabilities, procurement practices, financial disclosure and more. Each reporter will gather data through a combination of research and interviews and then write an accompanying narrative on the findings in that state. Examples of state scorecards, categories and stories from our initial State Integrity Investigation in 2012 can be found at www.stateintegrity.org.

Reporters will have to answer some 200-300 questions with specific, well-sourced data over the first two months of work. Reporters will work with partner organization Global Integrity to register and verify their research. They will be expected to meet rigorous standards for accuracy and sourcing based on methodology developed by Global Integrity. Reporters must be well-versed in the laws, procedures, and inner workings of their state government, and ideally maintain an extensive network of contacts and sources both in and outside of state government.

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What breaking news reveals about your newsroom culture

Here’s what a lifetime in journalism has taught me: Breaking news reveals the true character of a newsroom’s culture and quality.

Spot news success happens in cultures with specific systems, skills, values, mindsets – and leadership.

In the healthiest cultures, when news breaks, here’s what staffers can count on:

  • We have a plan. We don’t have to scramble to figure out how to respond each time a big story breaks. Everyone on our team has an understanding of the key roles that need to be filled – both in the field and at the mother ship. We automatically call in and report for duty. We adapt the basic plan by situation and story, and we’re never caught flat-footed.
  • It doesn’t matter if our boss is on vacation. Deputies and team members are capable of making tough decisions and deploying resources because our leader routinely shares information and power. (No one has to say, “What would the boss do?” We know what WE should do.) We know who’s in charge and we know we’re all responsible.
  • Our hardware and software won’t be our weak link. Our organization invests in the necessary gear and the preventive maintenance to keep it ready for heavy duty use at any time. We have backup provisions for power, technology and tools.
  • Our communication works. Okay, it never works perfectly, but we have phone trees, updated contact lists for email, social media and phone access, bridge lines for conference calls, protocols for briefings, and computer files for shared information and resources as the story continues. We minimize ignorance, confusion and duplication.
  • We’re cross-trained and talent-deep. We’re not in a hole because a key player or craftsperson isn’t available. Even our bench is brilliant — and can step in with confidence and competence. We can cover all the bases.
  • We have an investigative and analytical mindset. We assume that everyone will cover the “what.” We’ll get that — and automatically dig into the “why?,” “what the hell?,” “what’s the bigger picture?,” and “what next?” That’s not the exclusive role of people with “investigative” in their titles; it’s expected of all of us on the team.
  • We play on all possible platforms. We understand that people expect the news to come to them, wherever they are, however they prefer to consume it. We do our best to deliver — with quality.
  • The whole building knows the drill. When breaking news demands all hands on deck, people from other departments (from sales to sports to marketing to maintenance) take the default position: “How can I help?” We gratefully tap their talent and plug them into our plans.
  • We know what we stand for. We know that breaking news is fraught with land mines. We know how to navigate them. Because we talk about values in our everyday coverage, the stress of spot news won’t make us stupid.
  • We take care of each other. Our leaders focus on the needs of the next shift, the next day, the next week. They don’t let staffers run on empty, and don’t hesitate to encourage (even order, if need be) exhausted or traumatized teammates to stand down or accept help.
  • We never forget we’re covering human beings, not statistics; featuring their stories, not our selfies; chasing truth, not thrills. We’re documenting history.

And when the story becomes history, we think about how to do things better next time.

 

 

 

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5 investigative journalism tips from New York Times’ David Barstow

After a publisher chopped away at one of David Barstow’s early investigative stories, he considered ditching journalism and heading off to law school. Since then, Barstow — now a reporter at The New York Times — has gone on to win three Pulitzer Prizes for journalism that has exposed poor working conditions and bribery in America’s companies and manipulation of the American media.

New York Times investigative reporter David Barstow (right) talks to Poynter's Butch Ward in Poynter's inaugural Master Class. Photo by Ren LaForme.

New York Times investigative reporter David Barstow (right) talks to Butch Ward, senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute at a Master Class. (Photo by Ren LaForme)

But Barstow’s professional journey hasn’t been easy. It’s one that left him with “scar tissue” and an evolving understanding of the best way to approach cagey sources, unyielding spokespersons and impatient editors.

He shared some of that knowledge Friday with senior faculty member Butch Ward for Poynter’s inaugural “Master Class,” a discussion on the trajectory of his career and some of the stories that shaped it. During the discussion, Barstow described some of the psychological, narrative and interviewing tools that go into his work. Here are five tips we pulled out from the class:

Establish a track record to earn more time to cover investigations

Barstow felt like he had two jobs when he began his career. He would “feed the beast” during workdays and chip away at ambitious enterprise stories on the nights and weekends. Then, when he knew those stories were almost ready to be published, he would ask his editor to place a “small bet” on him: a few days to bring the story to its conclusion.

After he established a history of turning in these ambitious stories, he was able to ask for larger investments of time from his editors at small and large newspapers.

“If in my first month at The New York Times, I had gone to them and said, ‘you know, I have this really great tip about potential corruption in Mexico by Wal-Mart, and I’m going to have to spend months in Mexico and it’s going to take forever,’ they would have politely said, ‘maybe we’ll ask the Mexico bureau chief to take a look at this.’”

RELATED: See what attendees of Poynter’s Master Class took away from the discussion

Never let ‘em see you sweat

Barstow’s hands used to sweat before he conducted showdown interviews with the powerful corporate leaders in his stories. He would wipe them on his pants before he shook hands or blow on them to conceal his anxiety. When they could feel the sweat on his hands, they knew they had him, he said.

But Barstow adopted a strategy to help kill the pre-interview nerves. He prepares “relentlessly”, sometimes for a week at a time, and he enters the room alone, dressed down, with his documents in a milk crate.

When the approach works, he wears down the other side, he said. As the interview progresses, the lawyers or executives he’s questioning start to slump in their chairs as he demonstrates mastery of the story, and they’re less likely to “say obviously ridiculous, stupid things,” Barstow said.

David Barstow

New York Times investigative reporter David Barstow talks to Butch Ward, senior faculty at the Poynter Institute at Poynter’s inaugural Master Class. (Photo by Ren LaForme)

Frame big stories tightly

After the U.S. invaded Iraq, many reporters wanted to know: where were the weapons of mass destruction that propelled the county to war? Barstow was assigned to a group at The New York Times that tried to answer that question.

“That’s a simple question, but when you start getting into it, when you start wandering down those roads, you could spend all kinds of times looking at chemical weapons or biological weapons or nuclear weapons,” Barstow said.

To tackle the complex story, Barstow narrowed his field of focus. He wrote about aluminium tubing, which the Bush administration said Saddam Hussein was using to create material for nuclear weapons. This allowed him to ask targeted questions about something specific and connect his reporting  to the larger issue of how the U.S. was using its intelligence to provide justification for the war.

“By scrunching the field of focus down, it allows you, first of all, to target your reporting much more precisely,” Barstow said. “But it also, then, allows you to bring in all the complexity within that tight little frame.”

Bring a piece of paper with you for sensitive interviews

Barstow says getting someone to talk can be extremely difficult. He tries to show up unannounced, between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m., with an object — such as a piece of paper — in hand to pique his subject’s curiosity. Common politeness often gets him in the door. Once inside, he takes every opportunity to prolong his visit, including accepting offers for coffee and, if he needs to, using the bathroom.

Convince editors to buy into the investigative “journey”

Journalism is not a business that embraces patience, Barstow said. Many conversations between editors and reporters are driven by the need for timely content, and this can sometimes lead to an impulse to publish a story prematurely.

But editors can also be allies in the reporting process, Barstow said. if reporters convince them to buy into the “journey” of an investigation, they’re more likely to advocate for the story to their bosses.

“You want some other people in the foxhole with you,” Barstow said. Read more

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Five things I learned from prize-winning journalism

I did something last year that I hadn’t done before in all my years as a journalist: I read (or otherwise consumed) virtually all of our profession’s prize-winning work.

The task was awe-inspiring; it gave me a new bar for measuring my own work as an editor.

“Secrets of Prize-Winning Journalism 2013,” an e-book from The Poynter Institute

It was also daunting. As co-editor of Poynter’s first e-book, “Secrets of Prize-Winning Journalism 2013,” I knew the book could feature interviews with the creators of only 10 pieces. To say the selection process was tough is an understatement. But I believe the stories we ultimately chose are a fair representation of the larger body of work in at least this way: They prove that despite journalism’s challenges and its shifting landscape, the talent, tenacity and passion to do meaningful work is ever-present.

Now a new contest season is upon us, and Poynter is deeply ensconced in seeing what else can be learned from colleagues whose work will be showcased in our 2014 edition of the book. In the meantime, I wanted to offer this: Five things I learned from last year’s jaw-dropping journalism.

Some are new insights; others are reminders of old nuggets that shouldn’t be forgotten but sometimes are.

1. Collaboration really is the thing.

There’s still a lot of talk about “legacy” platforms and the digital newcomer. I sometimes think of this as the 10,000-pound gorilla teaming up with Mighty Mouse. But organizations that truly believe in an old adage — “The whole is larger than the sum of its parts” – are winners in the new media landscape.

No place was this more evident than in The Denver Post’s coverage of the shootings at the theater in Aurora, Colo., and The New York Times’ account of an avalanche in the Cascade mountains in Washington.

At The Post, the tweets of reporters and photographers on the scene of the theater shootings were used to build stories in the office. The paper served the breaking news story’s immediacy on the Web, then came back with context in print. Planning for both platforms was simultaneous and coordinated. Said News Director Kevin Dale: “I’m a fan of practicing solid breaking news, social media, multiplatform journalism every single day. If that is the daily mission, the staff can respond to any story.”

As for John Branch’s “Snow Fall,” which received its own avalanche of praise, it married fine writing with the skills of videographers and photographers and Web geniuses to achieve a fully-realized, multimedia presentation — what many called 21st century storytelling.

2. In places where outsiders’ eyes are not allowed, it’s possible that people are being victimized.

That’s an investigative truism, isn’t it? Certainly Alexandra Zayas of the Tampa Bay Times found that to be the case in Florida group homes that claimed a religious exemption and thereby escaped state oversight. In her series, “In God’s  Name,” she found that kids were being bruised and bloodied and shackled for days.

Inside a massive court system that operated out of sight of the public in California, two prize-winning broadcast journalists pulled back the veil to expose a system that teetered on the edge of causing injury by being asked to do too much with too little.

Correspondent Jennifer London and investigative producer Karen Foshay, freelancers working for the nation’s largest independent public television station, KCET, got inside Dependency Court of Los Angeles County, where custody decisions are made.

Large-scale cutbacks were pending for a court that decided the fate of 25,000 children a year — the one courtroom in which news cameras had never been allowed. Foshay’s and London’s report, “Courting Disaster,” showed that judges spent, on average, less than 10 minutes deciding the fate of a child and his or her family.

3. Even in the digital age, old-fashioned skills are paramount.

How refreshing it was to hear self-proclaimed “document nerds” describe the importance of interviewing skills and knowing how to be human.

Observed  Sam Roe, a member  of The Chicago Tribune team that created “Playing with Fire,” an exposé on the dangers of flame retardants:

“In an era of journalism when so much focus is paid to improving digital skills, I think it’s important to emphasize that developing good interviewing abilities remains, in my opinion, far more crucial. Stories often rise and fall on the ability of the reporter to go toe to toe with the subjects on their investigations, many of whom are tops in their fields.”

Reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski echoed that sentiment. Her series “Children in Peril,” published by The Times of Northwest Indiana, required her to get families whose children were severely mentally ill to open up.

“One of the most important things is being able to talk to people, interact with people,” she said. “I think that gets lost in the conversation about everything else. The other stuff is important, but at the end of the day we are talking about people, and you have to be able to interact with people.”

4. One question we should be asking our subjects is, “What story do you want to give?”

Intimacy is a quality often found in distinguished work. It requires access, and access is a product of trust. Photographer Aaron Huey, who spent years documenting life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, says he gains trust by entering communities “not saying, ‘ I have a story I want to get,’ but instead asking, ‘What story do you want to give?’”

Huey’s photos for National Geographic, “In the Shadow of Wounded Knee” won recognition from his peers. His creation of the Pine Ridge Community Storytelling Project gave the Lakota a chance to be authors of their own story.

5. There is a place – indeed, a need – for longform and intimate journalism in the age of Twitter.

While tweets can communicate verified facts, stories can convey meaning. And longform – once simply called “narrative storytelling” – affords the time and space to communicate a story’s nuances and layers. It provides context and interpretation and helps us make sense of that which seems inexplicable.

Author Bill Buford, once The New Yorker’s fiction editor, put it this way: Stories “protect us from chaos…. they are a fundamental unit of knowledge, the foundation of memory, essential to the way we make sense of our lives: the beginning, middle and end of our personal and collective trajectories.”

In its coverage of the Aurora shooting, The Denver Post fed its audience breaking news online and through social media. It delivered context in a narrative account of the Aurora shooting and in an intimate profile of the alleged shooter.

Michael M. Phillips of The Wall Street Journal won the Ernie Pyle award for his collection of stories called “War’s Wake,” which explored the impact of America’s longest-running wars. These pieces were up close and personal, intimate accounts of the struggles encountered by soldiers and their loved ones. They made the personal universal.

Phillips says intimate stories are everywhere; they hide behind the headlines of the day. We just have to learn to see – and go after – them.

When we tell intimate stories – when we go after emotional truth and not just facts – our coverage of a news event becomes more complete, and therefore more accurate.

Jan Winburn is Poynter Writing and Editing Fellow and senior editor for enterprise at CNN Digital, where she is bringing longform storytelling to a brand known for breaking news. Before becoming an online journalist in 2009, she spent 30 years as an editor and writing coach at newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Baltimore Sun, The Hartford Courant and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Related: Learning from prize-winning journalism: tips for executing an investigative journalism project | Learning from prize-winning journalism: how to cover a breaking news story Read more

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China Citizens Movement Trial

Covering China: for foreign and domestic press, self-censorship’s the threat

A plainclothes policeman, center, tries to block a foreign journalist filming while police detain the supporters of Xu Zhiyong near the No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing Wednesday. Xu, a legal scholar and founder of the New Citizens movement, is on trial facing a charge organzing a crowd to disrupt public order. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

It’s not easy being a journalist in China these days.

Chinese reporters are facing new government restrictions, including forced training in Marxism and a new written “ideology” exam. Some, pushing the investigative envelope, have been detained, demoted and fired. Bloggers have been arrested under a new law that forbids rumor-mongering.

Meanwhile, foreign journalists have had visa renewals held up by the government, with the threat of expulsion. The standoff grew so contentious that Vice President Joe Biden had to make a personal appeal to China’s president before last-minute visas were issued earlier this month.

The troubles have prompted soul-searching among journalists about their cumulative effect. The key question for many is whether government intimidation will lead to self-censorship. Read more

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Sheriff in NYT-Frontline story says reporter didn’t ask enough questions

In a “Message to the Media” that disappeared, then reappeared on his office’s website, St. Johns County, Fla., Sheriff David B. Shoar writes he was originally “more than willing” to discuss the death of Michelle O’Connell with New York Times reporter Walt Bogdanich, who wrote about the case and helped make a “Frontline” documentary about it. O’Connell’s boyfriend, Jeremy Banks, is a sheriff’s deputy in St. Johns County.

Reached by phone Monday, a representative for Shoar’s office said it was adding more documents and the message should reappear later. It did, as did a page collecting documents from the case.

One includes the answers Shoar says he didn’t send Bogdanich. Shoar says he decided against an interview, he wrote in an earlier letter to Bogdanich, after he became convinced that “your story has already been written.” Read more

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New York Times, ‘Frontline’ collaborate on investigation of Florida woman’s death

Next Tuesday, “Frontline” will broadcast “A Death in St. Augustine,” an investigative collaboration with The New York Times. The Times plans to run a multimedia story on the investigation this weekend.

The collaboration tells the story of Michelle O’Connell, a Florida woman whose death was ruled both a suicide and a homicide. Her boyfriend, Jeremy Banks, a sheriff’s deputy in Florida’s St. Johns County, has sued the Florida Department of Law Enforcement over its investigation of O’Connell’s death.

Producer Glenn Silber first brought the story to New York Times reporter Walt Bogdanich. “I decided it was worthy of looking into more deeply than anyone had to date because it touched on some issues I was interested in,” Bogdanich said in a phone call with Poynter. “Among them, how rigorously do police investigate one of their own?”

Michelle O’Connell (courtesy Patty O’Connell)
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How news nonprofits are making money

How can nonprofit news organizations diversify their revenue streams? A recent report from the Knight Foundation surveyed 18 nonprofit news outlets between 2010 to 2012 to find the most effective practices in the areas of finances, organizational structure and audience engagement.

Although most nonprofits increased revenue, relying less on foundation grants and bringing in money from individual donors, sponsorships, events and syndication, financial stability is still a big concern for nonprofit news.

Our guests: Anne Galloway, the founder and editor of Vermont-based VTDiggerMark Katches, the editorial director of the California-based Center for Investigative Reporting, and Mayur Patel, the Knight Foundation’s vice president of strategy and assessment.

VTDigger is a five-year-old organization with six full-time employees and an annual budget under $400,000; CIR was founded in 1977 and has a staff of 73 and a budget of $10 million.

You can replay this chat at any time and find our chat archives at www.poynter.org/chats.

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University Of Alabama Sororities

How student reporters ended discrimination among University of Alabama sororities

In the weeks before school started, it was widely known on campus at the University of Alabama that a well-qualified black woman was pledging the white sororities. Her high-school resume was stellar, her family were alums and her grandfather was on the Board of Trustees.

The staff at the student newspaper, The Crimson White, was poised to document the seminal moment when she was accepted, which would coincide with the 50th anniversary of the university’s integration.

But the woman received no invitations to join any of the school’s 16 white sororities.

A couple days after the invitations were issued, Culture Editor Abbey Crain and Magazine Editor Matt Ford both stepped up at the Crimson White. Crain said in a phone interview for the Poynter Excellence Project that she assumed someone else was already working on the story and just wanted to help. Instead, she found herself as the lead reporter. Ford said he just wanted to tell a good story when he volunteered, and wasn’t even aware of the 50th anniversary.

Over the next three weeks, the two asked dozens of sorority members if they would describe the closed-door negotiations that led to invitations. Nearly all of the people approached said no.

“A lot of people were like, ‘Heck no, I am not talking about that. ” Crain said. “You know some of the sororities instruct their members to never ever talk to us about anything.”

Eventually, sources within four sororities agreed to tell their stories. One of the women even agreed to talk on the record.

On Sept. 11, The Crimson White published its investigative piece, “The Final Barrier: 50 Years Later Segregation Still Exists.” The story documented a rush process in which members at several sororities actively tried to pledge the student in question, only to be thwarted by their alumnae and advisers.

The story caught fire on social media. Jezebel linked to it the next day. Within a week, CNN, USA Today, The New York Times and The Guardian of London had published similar stories.

It’s a remarkable piece of journalism for three reasons.

  • The story itself is clear-eyed and insightful, taking readers into a secret rush process that’s rarely been documented.
  • The tone of the story was authoritative, yet lacked any hint of sensationalism. The writers were careful not to overreach in their conclusions, which made their assertions that much more powerful.
  • The impact was even more remarkable. Students and faculty protested. The college president, the governor and the U.S. Attorney General trained their sights on the rush process, and news media around the world took notice.

The outcome: Several sororities reopened the rush process and invited four African-American women and two other women of color into their ranks.

Alabama student Yardena Wolf, right, speaks at a campus protest. Khortlan Patterson is at left. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

This wasn’t the first time The Crimson White had criticized the sororities, Crain said — it was almost a rite of autumn. In Crain’s time as a student, the paper has published three columns or editorials calling the Greek system discriminatory. Each time, the Greeks responded that the paper was biased, online comments flew, and nothing changed, Crain said.

This year offered the prospect that things would be different: The weight of history was pressing down on the entire South, with commemorations of the integration of several universities and remembrances of the death of the four girls in the Birmingham bombing making headlines.

But the outcome was also different because the story was different.

On Sept. 18, about 400 students and faculty members protested on campus. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

One of Crain’s first moves was to track down Melanie Gotz, the only named source and the backbone of the story.

“I knew her from my freshman year. I thought she might be the kind of girl that would stick up for this stuff,” Crain said. Sure enough, Gotz had unsuccessfully spoken up during the rush meetings at her own sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, demanding to know what happened to the African-American pledge. When Crain called, Gotz was ready to talk. She described her sorority sisters standing with her to oppose their alumnae, only to be overruled.

“The entire house wanted this girl to be in Alpha Gam,” Gotz told The Crimson White. “We were just powerless over the alums.”

Anonymous sources at Delta Delta Delta, Chi Omega and Pi Beta Phi described similar scenarios to Crain and Ford.

Crain was particularly worried about Gotz being the only named source. Throughout the reporting she kept Gotz informed of her progress, including the fact that no one else was going on the record. But Gotz insisted on keeping her name in the story.

“I didn’t want to throw her under the bus,” Crain said. “But she told me she would regret it if she didn’t put her name to it.”

Crain’s father, an Alabama alum, was back home in Huntsville and worried about his daughter.

“At first he was like, ‘Oh Abbey you are playing with fire. These are all well-off women. You are going to get yourself in trouble,’ ” she said. But as the reporting went along and she revealed what she was finding, her father changed his mind. “He was just like ‘Oh my gosh, I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was like this.’ My parents are really proud.”

Mark Mayfield, the Crimson White’s adviser, said Crain, Ford and Editor-in-Chief Mazie Bryant approached him early with the story. They were particularly concerned because one of their anonymous sources had implicated an administration official who doubled as a sorority-house adviser as one of two people in the room when votes (which sources said were unanimously in favor of inviting the student) were counted and the pledge was removed from consideration.

Crain and Ford worked hard to get that woman’s response in the story, rather than settle for her initial “no comment.” The sorority adviser later responded that “Our recruitment processes and procedures were followed, and while I cannot take away the disappointment a potential new member or chapter member may feel, I can share that all women were treated fairly and consistently in our process.”

While that response doesn’t really explain how a pledge who had unanimous support from the members didn’t get an invitation, it at least allowed the adviser to respond to her critics. “It was the right thing to do,” Mayfield said. “Abbey was a bulldog about it.”

The morning the story was published, Ford said he went to bed at 3:30 a.m. When he awoke much later that day, his phone was overloaded with text messages. Jezebel had picked up the story, and people on Facebook and Twitter were talking about it.

National networks sent crews to campus, protests erupted, and after the bidding process was reopened, six women of color accepted invitations into sororities on campus. (Ford noted his disappointment that some of the national stories wrongly suggested the pledges had been blocked by current sorority members and not the alumnae.)

Ford and Crain are both on track to graduate next spring. Both admit they’re already behind in their classes, mostly because of their devotion to their journalism. After college, Ford hopes to move to New York to be a journalist — or maybe a screenwriter, or maybe an actor. Crain wants to be a fashion writer.

You should hire them before someone else does.

If you run into a work of journalism that deserves this kind of close inspection, please email us at ExcellenceProject@poynter.org. If we use your suggestions, we’ll give you discounts on courses and Webinars at Poynter News University. Read more

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IRE’s Horvit: To be an effective reporter, get more comfortable with data

Mark Horvit, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), recently shared his thoughts on how data has changed investigative reporting and how IRE fits into the future of journalism.

IRE partnered with Poynter to run a week-long program on investigating local government on a shoestring budget last week. A large portion of the training revolved around using data, including teaching journalists how to source documents and use spreadsheets.

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