ProPublica

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ProPublica receives $2.2 million from Knight Foundation to expand audience engagement efforts

The Knight Foundation announced Thursday that it would be providing ProPublica with $2.2 million in funding. The money will be aimed toward helping the investigative non-profit improve on an existing crowdsourcing platform, in addition to offering a two-week training program for journalists.

ProPublica will offer training to 10 to 12 people through a two-week Knight-ProPublica Summer Institute next year. It will be focused at helping the participants learn to become visual data journalists. The organization is still not sure how it will select people for the training program. However, ProPublica wants to focus on groups that aren’t reached through the typical pipelines: NICAR, IRE, elite J-Schools; and “bring new and underserved populations into data journalism.”

“Out there is a stats major or a math nerd who doesn’t know journalism is an option for her but would make an amazing data journalist. Read more

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ProPublica has an ‘Emerging Reporters Program’ for journalists of color

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ProPublica put out a call for young journalists of color to apply to its “Emerging Reporters Program” on Monday. The program will offer a stipend of $4,500 per semester, mentorship and a week at its New York newsroom to five college students “who work or want to work at college journalism outlets – newspapers, websites, radio stations or TV stations. We want to make college journalism accessible to students for whom it would otherwise be economically out of reach,” ProPublica reports.

ProPublica’s mission is to shine a light on abuses of power, producing stories of moral force that provoke change. There are currently few minority reporters who specialize in investigations. Without more such voices, visions and points of view, there is every reason to believe that important stories are being overlooked.

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8 lesser known stories the Pulitzer committee should know about

Related: Roy J. Harris Jr. makes his Pulitzer predictions

National journalism awards have already sniffed out some exceptional journalism that no doubt will be top Pulitzer contenders: The Arizona Republic’s exceptional work investigating VA hospitals, The New York Times’ coverage of Ebola in Western Africa and The St Louis Post-Dispatch’s coverage of the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting and protests all have rightfully been cited as among 2014’s best journalism. But let me tell you about some other reporting in print and online that deserves your attention.

  • Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.17.52 PMOne of my favorite investigations of 2014 was “Subsidized Squalor” by the Center for Investigative Reporting and a host of partners. I loved the project from the first sentence, “There are 4,055 public housing agencies across the U.S., and we’ve spent the past year writing about one of the worst.” People living in Richmond, California’s public housing lived with rodents and sewage CIR created a unit-by-unit interactive graphic so you could see what was wrong in each unit.
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Journalist on Cuba: ‘My mom has been waiting and waiting and waiting’

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. A more personal look at the Cuba story

    On Wednesday, Maria Carrillo, a senior editor at the Houston Chronicle, spent a lot of time on the phone with her mother, a Cuban exile. "I am an American, born here, raised here, never been to the island where my parents were born. But those are my people, as surely as if I'd toddled into the surf at Varadero or spent summer nights along the Malecón. And this has all been painful to watch. We are separated — by that embargo, by politics, by distance, by time. We've been waiting and waiting and waiting." (Houston Chronicle) | CNN's Patrick Oppmann is based in Havana. "Church bells ringing in Havana.

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A look at 5 successful news partnerships

The Pew Research Center is out today with a new report seeking to define what differentiates effective and sustainable news partnerships from the many that launch with a splash and later quietly fizzle.

At Poynter Online, we regularly report on Pew’s prolific series of studies on digital behavior and news industry trends. There is a twist concerning this particular report, however. In collaboration with Pew Research editors, I wrote it.

So this post is mainly to say, if you are intrigued by the topic, take a look.

partner-site-300Our particular focus was to look at five case studies of collaborations that worked and had staying power. Each was, one way or another, many years in the making.

We were searching for business models and an X factor or two that can be of use as experiments in news partnering enjoy a resurgence. Read more

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There’s ‘Bad News About The News’ (but also a little good news)

When The Brookings Institution asked Robert Kaiser to write an essay about the state of journalism, they asked that the last section include some solutions.

“And I had to tell them when I was finished that there would be no such section,” said Kaiser, who worked for more than 50 years at The Washington Post and retired in February. Kaiser is also the author of several books, including “The News About The News.” His essay for Brookings, which came out Thursday, is entitled “The Bad News About the News.”

In several chapters he looks both back and ahead at American journalism.

“I have to say that that process made me less optimistic than I had been before it began,” Kaiser said in a phone interview.

It’s misleading, Kaiser said, to look at all the great journalists and platforms and what they’re producing online and think journalism is in good shape. Read more

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Career beat: Dana Liebelson joins HuffPost Politics

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Dana Liebelson will be a political reporter at HuffPost Politics. She’s a reporter for Mother Jones. (Email)
  • Ashley Codianni is now a senior producer and digital correspondent for CNN Politics Digital. She’s Mashable’s director of news video. (Fishbowl DC)
  • Cara Parks has been named executive editor at Modern Farmer. She was previously a freelancer and deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. (Observer.com)
  • Suejin Yang has been named vice president and general manager of digital entertainment at People and Entertainment Weekly. Previously, she was vice president of Bravo Digital Media. (Fishbowl NY)

Job of the day: ProPublica is looking for a research editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org Read more

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Why journalists should be skeptical about autopsy reports

A.C. Thompson is not a doctor. But neither are many of the people performing autopsies in the United States, says the ProPublica reporter, who has developed a special interest in those procedures.

“Reporters would do well to approach autopsies with some skepticism,” he said in a phone call. Among the problems with autopsies he’s outlined through his reporting: Many are performed by people with no medical training. In many jurisdictions, “When you’re cutting up dead bodies, you actually don’t have to be licensed by anyone,” he said. (Former New Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard told him one of the most important qualities in a coroner is the “love that you have for your fellow man.”)

Thompson.

Thompson.

Thompson read about 900 autopsies from New Orleans Parish after Hurricane Katrina and found stuff that was “absolutely mind-boggling” in them: “People would be shot to death by police, they would be beaten to death by police, and you would get an autopsy that would fail to note the very, very obvious injuries to their bodies,” he said. Read more

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Career Beat: Ryan Tate is named deputy editor for The Intercept

Good morning! Here are some job updates from the journalism community!

  • Becky Bowers will be editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog. She’s currently manager of digital operations for PolitiFact and PunditFact. (@beckybowers)
  • Thomas Claybaugh is now president and publisher for Gannett Central New York Media. Previously, he was general manager of Delmarva Media Group. (Gannett)
  • Terry Horne will be publisher and president for the (Salem, Oregon) Statesman Journal. He was president and publisher of the Pensacola (Florida) News Journal. (Gannett)
  • Jason Leopold will be a reporter at Vice News. Previously, he was a reporter for Al Jazeera America. (Politico)
  • Ryan Tate, Margot Williams and Cora Currier have joined The Intercept. Tate will be the site’s deputy editor.
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Guardian staffers win top IRE prize for NSA series

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The Investigative Reporters & Editors medal for 2014 goes to Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill and others for the Guardian’s reports on the NSA, which “revealed a story that continues to reverberate in the United States and across the globe,” the judges say. (Greenwald and Poitras now work for Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media.)

ProPublica got a FOI Award for its series on revelations from government drug data.

In broadcast, New Orleans’ WVUE won for its “Body of Evidence” series, Los Angeles’ KNBC won for an investigation into bus safety and CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting won for their series on fraud at rehab clinics.

Swedish Radio beat stories by NPR, CIR and Minnesota Public Radio with a story that sounds like the plot of a Stieg Larsson novel but is, shockingly, true. Read more

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