December 3, 2018

Use-of-force investigation: mammoth project, immediate payoff

The data team at waded through thousands and thousands of documents as they created a statewide database of police use of force. That database, now searchable for the public, shows that the state had no uniform way of tracking police use of force.

One day after the database went public, New Jersey’s attorney general said the work was something the state should have been doing.

Read about the database and how other newsrooms can use it.

DRILLING DOWN ON 'LOCAL':  A professor is calling for a more nuanced definition of "local news," reports Northwestern University’s Local News Initiative. San Diego State University's Amy Schmitz Weiss writes about her research on "spatial journalism," and outlines how proximity is an increasingly important news value: "News organizations today need to move beyond their antiquated definitions of location and dive deeper into the nuances of geographic spaces in this digital and mobile media era."

MUST BE LOVE: Wednesday is #LoveMyNewspaperDay, and we want to hear how you love your newspaper, or what your newspaper is doing to celebrate. In the past, Poynter has rounded up tweets and written about how this all got started. Let us hear from you. Tweet at us (@poynter) or email us at with the hashtag #LoveMyNewspaperDay.

We'll summarize the best stuff Wednesday online.

SILENCING STUDENTS: A high school newspaper in Springdale, Arkansas, has been suspended and its adviser threatened with termination after students at Har-Ber High School wrote an investigation about five football players who transferred to a rival (and more athletically successful) high school. Of the story written by student journalists Jack Williams, Molly Hendren and Matteo Campagnola, 17-year-old Har-Ber Herald editor Halle Roberts told BuzzFeed News, "They are like, ‘Well, you raised an uproar, we’re going to try and silence you.’" Someone alert the scholarship committee.

THE READ: Juan Sanchez started poor, but worked himself up from poverty to an Ivy League education. His nonprofit, Southwest Key Programs, provides housing and care for the largest number of migrant children in America. Though the agency is designated by the IRS as a nonprofit, Sanchez made $1.5 million last year, according to this New York Times investigation that found "sloppy management and possible financial improprieties." 


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