JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS

A News Blog

TOPIC: investigative reporting


The Pentagon is demanding that the website WikiLeaks, which posted more than 70,000 classified reports about the Afghanistan war, return the documents and another 15,000 records the website might post soon, the Washington Post reported. Also, the FBI and Justice Department are looking into how the documents were leaked, the Post said. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» The art of printing secrets: What the New York Times could teach Julian Assange about national security (Slate)
» Revisions to proposed journalism shield law would exclude websites like WikiLeaks (Knight Center)
» Should the U.S. kidnap WikiLeak's founder Julian Assange? (Time)

Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) will hold one of its popular Watchdog Workshops in San Diego, May 1–2, 2010. Sessions will be offered in both English and Spanish, and bilingual experts from both Mexico and the United States will address ways to improve coverage of regional issues such as immigration, corruption, crime, and the environment. read more »

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas is repeating its online course in Portuguese for Brazilian journalists who wish to master the use of computers as reporting tools. The course by Brazilian journalist and instructor José Roberto de Toledo lasts from April 12–May 9, 2010. Applications are available online until March 28. read more »

The Church of Scientology, no stranger to conflict with investigative reporters, hired its own team to analyze the work of one of its most persistent watchdogs, the St. Petersburg Times of Florida, Howard Kurtz writes for the Washington Post. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Scientology seeks investigative journalists for a potential media fight-back (Gawker—November 2009)
» St. Petersburg Times Publishes Major Investigation on Church of Scientology (Knight Center—June 2009)

The closure of Cambio news magazine and the termination of its two top editors are described by its owner, El Tiempo publishing group, as an economic decision, but the dismissed editor-in-chief and managing editor believe political motivations were at play. See this story in English by Colombia Reports. read more »

New rulings by the Supreme Court allow news organizations to defend themselves against defamation charges if they can prove they acted in the public interest. “This means stories that have stayed under wraps because of ’libel chill’ will emerge into the light," writes columnist Dan Leger, director of news content for The Chronicle Herald of Halifax, Nova Scotia. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» More stories on Canadian journalism (Knight Center)

The Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA)’s newly formed Investigative Reporting Unit has concluded its first project, “The Sub$idies of Politics.” The report uses video, texts, documents and interviews to explore how millions of pesos a year are allocated by Congress and the federal government to foundations and NGOs for social assistance, without always reaching that goal. read more »

In a report for The Nation, a weekly magazine known for its leftist perspectives, investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill says the Blackwater private security company is conducting secret operations from a U.S. base in Pakistan, which include planning assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives. Citing an anonymous source working within U.S. read more »

A team of journalism students from The University of British Columbia (UBC) investigating e-waste in three countries for an international reporting course uncovered a previously unknown U.S. security breach in Ghana, the university reports. read more »

Britain's The Guardian is conducting a massive experiment in crowdsourcing, Michele McLellan writes for the Online Journalism Review. The Guardian asked its readers to help comb through nearly a half million pages of documents and expense reports submitted by members of Parliament. read more »

David Miscavige, leader of the Church of Scientology, allegedly attacked Church employees dozens of times, the St. Petersburg Times reports in a three-part series. In addition, Church members allegedly covered up how they botched the care of a Scientologist who died after they held her in isolation for 17 days, Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin report for the paper. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Wikipedia Blocks Church of Scientology From Editing Entries (ABC News)

Almost 37 years after the Watergate break-in, which forced President Nixon’s resignation and turned two Washington Post reporters into national heroes, two former New York Times journalists say they had the story almost within its grasp before the Post did, but they let it slip, The Times reports. read more »

U.S. reporters have played a big role in exonerating wrongly accused prisoners, but as newsrooms shrink, fewer reporters are spending time pursuing cases of prisoners on death row, Tim Arango reports for The New York Times. read more »

Editors from Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia and the Dominican Republic have until May 3, 2009, to apply for the workshop "Investigating Executive Power in Latin America," organized by the New Ibero-American Journalism Foundation (FNPI). The workshop will be conducted in Panama City, May 12-16. read more »

The popular Huffington Post Web site says it will finance a group of investigative reporters, assigning them initially to examine stories about the nation’s economy, the Associated Press reports. read more »

The Knight Center is accepting applications for its popular online course, "Digital Tools for Investigative Journalism," taught by Argentine instructor Sandra Crucianelli. The five-week class course will last from March 30 to May 3. Applications will be accepted online until March 19. read more »

The Washington Post’s Len Downie was involved in Pulitzer-winning investigations of major institutions, such as Watergate and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. But he says that investigative reporting comes from local beats and targets everyone “who has power and influence over the rest of us”—like government agencies, charities, and sports teams, and museums. read more »

Walt Bogdanich, an investigative editor at The New York Times, told reporters at the conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) where he finds his great stories: "In the newspaper," writes Steve Myers of Poynteronline. read more »

Jesús Lemus Barajas, editor of the newspaper El Tiempo, in La Piedad, in the state of Michoacán, was arrested and jailed in the neighboring state of Guanajuato while investigating drug trafficking routes, EFE reports, citing Reporters Without Borders. read more »