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Posts Tagged ‘Center for Investigative Reporting’

CIR Reaches Out To New Audiences With ‘Redaction’ Campaign

CIR_LogoThe Center for Investigative Reporting has launched a re-branding campaign with advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

The campaign includes a new logo, along with recent projects like ‘Reveal’,  a one-hour investigative show for public radio, a video game called Hairnet Hero, made to teach children and their families about healthy eating, and celebrated an Emmy win for their graphic novel video ‘Jennifer’s Room,’ for new approaches to journalism.

Not that what CIR does is anything new. They’ve been producing quality, investigative journalism for 36 years, and many outlets, such as CNN and other large organizations, use their research and stories on a regular basis. The problem was that the CIR didn’t feel like they were connecting with the public directly. And so, the campaign.

The pro-bono creative from GSP focuses on the idea of redaction, which is sort of what investigative journalism is all about; filling in the blanks.

Executive chairman, Phil Bronstein, told me over the phone that, “[the idea of] redaction  is something that resonates with people — you don’t have to explain redaction to people. People understand it, especially with things like Snowden and the NSA recently. These are things that are of interest to people, its not just us saying ‘you need to know.’ In the past few decades, there’s been this focus on telling people what to pay attention to, we want to make it easier for people to consume this stuff and understand it.” Read more

FOIA Machine Helps Journalists File Information Requests

We all know what a headache it is to file Freedom of Information Act requests to governing bodies. Wired calls this tedious practice that reporters endure “government hell.”

The whole process is a time-suck: crafting the request letter in such a way that it will be read and actually considered, figuring out where in the bureaucracy to send the document in the first place and finally, waiting on a response – which will more than likely be a big fat “no,” for one reason or another. Or, if it’s a “yes,” it takes months or longer, and by the time you’ve received a response, you’ve moved on with your life.

Some people pay big bucks for any substantial amount of information from government agencies (usually 100 pages or more). Despite its necessary function, FOIA can be a real inconvenience, but the information that can be gleaned from a successful FOIA request is invaluable to reporting and more importantly, operating as a watchdog for those with the most power.

To aid with the method of asking for non-classified docs, specifically for the purpose of accountability reporting, the Center for Investigative Reporting has launched what they call the FOIA Machine, a mechanism for automating and organizing the process of requesting public records.

Read more

Border or Bust: Investigative Journalists Get Serious With New Media

Social media isn’t just for tweeting fillibusters or tracking fugitives — some outlets use new media as their main reporting strategy and to brand their beats.

This story about journalists reporting on the Mexican drug war shows that social media provides not just a great outlet for curating reports but also a shield from the threats that surround breaking news on dangerous people. Instead of going down the rabbit hole of bloggers versus ‘journalist,’ I find it rather inspiring. In the wake of all of the news surrounding sources, leaks, and the reporters that handle them, it’s been a rather good season for serious, investigative reporting.

Other outlets, like the Center for Investigative Reporting have launched new media campaigns that beg for awarenes concerning issues on the border. They also beg to be shared; Jonah Perretti would be proud. They’ve taken some very serious data and turned it into something that borders on silly — like this video that shows what the amount of marijuana seized on the border looks like and a series that plays on the “Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews” – ”Real Actors Real Yelp Reviews of U.S Border Checkpoints.

It’s takes the phrase “Funny or Die” to a whole new level, considering the severity of life on the border. Apart from their intended purpose, it’s also a good example of the thin line between journalism and marketing. Once you’re entertained, there’s also this interactive map if you want to get serious with the data.

Is there something about the Mexican border beat that breeds ingenuity? Have you seen any other great ways that journalists are using new media?

Center for Investigative Reporting Launches API For Veterans Affairs Investigation Data

After publishing an investigation of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ backlog of disability benefits claims, the Center for Investigative Reporting has now made all of its data open and usable for others via an API (application programming interface). Read more

How Can Gaming Platforms Be Used For Participatory News? Conference Will Explore Possibilities

TechRaking, the conference series dedicated to “collaboration among journalists, innovators and community members at the intersection of journalism and technology” is back for round two, this time focusing on gaming platforms as a way of engaging participatory news gathering.

You may remember when we covered the first TechRaking conference at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View back in April. That conference focused on investigate reporting, bringing together technologists and muckrakers. The second installment, to be held in September just before the start of the Online News Association conference in San Francisco, will focus on social gaming’s role in public information.

And the conference itself will be gamified, too. Participants will be divided into teams and develop pitches for game ideas that connect palyers in “radically new ways.” The winning team will receive incubation money to jump-start its idea with the Center for Investigative Reporting, a sponsor of the conference.

The event will be held at IGN headquarters; registration is limited.

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