Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Business of Bribes

FRONTLINE and FRONTLINE/World are unfolding an online investigation of international bribery. Covering a practice estimated at $1 trillion worldwide, the team will report on some of the largest bribery investigations in corporate history, leading up to a FRONTLINE documentary, Black Money, airing April 7th.

Lowell Bergman presents the story.

Frontline website


Wobbing is Dutch slang for getting documents through Freedom of Information Legislation.

The wobbing website is a wonderful resource for information on how to use European Freedom of Information Acts. If you want to keep up to date on access issues across Europe, this is a good place to visit.

Wobbing website

Some of the material is in Dutch only, but quite a bit is translated into English.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Huffington Post launches investigative journalism effort

Here is a remarkable development from the Huffington Post. Does anyone in Canada have $1.75 million for a similar venture?

NEW YORK — The Huffington Post said Sunday that it will bankroll a group of investigative journalists, directing them at first to look at stories about the nation's economy.

The popular blog is collaborating with The Atlantic Philanthropies and other donors to launch the Huffington Post Investigative Fund with an initial budget of $1.75 million. That should be enough for 10 staff journalists who will primarily coordinate stories with freelancers, said Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.

full story

Friday, March 27, 2009

Watchdog Journalism Conference

On March 12 and 13, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism hosted Enlarging the Space for Watchdog Journalism, a conference focused on the state and future of investigative journalism.

There is a good site detailing the sessions. It includes audio recordings of the panels.

Columbia Conference

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Plan B: A New Trend?

This is an interesting article about the Wall Street Journal. Two respected reporters have quit to do investigative journalism for private clients. There is also interesting information about the WSJ's emphasis on breaking news.

Plan B

Monday, March 23, 2009

Computer-Assisted Reporting Summer School

This is from Fred Vallance-Jones of King's College School of Journalism:

The University of King's College School of Journalism is proud to announce the second annual Summer School in Computer-Assisted Reporting, once again sponsored by the Canadian Newspaper Association. The 2009 school will be held June 22 to 26 in Halifax.

The 2008 school was an unqualified success and with the economic crisis, skills that distinguish you from the pack are even more important.

To assist in tough times, we are offering special lower rates if you sign up early. The standard registration fee is $475 for the five days but you pay only $375 if you register before April 30. Students, freelancers and those who work for publications with Saturday circulations of less than 30,000 (or weeklies below 30,000) pay a reduced rate of $350, or $250 before April 30.

These are unbelievable rates for five days of intensive training by the country's top CAR practitioners, plus evening social events. Registration for this year's school entitles you to a free copy of Computer-Assisted Reporting, A Comprehensive Primer from Oxford University Press, a $55 value (plus tax). The book will serve as text for the course, and will be an invaluable reference on your desktop for years to come.
As last year, rooms are available at modest cost in the King's residence, or you can get a special rate of $149 plus tax at the nearby Lord Nelson Hotel. We'll post the registration pamphlet soon. In the meantime, for more information and to register using a major credit card, contact Kelly Goldenberg at kelly.goldenberg@ukings.ns.ca or 902-422-1271.

Word Cloud

Here is a word cloud based on the preface of my book.
Created by Wordle. www.wordle.net

Foundations and Journalism

Foundations are playing a bigger and bigger role in funding journalistic projects, particularly in the US. But what do the foundations get from the relationship? Do the contributions come with no strings attached? What exactly do the journalists have to do to keep the foundations happy?

We don't often hear from the foundations on this question. Here is one article which throws some light on the issue.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Web Sites as Watchdogs

This is an interesting article on the phenomenon in the US.

Web sites that dig for news rise as watchdogs

How many of these sites do we have in Canada?

Investigative Journalism Book List

There are not too many bibliographies of investigative journalism books in Canada. (Maybe that's because there are not too many investigative journalism books in Canada.) Here is one list. Actually, it is the bibliography from Behind the Headlines, with a couple of additions. Books in bold are examples of investigative work, while the others discuss or relate to the genre in one way or another. As with any list, it is completely subjective. Please suggest additions.

Book List

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Protecting Sources

Daniel Leblanc broke many of the major aspects of the sponsorship scandal. Now he may be forced to reveal his sources.

Reporter next up in court

It would be deeply ironic, if not the height of absurdity, should Daniel Leblanc wind up going to jail for his part in the sponsorship scandal

Montreal Gazette article

Manitoba Book Awards

The Association of Manitoba Book Publishers has just announced the Manitoba Book Awards shortlists. The awards will be presented at a gala event on Saturday, April 25.

The shortlists and award winners are selected by a variety of juries comprised of writers, publishers and other book industry professionals from across the country.

Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction