investigative reporting

Recent Stories

Stories we’re not supposed to tell — last day at the Logan Symposium

“The Third Rail: Stories We’re Not Supposed to Tell,” was one of the last sessions of this year’s Logan Symposium, and it was a good one. The session’s panelists were journalist and author Peter Beinart, The City University of New York; Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, documentary filmmakers; Sara Ganim, CNN investigative reporter; and James Pomfret, Reuters. What they spoke about were stories that powerful forces didn’t want told. Beinart told how his critique of the American Jewish establishment’s unswerving support of Israel has met with strong resistance in that community, including members of his own family. Deal and Lessin spoke about a conflict that developed over public television support for their documentary, Citizen Koch, in which they believed that support was cut because of concern the documentary would offend the politically conservative billionaire Koch brothers, one of whom sat on the board of the public TV affiliate in New York. Continue Reading →

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Stories that start with a toothache … and suburban cops selling cocaine — day two at the Logan Investigative Reporting Symposium

Every year the Logan Symposium begins with a session called “How the sausage is made.” That’s a phrase that reporters and political observers usually use to describe how legislators make laws — it’s not always meant as a compliment. In this case, it’s applied to investigative journalism. As documentary producer Lowell Bergman said when introducing the morning’s panelists, we were going to hear “what actually goes into the making of these stories.”

The first presenter was Megan O’Matz, an investigative reporter at the Sun-Sentinel. She and fellow reporter John Maines spent six months looking into records about Sunrise, Florida’s undercover narcotics unit. Pretty soon after they started the investigation, O’Matz said she knew she had a good story. Continue Reading →

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New study on non-profit news organizations: They’re healthy, but face big challenges

The Pew Research Center has been following the growing non-profit journalism world for several years, charting the progress of groups — including the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting — that were founded to fill the gap in reporting caused by staff cutbacks at traditional news outlets. The nonprofit news sector “is showing some signs of economic health, and most leaders of those outlets express optimism about the future,” conclude the authors of the latest study released this month by Pew.  “But many of these organizations also face substantial challenges to their long-term financial well-being.” For those readers who care about the future of the news industry — and the vital role journalism plays in our democracy — you can read the report here. Continue Reading →

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