Worry: the sixth ‘W’ of journalism

Stress is the bedfellow of serious journalism – and for good reason
As a young reporter I was taught about the five W’s of journalism: Who, what, where, when and why. Nearly 20 years into my career, I’ve realized that another “W” word is critical to doing my job: worry. Take, for example, the recent story I wrote for InvestigateWest, in partnership with The Nation. The story tries to answer the question of why the Goldwater Institute, a conservative Republican think tank in Arizona was trying to use a series of lawsuits to dismantle the Indian Child Welfare Act, a landmark law created to keep Indian families intact. The article follows the people involved, the lawyers who are bringing the lawsuits, and the tribal members who would feel its impact.

Unequal Justice project weds teamwork with big numbers

I’m tickled that I finally get to write about the Unequal Justice series collaboration today, one of our most ambitious partnerships to date and, certainly, the largest data project InvestigateWest has ever been involved with. I love this project. Mostly because it combines the two things that we do best at IW’s Oregon shop: drill down on numbers and work with our media partners. I alluded to its impending release back in September, in my note about the strength of collaboration, and again in October when I wrote to you about the power of data in journalism. Now I get to dish the backstory.

Riding along with the Portland Police Bureau

Each month we email InvestigateWest members Sidebar, an exclusive dispatch from our newsroom. Get Sidebar hot off the press by becoming a member today. Support InvestigateWest-> 
This month, I offer a behind-the-scenes look at a very snowy ride with Officer Kevin Allen of the Portland Police Bureau. As luck would have it, it was Jan. 10 when the bureau set me up for a ride-along with Officer Allen. The Portland native ended up being my tour guide during one of the biggest snowstorms the city has seen in two decades.

“Will you let them burn down the town??!!”

High-quality journalism that informs us as citizens is the oxygen of democracy. Right now it looks like we need to carry around an oxygen tank. InvestigateWest is here to provide the in-depth, thoughtful and fact-based journalism that fights back, but we need more support to take this fight to scale.

A conversation with DataMatters

As we head into winter at InvestigateWest, I’m super excited to be rolling up my sleeves in one of the largest media collaborations we’ve undertaken to date. What I offer today is a bit of a primer.

The Future of Investigative Journalism Is Here

InvestigateWest Managing Director Lee van der Voo attended the Investigative Reporters & Editors conference in New Orleans — read on to find out where the field of journalism is headed and how non profit journalism studios like InvestigateWest are part of the solution.

SPJ award winners

This month, Development Manager Heather Kosaka looks back at the Society of Professional Journalists awards, and what they mean to up- and- coming reporters.