It’s been awhile and an update is overdue. I’m sad to say, I have just one more story in me for the Investigative Reporting Workshop – it should be coming in the next few weeks – but the good news is that I’ve found a new (work) home.
Later this summer, I’ll be starting at TRAC – which, if you’re not an investigative journalism nerd and aren’t familiar with, is short for Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a project of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. TRAC does a lot of things, but primarily they collect massive amounts of data about just what the government does everyday, and then publicizes their findings. Or, more formally, from the website:
“The purpose of TRAC is to provide the American people — and institutions of oversight such as Congress, news organizations, public interest groups, businesses, scholars and lawyers — with comprehensive information about staffing, spending, and enforcement activities of the federal government. On a day-to-day basis, what are the agencies and prosecutors actually doing?”
This is accomplished a lot of different ways, but a huge chunk of the data is obtained via FOIA, a personal passion of mine. I’ll be signing on for nine months as an investigative reporter, under a fellowship with Syracuse that runs through the academic year. We haven’t quite nailed down my duties, but I’ll certainly be posting updates on my new work here once I get going.
But I won’t be giving up my green reporting either – in the few months before the new job kicks off, I’ll be freelancing some stories at various places – again, I’ll be linking them here. And, to say that I have a lot of unfinished business from the Workshop is an understatement – one of my favorite things about working there was how each story spawned three or four new story ideas. And that’s not changing just because I’m leaving – I’ve got stacks of documents, tips and FOIA requests waiting to be returned, that have left me with material to write for months.
Hopefully, the stories will keep coming, and to all those who still contact me about previous stories, offer tips or want to talk about my presentations at Reynolds, keep emailing – I’ve always got time to talk.