As we approached the off-year primary election in the spring of 2014, the reporting staff at The World in Coos Bay, Oregon, began looking for interesting ways to cover the races. We had started experimenting with interactive graphics (I created a simple funding timeline to accompany a reporter’s story.) and we thought this tool would be useful to show our readers where campaign funds came from and where they went. I worked with a reporter to obtain the necessary data from the Oregon Secretary of State website and we used the publicly available Tableau Public software to make connections within the data. This tool allowed us to sort through more than 5,000 rows of financial data to present it in a condensed, easy-to-navigate format.
One candidate, who ended up losing the election after her opponent out-fundraised her 7-1, tweeted …
Livingston County, N.Y., had one of the most interesting primary contests in 2012 as two candidates vied for the GOP nomination into the general election. Coverage of this race started with my colleagues at a larger daily paper, but when this story broke wide open our news team opted to assign coverage to me; although I typically ran on a weekly news cycle, my office was geographically closer and given the speed at which this story progressed my proximity proved critical in staying with this story.
This is a multipart series that ran over a period of several weeks. Please use the page navigation below.
Few stories excite me more than document-driven stories stemming from public records requests. Combine that with an angle of advocacy journalism favoring transparency in government and it’s even better. One such instance happened in the spring of 2011, when I exposed and successfully saw the change of a policy in the New York State Comptroller’s Office that forced local governments to violate state law. It took almost three months and close to 3,000 words in print, but transparency prevailed.
This series of stories contains several articles, each on its own page on this site. Please use the navigation controls below.
Over a span of eight months, I wrote a series of 10 news stories following the discipline and firing of the CEO of the local public hospital district. In writing this series, I followed a trail of documents in two states and led the effort for my news agency to successfully counter-sue the fired CEO when he attempted to block the release of public records. The unplanned series originally started with a page 2 story, but several months later was becoming the dominant page 1 headline. This coverage not only brought praise from the local community, but the Sept. 2, 2009 story titled “Records detail ongoing payments to CEO at Lake Chelan Community Hospital” won second place in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 10 contest in the general news category for non-daily newspapers.
After my departure from the Lake Chelan Mirror, the former CEO was partially successful in a discrimination lawsuit against the hospital.
Please note this is was a series and each story is on its own page (use the numbered links below each page to navigate).
Following public outcry into local fire board actions, I made a public records request. I discovered through documents released that elected officials were circumventing the requirements of the state’s open meetings law and that some records were potentially unavailable to the public. That fall, the two fire commissioners who were up for re-election lost at the ballot box by 2-1 margins.
This is a series of stories, each appearing on its own page. Please use the links below to navigate.