Nieman Watchdog

Talk to the Hand

By Watchdog July 16, 2014

When a chemical spill contaminated the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of people in West Virginia in January, Charleston Gazette reporters Ken Ward and David Gutman repeatedly asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) how it … Read more

Inside ProPublica’s Healthcare Investigation

By Watchdog February 28, 2014

ProPublica’s investigation “The Prescribers: Inside the Government’s Drug Data” has provoked a swift response from the federal government. Winner of the 2013 Philip Meyer Award, it exposed the Medicare system’s failure to provide oversight for thousands of physicians who have written prescriptions that in some cases put patients at risk, in others cost the federal government far more than necessary, and sometimes were simply fraudulent. Charles Ornstein, who has specialized in healthcare investigations for years now, was joined on the project by ProPublica’s Tracy Weber, Jennifer LaFleur, Jeff Larson, and Lena Groeger. Nieman Reports spoke by phone with Ornstein as he prepared to travel to Baltimore to accept the award. Read more

James Risen’s First Amendment Battle

By Watchdog February 13, 2014

For six years, New York Times national security reporter James Risen has been fighting to keep his promise of anonymity to a source who told him about a failed CIA initiative. The latest round started last month when Risen asked the U.S. Supreme Court to recognize his First Amendment right to protect his source. If the justices don’t accept his case or rule against Risen, he’ll have to take the stand or risk going to jail. Read more

Clear and Present Danger

By Watchdog February 10, 2014

In the fall of 2013, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) quietly began booting up its Utah Data Center, a sprawling 1.5 million-square-foot facility designed to store and analyze the vast amounts of electronic data the spy agency gathers … Read more

Cold, Hard Facts to Cold, Hard Cash

By Watchdog January 29, 2014

inewsource grew out of the desperation that was sweeping newsrooms across the country in 2009. I was a senior editor for metro and investigations at The San Diego Union-Tribune, and I’d spent way too much time discussing potential layoffs. Read more

Nimble with Numbers

By Watchdog January 29, 2014

John A. McDermott founded The Chicago Reporter in 1972. Despite his best intentions, the Reporter is still around today. A civil rights activist who stood with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during his 1966 fair housing campaign in … Read more

The Too-Many Prisoners Dilemma

By Watchdog October 16, 2013

With society potentially poised to turn the corner on mass incarceration, will news organizations rise to the challenge and increase their coverage? Or do limited resources and a lack of interest mean criminal justice issues—and the poignant underlying human-interest stories—continue to go largely unaddressed? Read more