The [Thursday] Papers
"Investigative Reporters & Editors, Inc. is launching a new award - dubbed the Golden Padlock - recognizing the most secretive publicly-funded agency or person in the United States. It is calling on journalists and the public for worthy nominees," IRE announced this morning.
"This honor acknowledges the dedication of government officials working tirelessly to keep vital information hidden from the public," said David Cay Johnston, president of IRE, a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting worldwide. "Their abiding commitment to secrecy and impressive skill in information suppression routinely keeps knowledge about everything from public health risks to government waste beyond the reach of citizens who pay their salaries."
"IRE is now accepting nominations for the inaugural Golden Padlock. Nominations should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 24. Submissions should include the name of the agency or individual along with reasons and/or media coverage detailing the intransigence.
"Governments at all levels - from local to federal - are eligible for the award. A list of finalists will be announced in early June and the award will be handed out annually at the IRE's national conference.
"The winning public agency or individual will be invited to attend the award ceremony to be 'honored.' This year's conference is June 20 - 23 in San Antonio, TX."
Tough call. I mean, Barack Obama would be a natural choice - and he's the big kahuna.
Daley is gone but Rahm is here - and the rest of the country would be shocked to know the lengths they have each gone to in order to conceal the doings of their administration. That's why it's so easy, or so it's been said, for the Chicago press to win national awards (and you'd think they'd win a lot more) - reporting on schemes and scandal here looks like massive investigative work elsewhere when a lot of it is what the U.S. attorney serves up on a silver platter or simply represents business as usual.
IRE might be interested in the Koschman case, in particular, as an example of a multi-agency cover-up, though I think the award is more geared toward one individual or office that doesn't so much cover things up as locks everything down in the first place.
In any case, I've been a proud member of IRE since college; it's the only professional journalism association I can recommend unreservedly. If I ran a newsroom, I would consider every member of the staff be a member of IRE - it's not just for investigative reporters. I've used the techniques in the IRE handbook my entire career, and I've never been employed as a dedicated investigative reporter. Absorbing and using IRE's reporting methods can and should be put to use in daily reporting; IRE also focuses on beats and topic areas. I just don't understand journalists who don't pay attention to this stuff.
(IRE's first executive director was John Ullmann, who also taught the investigative reporting class I took as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota; I use a couple key principles from that class to this day, which is one of many reasons why I am a strong advocate of [the right kind of] undergraduate journalism education.)
You can catch up with my preliminary commentary and test lines on the Beachwood's Twitter feed, of course.
"Fewer health plans could mean less competition and possibly higher premium prices. Officials in President Barack Obama's home state had anticipated some 260 health plans would be offered by 16 different insurance carriers, based on a survey the Illinois Department of Insurance conducted last fall.
"The Illinois numbers are an early indicator that insurance companies are backing away from full participation in the online marketplaces, said Robert Laszewski, a former insurance executive turned industry consultant."
It's gonna be a mess - and rather than be a stepping stone to a single-payer plan, as some delusionaries suggest in their farflung fantasies of a president supposedly playing 3-D chess, it's far more likely to put the kabosh on ideas like Medicare-for-all for good.
Penny Pritzker Is Trending
Documenting Violence Against Women
Panelists include Sun-Times editor-in-chief Jim Kirk.
Journalism's Most Dangerous Beats
SATs Do Not Test For Maturity
"The 'Fighting Illini caravan,' featuring Illinois football coach Tim Beckman, men's basketball coach John Groce, women's basketball coach Matt Bollant and Athletic Director Mike Thomas, had been scheduled to appear at the bar May 8 for an 'Our State, Our Team' promotion after spending the day at rallies downtown.
"Since Illinois announced its plans last week, however, students from Northwestern's 'Wildside' fan organization formed a Facebook group protesting the event."
Call the wahmbulance.
A Night At The Opera
The Beachwood Tip Line: Like a day at the races.
Posted on May 2, 2013
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