GuideStar and Foundation Center are Merging

The free non-profit document search engine GuideStar is merging with the Foundation Center — which has been gathering documents on foundations since 1956 — after a decade of getting to know each other. The current web addresses still work but eventually they will be at https://candid.org/ where there is more information on the merger.

Spatial Journalism Newsletter Features UIUC Associate Professor

Last week’s Spatial Journalism Newsletter by Amy Schmitz Weiss of the San Diego State University featured a trove of new developments in digital journalism. She highlighted a Medium post on the place-based consequences media is faced with today written by Nikki Usher of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IJEC’s home base. 

The newsletter also features pieces on reporting with satellite images and the latest developments in virtual reality

UI System Repeatedly Denies Daily Illini FOIA Requests

Amid allegations of sexual misconduct on campus, The Daily Illini has filed six requests for documents relating to sexual misconduct claims.

All six requests have been denied, even when they were only for an aggregate number of complaints.

The requests were made to the University of Illinois System under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act over a period of eight months.

Uncovering Asia 2018: Investigative Reporting in Asia

The largest ever gathering of investigative journalists in Asia took place in Seoul, Korea in October 2018 and now many of the tip sheets and presentations are available online.

The sold-out conference had more than 60 sessions and more than 400 investigative and data journalists attended from 48 countries.

The talks ranged across many topics and the conference included a track of sessions of hands-on data journalism training.

The Multimillion-Dollar Head Fake

The Multimillion-Dollar Head Fake is an investigative project by Jay Rosenstein, a University of Illinois professor of Media and Cinema Studies, on how the U of I spends state money on its athletic department despite claims to the contrary.

Below is the series as presented on Rosenstein’s website. It was also featured in the Huffington Post, the Champaign News Gazette, Illinois Public Media and the Chicago Tribune.

IowaWatch Report on Teaching Climate Change

In a recent story, IowaWatch founder Steve Berry shows how Iowa guidelines for teaching climate change steers students to think for themselves.

Most scientists agree that climate change is influenced by greenhouse gasses produced by human activity. Nevertheless, many teachers think that schools should not be required to only teach that hypothesis.

Billion Dollar Story: Campaign Finance in Indiana

With much of the intense scrutiny focused on national campaigns, political financing at the state level can be an afterthought. But state elections constitute an enormous share of the campaign finance complex, and often the reporting and regulation of contributions is lax at best.

Big spenders: What do candidates do with all that money?

When the subject of campaign finance comes up, the focus usually turns to the contribution side of the equation. That is, who’s giving money to politicians, and what do they want in exchange?

No limits: Political action committees pump millions into state elections

The influence of political action committees in Indiana politics in recent years readily can be spotted in the state’s campaign finance database. The largest single contribution, in fact, is from a PAC, the Republic Governors Association Ohio, or RGA Ohio PAC. The organization made a $1 million gift to Mike Pence during his campaign for governor in 2012. RGA Ohio PAC is one of hundreds of PACs that have contributed more than $51 million to Indiana political campaigns between 2010 and 2015, according to the state’s database. Before 2010, the state did not track the type of contributors, and irregularities in the data make it impractical to assess the full extent of PAC activity in the nearly $1 billion worth of campaign contributions since 2000.