UPDATE: The Belefast Telegraph revealed earlier today that the Finance Minister Sammy Wilson ‘took a unilateral decision to halt the extension of libel reform to Northern Ireland without consulting other parties on the issue’.
The Defamation Act 2013 has been hailed as a great liberal reform.
The law means Britain’s notorious libel laws will be curbed and freedom of speech will be improved.
It is long overdue. The country had become a desirable location for ‘libel tourists’ looking to settle scores in foreign lands (more on this below, see Background: Why the Defamation Act is so crucial).
However, the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA) decided to block the extension of the Defamation Act to the province. Read More
Recently, we asked the PSNI to tell us how many children went missing during Northern Ireland’s civil war, The Troubles. They don’t seem to want to give us that information. Their decision is currently under review. We’ll probably be taking the case to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Now, we want to reach out to you directly for help. Read More
So, here’s the big news I’ve been promising you: The Muckraker has a new Editor, Claire Cromie!
Claire has been with The Muckraker since late December, assisting in the background and working on some neat stories. She is a digital journalist at the Belfast Telegraph. Prior to the Bel Tel, she was a news editor for a weekly newspaper chain in England, having worked her way up from being a lowly reporter (ahem).
As Editor, Claire will mainly be giving me a hard time, making sure I don’t say anything libellous and overseeing our new secret project (being announced in June).
Just joking: she’ll be keeping The Muckraker in order, helping us to do bigger and better stories and, most importantly, hold the powerful to account. Our goal is to become a sustainable non-profit and hire more reporters, making Northern Ireland a better place by exposing the evil and wrongdoing that happen here. With the #newsecretproject, we’ll be beefing up our investigative coverage and growing our presence in NI. She’ll be guiding that effort.
Below are a few questions I imagine some of you will have so I’ll do my best to answer them. If you have any other questions that aren’t listed here, ping me on Twitter or via email. Read More
For the last 7 months, I feel like I’ve been living under a rock. I’m so used to sharing the stories I’m working on with you. But the stories I’m working on are getting bigger.
So is the risk of reporting them. Northern Ireland is not the friendliest of places for muckraking journalism. In 2001, investigative reporter Marty O’Hagan was murdered by a local terrorist group. In December, a Belfast Telegraph journalist was attacked while covering the loyalist flag protests. That same week, a pipe bomb was left outside the home of a press photographer.
When I started to get tip-offs about sensitive stories Read More
‘Secrets of Britain’s secret Shar’ia councils’ by @BBCPanorama
Muslim women have suffered domestic violence ignored by Shar’ia councils, Panorama revealed on Monday.
The flagship investigative programme went undercover to figure out what’s happening in Britain’s Islamic religious courts.
I recommend that you use the free Companies House database Duedil throughout this tutorial to practice this article’s exercises.
Maths, endless pages of PR jargon and drab statements from business executives, it all sounds very dull doesn’t it? But investigative financial journalism is now more important than ever and this quick guide aims to help you understand financial accounts and enable you to reveal what’s really going on with an organisation’s finances. Read More
If there’s one thing public officials in Northern Ireland hate, it’s being held to account. With one third of the population working in the Public Sector, local news outlets make a lot of money from the government via job ads. Let’s just say it’s had an affect on investigative journalism in Northern Ireland. Consequently, our politicians and civil servants are not used to being held to account.
One thing people love and loathe about me is that I constantly ask questions. I’m one of those people that needs to have answers to everything. It drives most people mad.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been this way. My favourite anecdote on it comes from my mother who describes the following conversation with my four-year old self: Read More
Editors Note: The IRE link to the list of winners is broken so I’ve copied this from IRE’s listserv email (forgive me, guys!)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2013
2012 IRE AWARD WINNERS
· Mark Horvit, IRE executive director, 573-882-1984 or email@example.com
· Lea Thompson, contest committee chair, 202-365-9083 or Thompson.firstname.lastname@example.org
· David Cay Johnston, IRE board president, 585-230-0885 or email@example.com
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Investigations that spanned borders and oceans are among the work honored in the 2012 Investigative Reporters & Editors Awards.
An intrepid reporter from Pittsburgh followed a story to Iraq to expose the cover-up of a killing. A team of broadcast journalists withstood heated criticism from the U.S. State Department over their work in Benghazi, Libya. A team of Swedish journalists traced its government’s money to a secret weapons plant in Saudi Arabia. A reporter in New York uncovered bribery in Mexico from a company based in Arkansas, with repercussions in India. A Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S. discovered a weapons trail stretching from Mexico to Honduras to Colombia.
Lea Thompson, chair of IRE’s Contest Committee, said the winners serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of investigative journalism. “The judges were inspired and moved by gutsy, courageous and heartbreaking work – all shining a light on despicable actions and often bringing about change on issues we otherwise would not have known about,” Thompson said. “Investigative journalism is alive and well.” Read More