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Business journalists as investigators | Raquel Rutledge
 

Business journalists as investigators | Raquel Rutledge

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Raquel Rutledge, an investigative reporter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, welcomed the 2014 Reynolds Week fellows with a discussion on finding and working great investigative stories.

Raquel Rutledge, an investigative reporter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, welcomed the 2014 Reynolds Week fellows with a discussion on finding and working great investigative stories.

Rutledge won the silver award in 2011's Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Journalism.

“A Case of Shattered Trust” by Raquel Rutledge and Rick Barrett of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel received the silver award of $2,000. The series revealed how a firm with a decade of serious regulatory violations of sanitary conditions was allowed to operate while the Food and Drug Administration did nothing. As a result of the stories, the FDA revealed the name of the bacterium that it found in the manufacturer’s contaminated alcohol wipes. Following a permanent federal injunction against the firm, the product is no longer manufactured.

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    Business journalists as investigators | Raquel Rutledge Business journalists as investigators | Raquel Rutledge Presentation Transcript

    • Business Journalists as Investigators Raquel Rutledge Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Reynolds Business Journalism Week Jan. 2, 2014
    • Where to look? •  Tips from sources, beats, obscure pubs
    • Where to look? •  Tips from sources, beats, obscure pubs •  Make it easy for readers and whistleblowers to send in leads
    • Where to look? •  Tips from sources, beats, obscure pubs •  Make it easy for readers and whistleblowers to send in leads •  Play off breaking news events
    • When to bite •  Assess scope of problem How many might be affected?
    • When to bite •  Assess scope of problem How many might be affected? •  Is there a local angle? Broader potential?
    • When to bite •  Assess scope of problem How many might be affected? •  Is there a local angle? Broader potential? •  What data are available?
    • When to bite •  Assess scope of problem How many might be affected? •  Is there a local angle? Broader potential? •  What data are available? •  Outrage factor. Do any of the facts make your jaw drop? Is it surprising?
    • When to bite •  Assess scope of problem How many might be affected? •  Is there a local angle? Broader potential? •  What data are available? •  Outrage factor. Do any of the facts make your jaw drop? Is it surprising? •  Can you prove it with documents and people on the record?
    • “Shattered Trust” 2011 Barlett & Steele Awards video
    • “Shattered Trust” •  Started with small story about lawsuit involving a company near Milwaukee
    • “Shattered Trust” •  Started with small story about lawsuit involving a company near Milwaukee •  Had many insiders telling of filthy conditions. Caution: employees sometimes carry baggage
    • “Shattered Trust” •  Started with small story about lawsuit involving a company near Milwaukee •  Had many insiders telling of filthy conditions. Caution: employees sometimes carry baggage •  Accountability angle with FDA. Got decade worth of inspection data. Used names
    • “Shattered Trust” •  Started with small story about lawsuit involving a company near Milwaukee •  Had many insiders telling of filthy conditions. Caution: employees sometimes carry baggage. •  Accountability angle with FDA. Got decade's worth of inspection data. Used names •  Married investigative with narrative
    • Cashing in on Kids: The story behind the story