washingtonpost.com investigates investigations

November 18, 2007

Newspapers make a big deal out of their investigative projects, giving them big play and letting reporters “go dark” for long periods to dig into one project. But what happens after it runs? Does anything change because of the big scoop?

At washingtonpost.com, the investigations team has started a blog to highlight what happens after the big prize contender (or winner) hits A1. The first project it features is “Silent Justice ,” a collaboration with CBS’s TV news magazine show “60 Minutes” that, as it says, “examines the government’s failure to notify defendants nationwide that they were convicted with the help of flawed forensic science or inaccurate testimony.” (The story ran in Sunday’s paper, is continuing on Monday and the “60 Minutes” portion airs Sunday night.)

The blog goes a step deeper, however, with links to previous investigations — complete with the stories they produced, related audio and video material, follow-up stories, casts of characters and other material.

Not all the projects are set up yet, but for an example of one that’s ready at this earlier stage, check the roundup of material on former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff , who was sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials.

(Disclosure: I worked for washingtonpost.com until 2005.)

(Photo: Reuters / Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward) 

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