Looking forward to the future of journalism

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Jan. 14, 2018

Texas Governor Greg Abbott greets supporters

If it seems like facts no longer matter in politics, there’s a sliver of good news:

Investigative journalists are still writing powerful, evidence-based stories that help us understand a complicated world.

Here are the latest examples of watchdog stories in Texas that show why facts still matter.

Gov. Abbott’s appointees have given him more than $14 million | The San Antonio Express-News

“Despite pleas for more diversity and less of a big-money presence, Gov. Greg Abbott’s appointments to state boards and commissions remain mostly Anglo, largely male and liberally sprinkled with donors to a giant campaign war chest years in the making, a San Antonio Express-News analysis shows.” Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Dec. 19, 2017

Barge on the San Antonio River

If it feels like you’re trapped in a topsy-turvy world where facts no longer matter, there’s a sliver of good news:

Investigative journalists are still writing powerful, evidence-based stories that help us understand a complicated world.

Here are the latest examples of watchdog stories in Texas that show why facts still matter.

Accountant tied to embezzlement at Centro San Antonio has history of bank fraud, bankruptcy | The San Antonio Express-News

The accountant suspected of embezzling $260,000 from Centro San Antonio, a nonprofit organization focused on revitalizing downtown, was hired without a background check. It turns out she had been convicted of felony bank fraud and theft by check. Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Dec. 10, 2017

Houses built in flood plain in Harris County

At a time when it feels like facts don’t matter, there’s a sliver of good news.

Investigative journalists are still writing stories that help us understand a complicated world.

Here are the latest examples of watchdog stories in Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable: Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Dec. 3, 2017

View from the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas

The latest investigative stories in Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable:

Centro San Antonio CEO quits amid allegations of embezzlement by staffer | The San Antonio Express-News

A former employee of Centro San Antonio, the nonprofit organization focused on building a “more prosperous downtown,” is accused of embezzling $175,000 by fabricating emails and audits and using an accomplice who posed as an auditor to cover the theft. In response to the discovery, Pat DiGiovanni, Centro’s president and CEO, quit last week. Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Nov. 19, 2017

Press conference at Sutherland Springs

The latest investigative stories in Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable:

Apple served with search warrant in Sutherland Springs shooting | The San Antonio Express-News

Texas Rangers investigating the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs have served a search warrant on Silicon Valley giant Apple Inc. and are seeking digital photos, messages, documents and other types of data that might have been stored by gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, who was found with an iPhone after he killed himself. Read more …

Making sense of the unthinkable in Sutherland Springs

Remembering the fallen in Sutherland Springs

The tragedy at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs is incomprehensible. But so is the flood of misinformation about the heinous shooting that left 26 worshipers dead. If you Google “Sutherland Springs church shooting,” you’d have to wade through 1.4 million search engine results to read everything about the worst mass shooting in modern Texas … Read more

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Oct. 29, 2017

The Texas Tribune investigates furniture rental companies

The latest investigative stories in Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable:

How renting furniture in Texas can land you in jail | The Texas Tribune

“Rental companies can avail themselves of a little-known law written decades ago by the rental industry lobby — in Texas and in many other states — that can turn a dispute over a love seat or big screen TV into a criminal offense report, a trip to jail and even felony theft charges.” Read more …

Texas watchdog journalism roundup: Arson, the Red Cross and Trump’s wall

Chief Charles Hood Press Conference

The latest investigative stories in Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable:

Investigators: Gym owner started deadly blaze that killed firefighter Scott Deem | The San Antonio Express-News

Local officials have released few details about a deadly blaze that killed San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem. But an arrest affidavit obtained by the Express-News reveals that arson suspect Emond Javor Johnson was plagued by financial problems and confessed to starting the fire to get out of a monthly $2,500 lease at the Spartan Gym. Authorities arrested Johnson Wednesday. Read more …

Texas watchdog journalism roundup: The impact of Tropical Storm Harvey

Texas National Guard responds to Tropical Storm Harvey

A fresh batch of must-read investigative stories that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable across Texas:

Fifty-one inches: Terror, heartbreak and heroism as five souls brave the worst storm in U.S. history | Houston Chronicle

A gripping narrative that focuses on the plight of five people caught in the path of Tropical Storm Harvey. Read more …

Web tools and apps to track weather emergencies in Texas

Storm clouds at Woodlawn Lake in San Antonio, Texas

Texas weather can be wild and dangerous, as Hurricane Harvey is showing us this week, so here are some techniques that have helped me track the impact of storms, floods and other natural disasters in San Antonio and other parts of the state: Weather forecasts and warnings The National Weather Service provides so much useful … Read more