Looking forward to the future of journalism

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

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 …

Texas watchdog journalism roundup: Floods, hazing and an unemployed mayor

Flooding in Texas

With Hurricane Harvey bearing down on Texas and forecasters warning the storm could dump 20 inches of rain in some counties, it’s a good time to revisit news stories about the monster floods that keep striking Texas. Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for August 2, 2017

The Abortion Divide

Investigative stories across Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable.

The aftermath of HB2 is not just seen in closed clinics. It’s seen most vividly in the lives of women like Peña and Soto, whose voices often go missing in the noisy battle over abortion, which remains one of the most contentious issues of modern times. Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for July 23, 2017

Gilbert Flores shot by Bexar County deputies

Investigative stories across Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable.

Decision to ‘end this’ after 12-minute standoff left Gilbert Flores dead | San Antonio Express-News

After a 12-minute confrontation with a belligerent, knife-wielding man who said he wanted to die, two Bexar County sheriff’s deputies turned to each other and agreed on “ending this,” according to their sworn civil depositions obtained by the San Antonio Express-News. But the deputies decided to open fire moments after the man, Gilbert Flores, raised his arms in apparent surrender. Read more …

A handy tool for journalists: Stabilize your shaky smartphone videos with Google’s photo app

Screen Grab of Google Video

Google quietly unveiled a new video stabilization feature in its Google Photos app a few months ago and it’s amazing. I discovered the usefulness of this feature when I edited video clips of our epic annual family road trip to Colorado. In between time-lapse videos of the drive, I added highlights of the main stops … Read more

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for June 18, 2017

Apartments owned by David Starr

Low-income landlord David Starr gets tax breaks despite allegations of poor living conditions | San Antonio Express-News

“Over the last 25 years, Starr has used property tax breaks, state tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to build a real estate empire throughout Texas and in Florida, Illinois, Kansas and other states. Most of his local complexes have been financed through two nonprofits he runs: American Opportunity for Housing and American Agape Foundation. Those nonprofits have a long history of allegations of poor and sometimes dangerous living conditions, according to court filings, complaints filed with the city of San Antonio and interviews with more than a dozen current and former residents. Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for May 27, 2017

Deadly fire in San Antonio kills firefighter Scott Deem

Investigative stories across Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable.

Radio traffic: Thick smoke, confusion hampered efforts to rescue missing firefighter Scott Deem | San Antonio Express-News

“Hours after a San Antonio firefighter was killed in a Northwest Side strip mall inferno — the first to die in the line of duty in 20 years — Fire Chief Charles Hood stood by his decision to suspend the search for one of their own, calling it ‘one of the most difficult decisions’ of his life.”‘ Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for May 4, 2017

Problems with surgical tools at BAMC

Investigative stories across Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable.

Human matter found on surgical tools forces BAMC to close operating rooms | San Antonio Express-News

“Brooke Army Medical Center, the flagship of the Army’s health system and famous for its burn ward that has treated hundreds of war victims, has closed more than half its operating rooms and reduced elective surgeries after it found improper sterilization last month of instruments in 73 cases.” Read more ….