Looking forward to the future of journalism

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 …

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: 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 8, 2017

Coal mining in South Texas

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

In Trump era, coal plant south of San Antonio off chopping block | San Antonio Express-News

From the air, the San Miguel coal mining operation 50 miles south of San Antonio looks like a scene from the industrial revolution. One of the five worst polluters in Texas, it produces lignite, the lowest grade of coal. But the San Miguel plant might be saved from extinction under the Trump administration. 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 …

Meet Chris Lykins, the funny weather guy at the Express-News

Chris Lykins, Comedic Genius Behind Weather Updates

If you read weather updates on Facebook from the San Antonio Express-News, then you’re keenly aware that it’s summer and the forecaster is not happy about it. “There is no weather,” a typical forecast reads. “There is only this. Always this. Unchanging. Eternal. Forever. This.” Then there was this gem: “It’s mostly sunny and almost … 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 …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for July 9, 2017

Lost Immigrants

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

Lack of sharing, limited resources impede identification of migrant remains | San Antonio Express-News

“Funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, reporter Aaron Nelsen and photographer Julysa Sosa traveled more than 3,000 miles for three weeks chronicling a caravan of Central American mothers and other family members on a heart-wrenching journey: trying to find out what happened to their loved ones, who disappeared while making the dangerous trek to the United States. But many are denied even the bitter closure of burial because lack of shared DNA databases, international conflicts and shifting immigration policies are preventing the identification of an untold number of remains.” Story by Aaron Nelsen Read more