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 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 …

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 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

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 April 22, 2017

Deadly church bus crash kills 13 near Garner State Park

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

Pot found in truck that hit church bus near Leakey, DPS says | San Antonio Express-News

“Jack D. Young had taken prescription pills and was in possession of marijuana when he crashed his pickup into a church bus March 29 on U.S. 83, killing 13 people, according to court records released Tuesday that also bolstered reports that he was texting while driving.” Story by Zeke MacCormack. Read more …