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Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Feb 5, 2018

Luxury condos in San Antonio received tax incentives

Welcome to the latest installment of the Texas watchdog journalism roundup, a series that showcases hard-hitting investigative stories in Texas that uncovered hidden facts, held officials accountable and demonstrated why journalism matters.

City of San Antonio awards developers $10 million in incentives for luxury condo tower — $173,400 for each unit | The San Antonio Express-News

A city program to encourage people to live in downtown San Antonio is spending $10 million in tax incentives and fee waivers on the Arts Residences and Thompson San Antonio hotel, a 20-story luxury tower of hotel rooms and condos. Critics call it a “ludicrous” amount of money to spend on housing that few residents can afford. Read more …

WOAI fought long battle to obtain TxDOT’s auto-accident data

Wrong way sign on exit ramp

WOAI featured a unique, data-driven story last week about the high number of accidents caused by inattentive drivers talking on their cell phones. Journalists at the television station analyzed an accident database kept by the Texas Department of Transportation that tracks contributing factors for all vehicle crashes in Texas. To get the story, WOAI had … Read more

Reporter’s notebook: What to do when someone tries to hide the truth from you

WOAI’s Brian Collister, the investigative television reporter often seen shoving a fuzzy microphone in the faces of fleeing public officials, has a new blog at mySA. Brian is one of the few TV reporters in town who actually digs through records and analyzes public data. One of my favorite stories by Brian features a skillful … Read more