How one NY Times reporter uses tech tools in his reporting
New York Times reporter Nick Confessore talks about how he changed his social media habits after his reporting on companies in that area and the tech tools he uses on his job.
Here is an excerpt:
What are some of the tech tools of the trade for an investigative reporter?
I don’t do anything really elaborate. The main thing I do differently is conduct virtually all of my sensitive work communication over Signal, the encrypted messaging app. It’s an easy way to have reasonably safe conversations with sources who need protection.
When I write about politics and campaigns, I rely on in-house data tools to query federal data on campaign contributions and expenditures. (Hat tip to Rachel Shorey, Chase Davis, Jeremy Bowers and many other colleagues.) I’ve also used tools at the National Institute on Money in Politics, which maintains a database that covers state-by-state lobbying and campaign finance. I also love a site called Citizen Audit, which provides searchable copies of the tax returns for nonprofit organizations. It’s basically Google for “dark money.”
More recently, I’ve come to rely on LinkedIn. When you’re writing about companies, it is an invaluable way to track down former employees who might be potential sources. People at companies will often describe in their LinkedIn profiles particular projects they worked on, products they developed or initiatives that the company conducted — often information that is otherwise not public.
The most important tool of all? A telescoping back scratcher that I got at a store called Flying Tiger. I keep it in my pencil mug, and it is awesome
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