How to uncover a scandal from your couch

That’s right, friends of inewsource, you too can uncover a scandal from your sofa with a little help from our investigative reporters.

Today, we told the world how journalists do it — how we take mere threads of information, hints really, and follow them to pay dirt!

Brad Racino and Joe Yerardi took to the airwaves this morning in a “Radio Lab” style story to summarize the campaign finance scandal that hit San Diego last week and to encourage you to try your hand at investigative reporting using open records. You can hear them in an audio clip on our website.

Then, Brad laid out the work they’ve done on this campaign finance story over the past few days in a step-by-step web story, complete with screenshots and arrows that lead you to the “ah, ha!” moments. Yes, you too can do this.

Most gratifying was the feedback on our site and in emails. Here’s a sampling:

“I don’t usually reach out to say thanks to a reporter but that was awesome.”

“Thanks for showing everyone the tools to use to detect big money corruption in our local government.”

“It proves the old proverb: “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. It is better to teach the public to check up on their government than to do it for them. Keep it up.”

If you want us to “keep it up,” visit our Donate page and become an inewsource member. And don’t forget — forward this email to a like-minded friend!

— Lorie Hearn, executive director

Lorie Hearn is the chief executive officer and editor of inewsource. She is a lifelong news-aholic who started her reporting career writing her Girl Scout newsletter at age 12. High school and college were filled with school newspaper work, and after graduation, she worked as a reporter for newspapers...