- Troop counts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Navy Commander William Speaks, Pentagon, 703-697-0657, firstname.lastname@example.org (Pentagon counts differently than NATO)
- Pentagon contract awards: http://www.defense.gov/contracts/ (awards in excess of $5 million announced every day at 5 p.m.)
- Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS): https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/ (search by contract award or awards and thus programs)
- USASpending.gov: created and maintained by the Office of the Management and Budget (OMB) partly in response to criticisms of FPDS
- DoD’s Statistical Information Analysis Division (SIAD): http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/ (stats on casualties, active-duty figures by service, paygrade, gender, etc.)
- Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI): http://www.deomi.org/EOEEOResources/DemographicReports.cfm (demographic data)
- icasualties.org (Independent count of casualties, both troops and civilians, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Includes a “cause of death” filter)
- Defense Manpower Data Center: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/scra/scraHome.do (one of its few public databases; allows you to verify military service status)
- National Personnel Records Center: http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/ (where you can request personnel records, including DD-214s and 215s, of discharged and deceased veterans — and fakers — but not general officers)
- Military Times’ Hall of Valor: http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/ (unofficial list that can be used to verify Medal of Honor and service cross recipients)
- Defense Department’s Selected Acquisition Report summary tables: http://www.acq.osd.mil/ara/am/sar/ (Pentagon’s biannual updates on weapons programs, including quantity and cost estimates)
- Government Accountability Office’s annual assessment of selected weapon programs: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11233sp.pdf (independent audit of the Pentagon’s top weapons programs)
- GAO bid protests: Ralph White, Managing Associate General Counsel, Procurement Law, 202-512-8278, email@example.com
- Pentagon Comptroller’s website: http://comptroller.defense.gov/Budget2012.html (great resources for current and planned budgets, including the “Sears Roebuck” guide to weapons systems)
- Pentagon budget search: http://www.dtic.mil/descriptivesum/index_2010.html
- OSD’s Installations and Environment’s Base Structure Report: http://www.acq.osd.mil/ie/download/bsr/BSR2010Baseline.pdf (annual “real property inventory” that contains population data by installation, among other data)
- The Project on Government Oversight’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database: http://www.contractormisconduct.org/
- Ed Offley’s book, “Pen & Sword: A Journalist’s Guide to Covering the Military”: http://www.amazon.com/Pen-Sword-Journalists-Covering-Military/dp/0966517644
- Brant Houston’s book, “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide”: http://www.ire.org/carbook/
NSJI in the NewsThe Voice of America featured NSJI in a recent article about how it prepares journalists to cover stories in conflict zones.
- Medill/USA TODAY investigation of U.S. international food aid programs finds significant, entrenched problems Read about the project.
A quiet genocide: U.S. Yezidis – and a supporter – share their stories
On Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, a group of United States-based Yezidis – a religious minority currently facing persecution at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq (ISIS) – held a grassroots protest across the street from the United Nations headquarters in New York. Medill NSJI reporter Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory and production assistant Julian Taub spoke with Yezidis, aiming to collect their stories of persecution, frustration and hope. They were joined by one U.S. Army Special Operations veteran who first encountered the Yezidi people during his deployment to Iraq.
Of note elsewhere
Selected stories from around the web:
Medill Student Reports
- Obama’s announcement expected to have heavy impact in Illinois
- ‘Putin will go as far as we let him go,’ says Consul General of Ukraine
- James Foley’s death inspires other journalists
- Inspectors General: An untapped resource for journalists
- JAMES WRIGHT FOLEY
Medill National Security Journalism Initiative's Ellen Shearer in Washington Post: "In Syria, freelancers like James Foley cover a dangerous war zone with no front lines."