Facebook vs Bannon; betrayed Iraq soldiers; Scotland FOI threats

This week's best document-based investigative journalism

They served alongside U.S. soldiers. Now they fear that Iran’s allies in Iraq will strike back. 

The Washington Post citing documents that include personal information. 

The U.S. military provides personal information about [its local support staff] to the Iraqi security forces, as required by Iraqi authorities, to secure permission for the translators to move around Iraq, according to documents and Iraqi military officials. But Iranian-backed militias have so permeated parts of Iraq’s security apparatus that the information has, in some cases, become accessible to groups that have taken up arms against the Americans and their local support staff, Iraqi officials say.

Zuckerberg defends not suspending ex-Trump aide Bannon from Facebook

Reuters citing a recording of Zuckerberg at a weekly forum with Facebook employees. 

“We have specific rules around how many times you need to violate certain policies before we will deactivate your account completely,” Zuckerberg said. “While the offenses here, I think, came close to crossing that line, they clearly did not cross the line.”

Local GOP Pushes Trump Voters to Cast Ballots After Election

The Daily Beast citing an email from the Kenosha for Trump group.

[The email] went out just after 5 p.m. to a group of Trump supporters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. “Trump Victory urgently needs volunteers to make phone calls to Pennsylvania Trump supporters to return their absentee ballots,” the email said. “These phone calls will help President Trump win the election!”

Scotland's health secretary wanted to stop freedom of information legislation during Covid-19

The Ferret citing internal government emails. 

Scotland’s health secretary wanted to suspend freedom of information legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to internal government emails obtained by The Ferret.


The words "according to documents" in a news story signal investigative journalism of the highest caliber.

We want to celebrate reporting based on government or corporate reports, emails, private chat messages or something equally tangible—as opposed to that based on unnamed sources or rumors.

The idea is imperfect, of course, and some excellent reporting will be based on no documents and some terrible reporting will be based on many documents. But ultimately, it's a great rule of thumb.

According to Documents was created by investigative reporters Girish Gupta and Alexandra Ulmer.

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