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Investigating floods schemes and winning our first award: Latest news from Noteworthy

Our community-driven platform has listened to you and recently launched projects on issues including racism and hedge cutting.

NOTEWORTHY IS NOW an award-winning investigative platform, the team at Journal Media are delighted to report.

This month has once again been a busy one for our community-led site, with the team publishing an investigation on the largest flood scheme in Irish history, working on several others and winning our first award at the Justice Media Awards

Refocus of investigations

When going through the ideas and stories that you sent us over the past few weeks, we realised that many were about topics other than the pandemic. In response to this, we moved on from our Covid-19 project when converting your ideas into proposed investigations and focused on other topics as Ireland begins to reopen.

One proposed investigation that we think is particularly important is ‘Racism at Work‘ that we launched for crowdfunding in June. 

This proposal emerged from a number of contacts we received on social media from people of colour and people from ethnic minorities about their experiences of job-hunting, and of discrimination they say they faced while in employment.

Here are the new proposed investigations we launched recently:

RACISM AT WORK: Is ethnic discrimination placing barriers before people in the workplace? Our proposed investigation will look at what the State has achieved or failed to do in tackling racial hate and discrimination. 

CATCHING FIRE: Are our publicly-owned residential buildings properly equipped to stop fire tragedies? Experts have voiced concerns about the lack of certain fire regulations as well as enforcement of those already in existence.

INSTASCAM: Are Irish social media users being conned into get-rich-quick schemes? There is growing concern that some financial and trading schemes are being designed and marketed at teenagers and young adults.

SHEAR FORCE: Why are hedgerows still being cut during the prohibited season? We want to understand the scale of cutting around the country and how authorities have responded to unlawful cutting. This is already almost 60% funded.

Pandemic project update

Our Covid-19 project was launched in March, covering issues such as the impact on employment for people with disabilitieshospital food and the childcare sector. Thanks for sending us your ideas on what you were most concerned about after the pandemic. You can view and support the investigations here

Two of our pandemic projects have already been funded. The first exposed the domestic violence epidemic raging behind closed doors of Covid-19. The second, looking at the impact of paid home carers, is currently being investigated.

As part of this, we are looking for testimonials from paid home and community carers. Contact us on information@noteworthy.ie to talk to us about your experience. 

We hope to supplement this project through our general contributions fund. If you wish to support that drive, contribute what you can here

You can still send us your ideas by writing us a note on what worries you most about what Ireland will look like in six months’ time to noteworthy.ie/entry.

Following a request by one of our readers, we set up an option to make a monthly contribution to Noteworthy. This can be done through PayPay and goes to our General Fund. If you’re interested, click here

Justice media awards

We were delighted to be awarded with a merit prize at the Justice Media Awards 2020, which is run by the Law Society of Ireland, for our investigation that exposed the myths of Ireland’s compensation culture. The judges said: 

Drilling into data, these reporters have produced an eye-opening and important report on one of the most talked about aspects of Irish law in recent years.

In Part 1, Peter Bodkin crunched years of insurance and compensation data, finding that personal injury awards fell significantly. The results of our investigation contradicted allegations that growing claims & payments for minor injuries have fed skyrocketing premiums.

In Part 2, Seán McCárthaigh found out how we compared to Canada and the UK, two countries that have made legislative and procedural strides toward tackling their ‘compo culture’ issues.

Building barriers

As part of our ’Banks of the Lee’ investigation, Noteworthy examined the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme (LLFRS) in detail, combed through hundreds of pages of documents, many obtained through freedom of information (FOI) requests and spoke to people from all over the world.

The resulting longform article, by Maria Delaney and Niall Sargent, was published last month. We found that the Cork controversy throws up major questions about how Ireland approaches flooding relief in the face of a growing climate change threat. Read the full investigation now: Building barriers: How plans for the largest flood scheme in Irish history became so divisive

As part of this, we also put two videos together that feature the tidal barrier option as well as public participation for this scheme:

Source: Noteworthy/YouTube

Noteworthy numbers

Earlier this week, our ‘Spruced Up‘ investigation was fully funded and we can now start examining the impact Sitka spruce is having on the Irish ecosystem. Thanks to all 54 backers for your generous contributions!!

89 - Articles published, funded through proposals or our general fund.
57 - Open proposals compiled from ideas sent to us by the public.
- Proposals on their way to being funded soon:  

We can’t start investigating these issues until they are fully funded so please share with friends and on social media to help support these projects.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

The topic of our nearly funded investigation, ‘Selling Our Genes‘, was featured in the news and in a Dáil debate recently.

Our reporter Maria Delaney wrote about concerns over timing of an opt-out ‘publicity campaign’ for genomics research being conducted by Beaumont Hospital and Genomics Medicine Ireland in April. Last month, after calls from the Minister of Health, the opt-out deadline was moved to September.

How to help 

You can also help Noteworthy in a few other ways:

  • Fund our Covid-19 project through the general fund.
  • Fund a specific proposal.
  • Share a proposal and tell your family and friends about our work.

To find out how contributions are used, or anything else about how Noteworthy works, click here. You can also sign up to our Insider Newsletter or find us on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email information@noteworthy.ie

Thanks so much for your continued support!   

About the author:

Maria Delaney

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