“100 Years of Bondage” — Investigating Slavery in the Amazon

For generations, the workers in the Brazilian Amazon who cut the palm straw used for brooms have been functionally enslaved by a system of loans provided by the bosses. Thais Lazzeri, an investigative reporter for Repórter Brasil, had to win their trust as she delved deeply into this topic for her October 2017 article, “100 Years of Bondage” which was beautifully illustrated with photographs by Fernando Martinho.

FOIA This! — Digging Out Government Spending

Tracking down local government expenses is a recurrent theme for many successful freedom of information requests. Some recent examples suggest that quite a variety of information is potentially available — about credit card charges, salaries, retirement parties, and even costs of leak investigations. Have a great story you developed using a FOI/RTI request? Send it to us at freeinfo@email.gwu.edu. We’re currently looking for examples regarding immigration.