We're highlighting stories and interactive applications where DocumentCloud played a significant role. Have one to share? Let us know! Meanwhile, our public catalog lets you search more than a million documents uploaded by our users.
Battlefield Technology Gets Spotlight in Maryland Courts Capital News Service, May 3, 2016
Reporting by Courtney Mabeus uncovered widespread use of cell phone jamming and site simulators by Maryland police agencies, although secrecy surrounding use of the technology makes it difficult for attorneys to defend clients accused of crimes. The presentation featured dozens of documents gathered during the investigation.
Question of Risk: Medtronic's Lost Study Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 10, 2016
The Star Tribune investigated the failure of medical device manufacturer Medtronic to report to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more than 1,000 adverse events related to a bone-fusion product. The report includes numerous specially formatted inline links to documents -- using bigfoot.js -- including warning letters from the FDA plus panel testimony where concerns had earlier been aired about the product.
The Tennis Racket Buzzfeed, January 17, 2016
Buzzfeed's investigation into match-fixing at the upper levels of professional tennis includes links to heavily annotated reports that came out of probes into suspicious matches that drew millions of pounds of betting activity.
An Unbelievable Story of Rape ProPublica and The Marshall Project, December 16, 2015
This Pulitzer-winning report from T. Christian Miller of ProPublica and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project chronicled how rape investigations can go wrong when law enforcement fails to take victims' claims seriously. Using DocumentCloud, the reporters collected, analyzed and annotated thousands of documents from police agencies, courts and other sources to help find and organize the story.
Top Emanuel aides aware of key Laquan McDonald details ... Chicago Tribune, January 14, 2016
The Tribune's reporting on emails, calendar entries and other documents indicating Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's top aides knew about details related to the shooting of Laquan McDonald weaves its narrative with responsive DocumentCloud notes for highly effective storytelling.
Special Branch Files Project Special Branch Files Project, January 13, 2016
The Special Branch Files Project, developed with support from the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom and Journalismfund.eu, archives declassified files related to surveillance of political activists and campaigners by Britain’s secret police. It uses DocumentCloud notes to aid storytelling and list embeds to provide searchable archive sets.
Do You Know What's Covered By Your Earthquake Insurance Policy? Oregon Public Broadcasting, December 15, 2015
To highlight confusing and sometimes contradictory language in earthquake insurance polices, Oregon Public Broadcasting used DocumentCloud notes to embed sections of the documents for simple but effective storytelling.
Public agencies spent $7.2 million to lobby in 2014-2015 New Mexico in Depth, December 9, 2015
More than 100 public records requests helped Sandra Fish of New Mexico In Depth tally up the amount of money that the state's cities, counties, schools and other entities spent on lobbying efforts. Documents covering contracts and payments are available for readers to review in DocumentCloud's public search.
Speeding tickets questioned Chicago Tribune, November 18, 2015
The Tribune's investigation "Emanuel's speed cameras issue $2.4 million in bad tickets" includes an application that lets readers look up data for a specific speed camera. Each camera report uses DocumentCloud's Page Embed to display maps from city crash studies. The Tribune looked at more than 2 million citations issued by the city's speed camera program since it was launched in 2013 and found hundreds of thousands of tickets issued under questionable circumstances.
Search Thousands of UNC Scandal Records WRAL-TV, November 3, 2015
Using the DocumentCloud API, Tyler Dukes at WRAL built a custom application to let readers search more than 600,000 pages of documents related to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill athletic and academic scandal. Key information reporters found in the collection of emails and other documents are highlighted with DocumentCloud notes.
Inside Pope Francis’ Address to Congress The New York Times, September 24, 2015
While highlighting key passages from Pope Francis' address to the U.S. Congress, the Times linked to annotated highlights in the original Papal document. It also used DocumentCloud embeds to publish the address in six languages.
VozData La Nación, September 3, 2015
La Nación's VozData platform incorporates DocumentCloud embeds and a data-entry application to crowdsource data locked in documents. It's built on the open-source CrowData tool. Launched in 2014, most recently La Nación is using the platform to check up on election results.
589 Days to Justice? The Florida Times Union, August 2, 2015
Investigative reporter Topher Sanders used DocumentCloud to help piece together the intricate timeline of a Florida man who spent 589 days in jail for a crime that the Duval County prosecutor’s office doesn’t have the evidence to prove.
The New American Slavery Buzzfeed, July 24, 2015
A Buzzfeed investigation found that the U.S. H-2 visa program is opening the doors to foreign workers who then become at-risk for abuse by their employers — deprived of their fair pay, imprisoned, starved, beaten, raped, and threatened with deportation. The story's findings are painstakingly cited with dozens of DocumentCloud notes.
Hillary Clinton emails The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2015
This interactive application by Stuart A. Thompson and Martin Burch uses DocumentCloud embeds to give readers the chance to view and tag hundreds of pages of Hillary Clinton's emails released by the State Department.
Attica Reads About Attica The Marshall Project, March 19, 2015
Following its report in The New York Times on ongoing brutality at New York state prison Attica, The Marshall Project followed up by using DocumentCloud notes to detail the redactions prison officials made to the story when the newspaper was distributed to prisoners.
Ferguson Project St. Louis Public Radio, March 4, 2015
St. Louis Public Radio used DocumentCloud search embeds to collect thousands of pages of grand jury testimony, reports, forensic evidence and interviews in the case of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The newsroom continues to update the feature as documents become available.
Elderly on West and South Sides targets of reverse mortgage scheme, say advocates Chicago Reporter, January 29, 2015
Jeff Kelly Lowenstein's report about a reverse-mortgage scam sparked a federal investigation into a Chicago businessman as well as creation of a state law designed to protect homeowners. Details of complaints against the businessman were published via a searchable DocumentCloud document set.
Missed Signs. Fatal Consequences Austin American-Statesman, January 11, 2015
An investigation into Texas Child Protective Services practices revealed that, despite a mandate to track child fatalities, the agency neglected to review the more than 800 reports it collected over four and a half years. This led to CPS missing patterns and information that could have protected children. The report includes dozens of links to documents served via custom in-line links to DocumentCloud.
Explore the Documents: Luxembourg Leaks Database The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, December 9, 2014
An ICIJ investigation found hundreds of companies received secret tax agreements from Luxembourg authorities. The team built an interactive application letting users search more than 500 tax rulings plus other documents presented via DocumentCloud embeds.
Lobbyists, Bearing Gifts, Pursue Attorneys General The New York Times, October 28, 2014
Reporter Eric Lipton's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the influence of lobbyists over state attorneys general included a comprehensive set of annotated documents published via DocumentCloud.
Fresh doubts over a Texas execution Washington Post, Marshall Project, August 3, 2014
A joint project between the Marshall Project and the Washington Post examined the case of a Texas man executed in 2004 and the conflicts of interest surrounding the testimony used to convict and sentence Cameron Todd Willingham.
The collaboration also contributed back responsive note embed codes to DocumentCloud.
Annotating Gov. Brown's 2014 State of the State address Southern California Public Radio, January 22, 2014
The staffs at KQED, Capital Public Radio, and KPCC collaborated to annotate the California governor's state of the state address using DocumentCloud's notes feature. An interactive application displays the notes grouped by topic. Especially cool: The code for the project is open source.
What to say, and not to say, to 'our overseers' The Washington Post, August 15, 2013
The Washington Post annotates documents revealing that the National Security Agency broke privacy rules thousands of times per year.
Verizon forced to hand over telephone data – full court ruling The Guardian, June 6, 2013
When The Guardian obtained and made public a top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, the first of the Edward Snowden leaks about the National Security Agency covering government collection of the phone records of millions of US Verizon customers, it made the document available on DocumentCloud.
Norway kindergartens in violation of law Verdens Gang, March 14, 2013
VG of Norway reports that more than half of kindergartens in Norway have broken the law. Using DocumentCloud, VG journalists analyzed more than 31,000 pages of audit reports and quantified the results. They found a total of 6,400 violations during a three-year span, including careless hygiene, poor security and failure to meet staffing requirements Using DocumentCloud, VG also created a database of the reports.
The assets of officials La Nacion, January 17, 2013
La Nacion Data used DocumentCloud to present a comparison of assets declared by officials in the Argentine government. La Nacion received the asset statements in paper, scanned them and created a data model for comparisons with future statements.
Attawapiskat chief slams audit leak as 'distraction' CBC, January 8, 2013
CBC, the Canadian public radio and TV broadcaster, used DocumentCloud to support a high-profile story on an audit report showing that $104 million dollars of First Nation funds were unaccounted for. The money from the Canadian government was intended for housing, infrastructure, and education but it is unclear what the money was actually used for, CBC reports.
TPD working through flawed mobile system Tulsa World, June 3, 2012
The local Tulsa Police Department poured “untold thousands of dollars” into a computer system even as the computers malfunctioned and officers complained by the dozen. For their story on the failed system, the Tulsa World utilized just about every means DocumentCloud has for sharing documents with readers: embedded notes, document viewers, and viewers zoomed in on notes, plus an entire searchable set of 125 documents at the bottom.
Ghost Factories USA Today, April 19, 2012
USA Today invites readers to explore a vast multimedia project that documents former lead factory sites across the country. The project shares government documents for many of the factory sites, which showcase a failure to correct contamination or even warn people of it. The articles also include pop-up windows that zoom in on the most important lines in the documents.
Unfit for Duty The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, December 4, 2011
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune found one Florida police officer who was patrolling the streets despite 40 Internal Affairs investigations in his file. The investigations included incidents of abuse, theft and unwarranted strip searches. And that was just one personnel file among 12,000 pages that the paper obtained. The investigative team used DocumentCloud to annotate and search the profusion of documents to prepare their nine-part series on prolonged misconduct by Florida police.
Jack Layton's Last Letter to Canadians CBC, August 20, 2011
DocumentCloud’s usage is usually investigative, but as of the beginning of 2012 the single most viewed document hosted on DocumentCloud is a personal letter. The CBC used DocumentCloud to publish a letter to Canadians from former New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, who died of cancer last year. Almost a million people have viewed Layton’s letter in the five months since the CBC posted it.
Unmasking the John Does The New York World, October 27, 2011
After the New York World published a story on bribery in the city housing department, they took their investigation a step farther. They determined the identities of the FBI’s two confidential informants who were involved in the scandal. Identifying these witnesses helped the World examine the impact of the corruption on a series of construction projects for low income New Yorkers. And a series of embedded annotations and direct links to source documents showed readers exactly how they did it.
Why Can't Linda Carswell Get Her Husband's Heart Back? ProPublica, December 15, 2011
ProPublica wanted to share its source documents for the article, “Why Can’t Linda Carswell Get Her Husband’s Heart Back?” But sharing 500 annotations among 64 documents is no simple measure. So ProPublica allowed readers to switch on an “Explore Sources” tool, which highlights portions of the article that can be traced directly back to the source documents. As they read the article, viewers can click any of these highlighted passages to open a window into the original document. The tool makes for highly transparent reporting that stops short of overburdening readers.
Did ICE Intentionally Mislead? Mother Jones, May 19, 2011
When allegations surfaced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement intentionally misled local authorities about whether or not they would be able to opt out of a controversial enforcement program, Mother Jones shared 17 pages of correspondence between the legislator who raised the concern and immigration officials. In their reporting, used DocumentCloud's embedded note feature to highlight the particular passage that raised red flags for legislators. Readers had the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not the particular passage was vague, damning, or being blown way out of proportion.
Dollars for Docs ProPublica, May 5, 2011
DocumentCloud allows users to embed whole collections of documents, and we've seen newsrooms do some great work with embedded sets. Alongside their in-depth reporting on the flow of money from pharmaceutical companies to individual doctors and to medical organizations, ProPublica collected and embedded documents filed by 33 different medical groups documenting monies the groups received from related industry organizations and presented those to readers.
The Ruben Salazar Files Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2011
In 1970 Ruben Salazar was killed by police while covering an anti-war protest in East Los Angeles. A case rife with controversy, questions, and suspicions, his death became a rallying point in the Mexican American civil rights movement. 40 years later, after refusing a public records request for documents that might shed some light on the circumstances of his death, Los Angeles County's Sheriff's Department agreed to turn the files over to the Office of Independent Review. While Los Angeles Times reporters waited for the report, they assembled their own folio of early clippings on Ruben Salazar. Readers can review FBI files obtained by the Times in 1999 and LAPD records on the department's repeated clashes with the journalist as well as a draft of the report prepared by the Office of Independent Review.
Flying Cheaper Frontline and Investigative Reporting Workshop, January 18, 2011
Following a February 2010 report on flight outsourcing at major airlines, Frontline viewers encouraged the show to take a look at the outsourcing of airline maintenance work. The resulting piece found an unregulated and tight margined maintenance industry. Reporters from Investigative Reporting Workshop and Frontline also found it quite difficult to access information about the airline maintenance industry and federal regulation of it, but what documents they were able to acquire were published right alongside their reporting. Producers at Investigative Reporting Workshop used DocumentCloud's API to pull thumbnail images, document titles and short descriptions of each document and automatically assemble an inviting overview of the source material behind their report.
Child welfare agency wastes $514,000 on cellphones Los Angeles Times, December 22, 2010
A routine audit of Los Angeles County's troubled Department of Children and Family Services found over a thousand phones activated and incurring service charges but not in use by agency personnel, while individual staffers racked up thousands of dollars in personal long distance charges. In addition to reporting on on the audit, LA Times shared the audit itself with readers.
Pervasive Fraud in Probation Department Hiring Boston Globe, November 18, 2010
In May of 2010, Boston Globe reporters took an extensive look at accusations of patronage in Massachusetts' Probation Department, prompting the state's high court to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the agency's hiring practices and other allegations. The Globe thoroughly annotated that 337 page report for readers.
Counsel Appointment | Counsel Report
FOI Request 2009 Somerville Campaign Finance Reports Post Somerville* and MuckRock, November 9, 2010
Post Somerville covers local politics in Somerville, MA. It is a labor of love, run by volunteers. They wanted to post municipal campaign finance records for their readers to examine. MuckRock, an innovative little shop will file freedom of information requests on behalf of interested individuals (or organizations). MuckRock helped Post Somerville acquire the records from the City Clerk, but faced with copying charges estimated at $100, the bloggers were not thrilled about paying out of their own pockets for the files. Instead they turned to Spot.us to raise the copying fees from their readership. Close to two dozen readers contributed to the copying expenses.
The Wellstone Files Minnesota Public Radio, October 25, 2010
MPR News published 219 pages of FBI records on Paul and Sheila Wellstone, in a story that travelled from the agency's early surveillance of Wellstone, the civil rights and anti-war activist, to their investigation into threats against Wellstone after he joined the US Senate in 1991. Throughout reporter Madeleine Baran's feature story examining the collected documents, MPR News used thumbnail images as pullquotes and directed readers to relevant passages that they'd highlighted in each document.
Two Worlds: Government Contractors, Alaska Natives Washington Post, October 1, 2010
Since 2001, billions of dollars in government contracts have been awarded to Alaska native corporations, or ANCs, through a program designed to support indiginous run corporations by giving them a leg up in the bidding process. A Washington Post investigation found that the vast majority of the money in those contracts never makes it north to Alaska. The documents they published to help make their case include consulting agreements, letters, a senate report highlighting weak oversight of the ANC program, and an SEC filing.
Internal e-mails show top Interior Department officials involved in 'brainstorming' for new national monuments Great Falls Tribune, July 6, 2010
Rumors that the Department of the Interior was considering monument designation for millions of acres of federal lands caused an uproar in Montana. In Big Sky Country, land use and conservation are big issues. The statehouse reporter for Montana's Great Falls Tribune caused quite a stir when he unearthed nearly four hundred pages of email records and other memos detailing conversations that the Department of the Interior was busy insisting never happened.
Emails | Memos
Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas Las Vegas Sun, June 27, 2010
When Las Vegas Sun released and extensive package of reporting on hospital care in Las Vegas, they included a round up of documents, from CDC reprots and legislation to patient records and internal memos.
Package | Documents
Rod Blagojevich On Trial Chicago Tribune, January 1, 2011
The Chicago Tribune aggregated their documents related to former Governor Rod Blagojevich's corruption trial in a single collection, including transcripts of wiretaps.
Elena Kagan, Candidate for the Court Washington Post, May 10, 2010
The Washington Post put together a roundup of coverage and background material on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. They included testimony related to Kagan's 2009 confirmation hearings for solicitor general as well as her personal financial disclosures. Documents
Blagojevich defense wants Obama subpoenaed Chicago Tribune, April 22, 2010
The Chicago Tribune used the annotations in the document viewer to put a heavily redacted subpoena back together.
DCFS foster parents letters lack court oversight Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2010
The Magnetar Trade ProPublica, April 9, 2010
ProPublica, NPR's Planet Money and This American Life collaborated on an extensive report on one hedge fund's unorthodox and legally questionable practices. The subject of their reporting declined to respond to most questions put to them by reporters, who in turn used DocumentCloud annotations to highlight Magnetar's responses. They also provided readers with email messages discussed in the reporting.