IT’S THE HEIGHT of summer but it is most certainly not silly season for Noteworthy, the new investigative journalism platform from TheJournal.ie.
Since we began crowdsourcing story ideas and crowdfunding the resources to report on them, we have published nine major projects and five further exclusives in partnership with our newsroom colleagues.
In total, you, our supporters, have contributed funding to make 13 major projects happen – those nine already published, three which are underway and a final one on plans to sell off valuable council-owned lands in Dublin. (Watch out for the publication of that exclusive on Noteworthy early next week.)
Of the major reports we published since our last update to you, an investigation by Peter Bodkin into the difficulty of enforcing short-term letting restrictions really hit home. It exposed the challenges experienced by councils in clamping down on unregistered lets and showed that the government’s new legislation to tackle the impact of sites like Airbnb on the rental crisis is greatly reduced by these roadblocks.
Peter, who is our special projects and investigations editor, also delivered a probe into the booming but unregulated dermal filler industry in Ireland and the risks it poses to unsuspecting clients.
The discharge of semi-treated sewage into Dublin Bay has been a worrying and regular occurrence this year and this report by Cónal Thomas went behind the scenes to find out what is going wrong and whether bathers can feel safe in the water this summer.
Noteworthy editor Ken Foxe outlined the €28 million in pension payments made to former TDs, senators and government ministers in the past two years alone in this data-rich analysis.
In addition to those projects, contributions to our general fund helped us to partner with TheJournal.ie on a number of original stories.
- One of the more recent of these, a series of reports by Adam Daly on “intolerable” conditions for seriously ill babies at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin led to a commitment by Health Minister Simon Harris to meet with the Master of the Rotunda to achieve a resolution to the safety crisis.
- Readers were brought behind the scenes of the decision to allow the wearing of turbans and hijabs with the Garda uniform by Michelle Hennessy.
- Michelle also reported on the situation with the long-overdue new mortuary at University Hospital Waterford. Documents obtained by Noteworthy showed that the new facility would have cost the taxpayer an estimated €1 million less to build had it gone ahead when it should have two years ago.
- There was also a spotlight thrown on a Dáil centenary site which Conor McCrave found had attracted only 12,000 visitors in six months, even though it cost €180,000 to build.
- And, finally, Ken Foxe discovered through documents obtained under the Freedom of Information that the Department of Justice had resisted plans to almost double the allowance provided to asylum seekers living in direct provision.
Help Support Our Work
You can support our work in either of two ways.
You can pick a particular project that you would like to see funded and make a contribution, either big or small, through our proposals page.
Among the projects that are currently open for funding is a large-scale project into the origins of the direct provision system in Ireland.
We want to excavate the blueprint for how we deal with asylum seekers, track what it has cost and what it has earned service providers and get a sense of the impact of two decades of this system on those who have gone through it. You can help fund this project here.
We also want to discover why there is such an interminable delay in getting legislation over the line that would overhaul the country’s antiquated laws surrounding parental issues for many same-sex and ‘non-traditional families’. You can contribute to this work here.
Several of our readers have put their support behind this bid to find out why Ireland’s local authorities have been so keen recently to chop down trees and bushes. Read how you can help here.
There are a number of live proposals for your consideration – visit our proposals page to view them.
You can also support Noteworthy through our general fund, if you like the work that we have done so far and want to make a contribution.
You can follow us on Twitter too and help spread the word about us, or one of our proposals you feel strongly about.
We are always looking for reader ideas on stories you would like to see investigated.
So far, we have had ideas suggested from all across the country – many of which have led to the proposals you see on our site, and some of which we are busy analysing.
However, we would like to see even more suggestions on the stories you believe are not being given attention or may have fallen through the cracks.
You can find out how to submit a story idea here.