Freelancer working on investigative and data stories in Louisiana. I also train journalists to be better with digital tools, data reporting and misinformation. Email me at samanthasunne at gmail.
An Introduction to Schemas for Journalists
This document provides a hands-on introduction to practical applications of schemas for online news. Produced in partnership by the Credibility Coalition and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
Some Georgia tax credit scholarships go to anti-LGBT schools
As much as $100 million a year is distributed through 22 private, nonprofit Student Scholarship Organizations, or SSOs. Many, if not most, of these schools are religious, and some teach curriculums that would not be allowed in public schools.
Scholarship Tax Credit Program: $600M with Little Oversight
An investigation by The Current suggests that over the last five years the law has fallen short on a key promise: serving the state’s economically disadvantaged children. It also shows that state agencies failed to verify annual reports from the scholarship funds or provide oversight.
How to Learn Excel: A U.S. News Guide
Excel, or spreadsheets in general, offers an easy and popular platform for data analysis. Number crunchers use this program to find answers, tease out trends and keep track of ever-sprawling amounts of data.
How to Learn SQL: A U.S. News Guide
This tutorial will show you the basics of SQL, a tool used by programmers, scientists and others around the world.
Toilet water, feces and a questioned cleanup: New Orleans library closes for 2nd time
In public, officials from the library system have said only that the library, which has been in its current location since 2016, was shuttered due to a "facilities issue." But internal emails show staffers and managers complaining of disturbing problems, including mold, mildew, dampness, odors and solid waste, after the reopening.
Company that received large incentive package to create jobs in New Orleans plans to hire overseas, records show
When it announced the Digital Transformation Center in 2017, DXC said it was attracted to Louisiana for its talented and diverse workforce. But over the next two years, they filed more than 150 documents asking for federal approval to hire workers from overseas.
The Times-Picayune was absorbed by the Advocate in New Orleans yesterday. Here’s what happened to its staff.
Of the roughly 65 journalists who lost their jobs, 19 will remain as journalists in New Orleans, with 10 of them moving to The Advocate, our research found. Fourteen are leaving to practice journalism elsewhere.
Avoyelles' "pre-trial diversion’ program keeps tickets off drivers' records
If you get a speeding ticket in Avoyelles Parish, there’s probably a 30 percent chance it won’t show up on your driving record.
Pay or Stay: the fight to stop New Orleans' courts from funding via defendant fees and fines
“Once locked in jail,” the lawyers wrote, “each person was told that they had no court date set and that they would not be released until they paid the entirety of their debts or posted a preset $20,000 secured money bond.”
A Tiered Approach to Researching and Pitching Investigative Stories for Freelance Writers
The phrase “time is money” is more brutally true for freelancers than almost anyone else. After a few years of trying to map investigative stories against a freelance reality, I came up with a framework I refer to as “tiers.”
10 Investigative Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
As an investigative reporter with way too many stories I want to do, these are the tools I use to keep up with sources, stories and leads at a rapid rate.
State audit says DeSoto DA pulled money from other agencies through ‘traffic diversion’ programs
The audit confirms what The Lens found last year: District attorneys’ “traffic diversion” programs siphon funding from public defenders and other agencies.
Southern Poverty Law Center files complaint on traffic diversion
The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a complaint this week asking the Louisiana Ethics Board to investigate district attorneys’ traffic diversion programs, after a Lens investigation revealed prosecutors were using those programs to siphon ticket revenue directly into their own coffers.
What to Watch for in the Coming Wave of “Deep Fake” Videos
A deep fake is a video that features one person’s face plastered onto another’s body. Though in theory this is nothing new, “deep fake” videos can be surprisingly convincing, and the software to make them has emerged rapidly.