Dec 28


Our top stories of 2015

Reporting, analysis and commentary
by Jim Heaney, editor of Investigative Post

We’re closing the books on our fourth year of muckraking, and a pretty good year it’s been. I’ll save the details for my annual “State of Investigative Post” that we’ll publish in February to mark our fourth anniversary. For right now I want to note stories that had particular impact in 2015 and ask you, our readers, viewers and listeners, to cast your vote for our best story of the year.

In deciding what stories to pursue, we consider their potential for impact. As such, we don’t simply “drop the bomb,” so to speak, as in “write a big story and move on.” Rather, we follow up our original reporting.

The best example of this is Dan Telvock’s coverage over the past two years of the polluted Scajaquada Creek. Dan has done some 20 stories, including this landmark piece and stomach-churning follow. Other stories followed and resulted in the state and Town of Cheektowaga finally agreeing on a plan of action to reduce the flow of sewage and stormwater runoff into the creek.

Other examples:

Our approach promoted us to adopt a slogan that we’ll be rolling out in the coming year. “Relentless watchdog journalism.”

In 2015, Dan, Charlotte Keith and I produced more than 55 investigations and follow-up stories. Most included both television and web/print versions that we distributed on our website and through our partners at WGRZ. We added radio to the mix this fall thanks to our new partners at WBFO. We also added The Public and The Capitol Pressroom as partners the latter half of this year.

In a minute, I’m going to ask readers to vote on their favorite story of the year, but first, let’s recap the 10 most-viewed stories on our website that were produced in 2015:

  1. Dug’s Dive closing
  2. Pollution risks in Niagara Falls
  3. SolarCity: Mayday, Mayday
  4. Dead mother a former Urban League client
  5. Minority workers get short shrift at SolarCity
  6. Central Terminal decays as board delays
  7. Urban League retaliates against whistleblowers
  8. Housing developer’s checkered history
  9. Shenanigans beset Buffalo Billion
  10. Lack of transparency on Outer Harbor toxins

It’s your turn to tell us what you think the top stories of the year were. Below is a poll that reflects my list of our 10 best stories of 2015. They reflect my perspective as an editor regarding how well the stories were reported and told.

Tell us which story you liked the best.

Here are your choices:

Which was your favorite story of 2015?

  • Housing developer's checkered history (26%, 50 Votes)
  • Lack of transparency on Outer Harbor toxins (21%, 40 Votes)
  • Child abuse unit still struggling (18%, 35 Votes)
  • Pollution risks in Niagara Falls (13%, 25 Votes)
  • Shenanigans beset Buffalo Billion (9%, 18 Votes)
  • Central Terminal decays as board delays (5%, 9 Votes)
  • Diversity, but few jobs for African Americans (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Getting away with murder in Buffalo (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Yahoo's sky-high subsidies (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Hotel subsidies in Niagara Falls (1%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 193

Loading ... Loading ...