Imagine this: You’re a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, known for uncovering connections that might otherwise evade scrutiny—government corruption, international intrigue, backroom dealings and the like. Often, that means slogging through tens of thousands of documents, just to find the information you need. What do you do?
If you’re Eric Lipton, investigative journalist for the New York Times and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, you turn to Logikcull. In a new interview with the Times, "An Investigative Arsenal: Power Chargers, Document Analysis Tools and More", Lipton answers questions about the technology behind his investigative journalism. His most important tools include backup power sources, for when he’s reporting from the field, Google Docs, for collaborating on articles in real time, and Logikcull, for getting through the mountains of information he must mine in order to find the bits that are fit to print.
From the article:
One of your recent scoops involved uncovering the emails of Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. You must pore through thousands of documents for these investigations. Do you use any special tools to stay organized or streamline the process?
One of the most challenging parts of my job is the massive number of documents I have to read, most of which are junk, but hidden in there are some real gems. A PDF reader is just not good enough.
Like many others—academics, journalists, legal professionals, and more—the tools that Lipton had weren’t enough to get handle the amount of information available. Enter Logikcull:
I have traditionally used Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, as it has good optical character recognition tools, which index the words on each page, allowing you to do word searches. More recently, I have been trying out a service called Logikcull, created for law firms to do document discovery work but useful when trying to analyze and annotate piles of documents that I get via Freedom of Information Act requests, which in some cases can run to 18,000 pages.
Logikcull is, Lipton continues, “a super cool tool.”
From the Courtroom to the Newsroom and Beyond
Legal professionals are well acquainted with the need to get through immense volumes of data in a way that is quick, thorough, and accurate. They are also no stranger to the pain that inefficient processes can inflict. Consider the attorneys who, faced with the review of a few email accounts, begin by converting those emails to PDFs, organizing those files into separate folders, and reading through each and every document, manually redacting and Bates stamping as they go. Or the legal professionals who farm their discovery work out to expensive vendors, losing control over their process and finding themselves buried in nickel-and-dime fees for everything from email threading to TIFF creation. When these professionals find out there’s a better way, it’s, as we’ve called it in the past, “an Aladdin-singing-on-a-flying-carpet moment.”
Of course, attorneys aren’t the only ones facing such challenges. Journalists, researchers, HR teams, compliance officers, nonprofit organizations, the list goes on—all are increasingly struggling to harness growing amounts of data.
Imagine, for example, the poor newsroom stringer control-F’ing her way through thousands of public records in order to break a story. She could never afford the massive vendor fees or six-figure set up costs associated with most discovery processes. Nor would she have the hours to spare for brute-force review. And she's not alone. For decades, complicated technology and expensive services have kept most people shut out from the technology needed to master large amounts of information.
Thankfully, today there are alternatives to painfully inefficient or prohibitively expensive discovery processes.
Powerful technology can cull through the "junk" in seconds, while intuitive design makes creating sophisticated, effective searches easy. And pay-as-you-go pricing and unsurpassed customer support make advanced software more accessible than ever. That's why software like Logikcull is being used to reduce barriers to justice, revolutionize public access to government records, and support the work of ground-breaking journalists.
That’s democratizing discovery. To try it out yourself, sign up here.