By Chikezie Omeje

Oct 2, 2020 — The National Press Foundation has been running trainings in investigative journalism and data journalism to assist news organizations carry out their critical mission of holding government accountable for how taxpayer funds are spent.

These 2020 trainings have focused on how to track federal and state spending on COVID-pandemic relief funds: Who got loans and contracts, who did not, and was the money spent as Congress intended?

NPF has compiled a guidebook of the various databases available to journalists for this purpose, as well as guides to using Excel, Python and other data tools, pro tips from some of the nation’s leading investigative journalists, as well as other resources and training videos.

The guidebook, titled “Tracking COVID Relief Funds: How to Follow the Taxpayers’ Money” is free to download here.

This guide is being updated periodically. If you have suggestions, additions or updates, please contact us at