From Open Secrets:

Lists are easy, as any writer left behind on a skeletal holiday staff will tell you. The “Best of [year]” list in particular isn’t art, it’s #content — but done with care, it can be a revealing reminder of the highlights of the previous year.

To that end, here’s OpenSecrets Blog’s list of our best journalism of 2015. It features great examples of both explanatory and accountability reporting.

Explanatory journalism illuminates an intricate issue through clear presentations and a mastery of the subject matter; it, well, explains. Accountability journalism holds governments and institutions responsible under the law and to the people they serve. Below, we can say, are examples of both, featuring our best reporting on dark money, influence and major political donors.

And so, in no particular order, here are the top reports from OpenSecrets Blog this year in both categories.

Explanatory journalism We continued to unravel the fallout from a foreign-government-funded congressional junket to Azerbaijan in 2013…

What started as coverage of the House Ethics Committee’s decision to absolve 10 members of Congress of any wrongdoing after they traveled to Azerbaijan in May 2013 on the country’s dime became a larger story about the Ethics Committee itself.

Rep. Charlie Dent, the committee’s chair, had taken contributions from individuals in the network of non-profits that sponsored the trips in the first place. Then his committee moved to keep secret what should have been, from the moment the investigation concluded, public documents. When those documents finally saw the light of day…

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