IRE News : February 2009

Map campers get rolling

Journalists who attended IRE and NICAR’s Mapping Boot Camp in January have wasted little time in putting their new skills to work.

In early February, after a 3.0-magnitude earthquake rattled northern New Jersey, Bob Rebach of The Record in Bergen County, N.J., used GIS to map the locations of the region’s earthquakes since 1990. Rebach, a staff artist at the newspaper, turned his map into a graphic that showed each earthquake by magnitude.

Two days after Valentine’s Day, CTV-News British Columbia, aired a report showing where singles live in Vancouver. Map camper Jonathan Woodward, a ...

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It's back: FAA enforcement actions

After several years of negotiations, the NICAR Database Library has updated its copy of the FAA Enforcement Information System. This useful database documents cases where airlines, airports and pilots are accused of breaking FAA Regulations -- examples include drug-test failures and alcohol abuse on the job. Only two months into 2009, there have already been two major airplane crashes that have attracted heavy media attention. When covering such events, reporters have the opportunity to get at the "how" and "why" of the story by using some of the Federal Aviation Administration's public databases.  While many of these databases are freely ... Read more ...

IRE customized training sparks swift changes

Leaders of the Santa Fe New Mexican are moving quickly to build on three days of custom IRE training for their newsroom. Among their follow-up plans: an intranet for their newsroom and additional spreadsheet training for the staff. Read the full report in the new 'IRE On the Road' blog by training directors Jaimi Dowdell and Doug Haddix. The blog at www.ire.org/training will feature reporting tips from speakers at IRE training workshops, updates on workshop participants, and pointers to other reporting tools. Check out recent posts with audio clips from presenters and participants.

Membership help for troubled times

In these difficult times, IRE is making a special offer to our members: If your membership renewal has come due and you are out of work, we will provide you with a complimentary one-year renewal so that you can continue to use IRE's resources and services. This offer is retroactive for all of those who were not able to renew their membership in the past year for that reason. All you need to do is contact IRE membership coordinator John Green at jgreen@ire.org or 573-882-2772. Additionally, several members have encouraged IRE to offer a way that they ... Read more ...

The CAR conference is quickly approaching. Register TODAY!

Gain the skills you need to become an essential part of any newsroom at the 2009 Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference in Indianapolis on March 19-22.  Register today as early bird registration ends on March 6. From the beginner to advanced CAR specialist, you’ll sharpen your skills in data analysis, Web programming and reporting on dozens of topics.  And this year’s conference will offer several panels focused on covering the financial crisis, including how to dig into the TARP funds and to analyze the recession’s impact locally.  Other highlights include: * Mapping, from creative uses of Google maps to more ... Read more ...

Investigative reporting offers hope amid economic tides

By Phil Williams, IRE Board Member If you read the industry news about the challenges facing journalism today, it's easy to get discouraged. Positions on investigative teams -- in some cases, whole teams -- are being cut.  Entire news organizations are closing their doors.  The list of talented journalists looking for work grows every week. But these troubled times may also bring some glimmer of hope for the future.  That's because, instead of eliminating investigative reporting, some news organizations are refocusing on investigative journalism as a way to survive.  And that's where IRE hopes to play an important role ... Read more ...