IRE Radio

IRE Radio Podcast | Beyond Breaking News

When a story breaks, speed is key. But so are depth, context and accuracy. So how do you cover the news while simultaneously digging deeper? This week we’re talking about investigating breaking news. Our speakers will cover everything from identifying sources on the scene to developing a plan for watchdog coverage. Here’s the lineup:

  • Scott Friedman from KXAS-TV in Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas explains the station’s three-step process for turning breaking news coverage into an ongoing and in-depth investigation.
  • Leonard Downie Jr., former executive editor of the Washington Post, talks about how the paper got creative to find ...
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AUDIO: The FERPA exception every reporter should know

Sexual assault cases are never easy to cover, and when a university is involved, the challenges become even greater. Victims are sometimes reluctant to talk. Administrators often refuse to do interviews, citing FERPA. But that doesn’t mean these cases are impossible to cover.

At the IRE Conference in San Francisco this summer Walt Bogdanich of The New York Times offered some tips for reporting around FERPA. The first step, he said, is to focus on the system, not the individual. A reporter’s goal shouldn’t be to prove that someone did something wrong. Journalists are better off investigating ...

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IRE Radio Podcast | Building chemistry in your newsroom

A good reporter-editor relationship can make or break your investigative project. This week is all about building chemistry in the newsroom. Here’s the lineup:

  • Alexandra Zayas and Chris Davis of the Tampa Bay Times talk about working together on the 2012 series “In God’s Name.”
  • Alison Young and John Hillkirk of USA TODAY walk through some of the key moments in their work on “Supplemental Shell Game,” a multi-platform project on dietary supplement firms run by people with criminal backgrounds.
  • Kate Martin, Nanci Wilson and Matthew Doig share tips for pitching investigative stories and managing project time.

You ...

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IRE Radio Podcast | Scandals at the VA

Welcome to another episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. We’re excited to announce that this podcast is now available on iTunes. Subscribe to have the latest episode automatically download to your phone, computer or tablet.

This week we’re talking about investigating veterans issues, past and present. Here’s the lineup:

  • Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic discusses how he helped break open the most recent scandal involving falsified wait-time data at the Phoenix VA hospital.
  • Aaron Glantz of The Center for Investigative Reporting talks about benefit backlogs at the Veterans Benefits Administration.
  • Michael Phillips of the Wall Street ...
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IRE Radio Podcast | Cracking the Crime Stats

Welcome to another episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. On this week’s episode we’re talking about crime – everything from fact-checking police stats to building databases to track gun violence.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Michael Berens of The Seattle Times gets things started with a story about an odd beam of light, some dead rabbits and a police chopper.
  • Debra Juarez, news director at NBC 5 Chicago, talks about the ethics of naming suspects involved in a prostitution sting.
  • Steve Thompson of the Dallas Morning News and Ben Poston of the Los Angeles Times explain how to spot red ...
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IRE Radio Podcast | True Believers

Welcome to the third episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. We’re taking a cue from reporter Corey Johnson and calling this episode “True Believers.” This week we’ll be talking about how to find crucial sources and, more importantly, how to get them to talk.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Corey Johnson of The Center for Investigative Reporting talks about how he found "true believers" as he reported on unsafe schools for California Watch.
  • Michael Isikoff explains how he got whistleblower Thomas Tamm to talk for his 2008 Newsweek story.
  • Shawn Boburg of The Record in northern New Jersey discusses ...
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IRE Radio Podcast | FOIA Frustrations

We're back with another episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. This week we're focusing on FOIA. Here's the lineup:

  • Kirsten B. Mitchell, a former journalist and current facilitator with The Office of Government Information Services, talks about common FOIA problems and how to fix them.
  • Deb Nelson, Michael Ravnitzky, Charles Ornstein, and Jennifer LaFleur share tips on beating FOIA fees, arguing for data, and more.

You can find and download previous podcast episodes on our Soundcloud page.

 

EPISODE NOTES

Looking for links to the stories, resources and events we discussed on this week's podcast? We've ...

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A conversation with the federal FOIA Ombudsman’s office

Ever wonder what kinds of questions federal agencies ask FOIA liaisons? We did. So we went right to the source. Kirsten Mitchell is a facilitator in The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), a neutral office within the National Archives that anyone — requester or federal agency — can come to for help with the FOIA process.

Mitchell, a former journalist, will be available during the IRE Conference this month to answer questions about the FOIA process and help reporters with their requests. You can learn more and sign up here.

IRE student George Varney talked with Mitchell this week to learn ...

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Download the inaugural IRE Radio Podcast

Welcome to the inaugural episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. On these regular audio features you'll find a brief recap of IRE news and upcoming events, interviews with journalists and IRE staff, and audio tips from the best in the biz. We'll try to keep each episode around 15 minutes.

For now the podcast is hosted on our Soundcloud page and, unlike our IRE Radio clips, it's available for download.

Here's what we have in this week's episode:

  • Get caught up on IRE news, including information on the upcoming conference in San Francisco.
  • Database Library ...
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Lessons from the storm: What we can learn from the Moore, Okla. tornado

One year ago an EF5 tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma and left 25 people dead. A month after the storm, Oklahoman reporter Paul Monies and CBS News Southern Bureau Chief Scott Keenan talked about their experiences covering the twister during a session at the 2013 IRE Conference.

Keenan encouraged journalists to question the injury and fatality numbers officials present. They're often wrong, he said. Keenan also offered tips for navigating the muddied, post-disaster chain of command and filing stories from the field.

To get real-time weather information, the Oklahoman sends a weather reporter to a local National Weather Service ...

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