On the Road : April 2009

Pulitzer-winning coverage not a ‘miracle’

Breaking the story that ultimately led to the resignation and jailing of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick required basic watchdog reporting, according to Pulitzer Prize winner Jim Schaefer of the Detroit Free Press.

“This was not some miracle story. It was basic watchdog reporting,” Schaefer told nearly 70 attendees during a Better Watchdog Workshop at Wayne State University in Detroit. Filing public records requests for documents involving public officials are “techniques that all of us on beats should be doing the whole time,” he said.

Schaefer and reporting partner M.L. Elrick obtained 14,000 text messages, appointment calendars, petty ...

Read more ...

CAR training: Stealing story ideas is fine

Editor's note: Brandon Stahl of the Duluth News-Tribune attended an IRE Regional Boot Camp at the University of Minnesota Oct. 6-10, 2008. He recently published his first CAR-driven story, which was about home assessments. Read below to find out how he got the story. (IRE and the City University of New York will be hosting a Regional Boot Camp in New York June 22-26. For more information and to register go here.)

A little bit of background: my editors had long wanted a story on the topic of home assessments as it's a commonly held perception in ...

Read more ...

Invest in yourself: Skills offer competitive edge

Editor's note: Keegan Kyle attended an IRE Regional Boot Camp at the University of Minnesota Oct. 6-10, 2008. Here's his story of how the training bolstered his job prospects. (IRE and CUNY will be hosting a Regional Boot Camp in New York June 22-26. For more information and to register go here.)

The first time I ever stayed in an international hostel, I was visiting Minneapolis to attend a week-long IRE Boot Camp. I was a recent college graduate without a job, so my personal finances were tight. I booked a bed in the hostel’s community room ...

Read more ...

Stats camp bolsters baseball story

Editor's note: Rich Exner of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer attended IRE's Advanced Statistics Boot Camp at Arizona State University Feb. 6-8. Here's his take on the practical application of the training:

I learned after attending IRE's Mapping Boot Camp a couple of years ago that the best way to retain the new techniques crammed into a few days of classes is to use them right away. So on the plane back from the Statistics Boot Camp in Arizona, I started to look a different way at data I already had collected covering baseball payrolls back to ...

Read more ...