On the Road : October 2009

Tipsheets from workshop now online

Sandy Close, of New America Media, and IRE Executive Director Mark Horvit welcome participants to an Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop at American University.

By Mark Horvit

IRE Executive Director

IRE’s Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop series stopped in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 17-18. Journalists from media throughout the area gathered at American University’s School of Communication for sessions including tracking federal stimulus spending, covering immigration issues and winning open records fights, in addition to computer-assisted reporting training.

Several new tip sheets are available in the Resource Center from this training and other recent Ethnic Media workshops in Boston and Detroit. For the newest ...

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Hit the streets for better coverage

New York Times reporter David Gonzalez shares his secrets to great neighborhood beat reporting. For better stories and better sourcing, your time is best spent walking the streets of your coverage area.

Knowing how to maneuver legislative records is half the battle

With a little legislative know-how, even a novice reporter can distinguish between complex political positions between lobbyists, interests groups and politicians, according to veteran reporter Brian Joseph from the Orange County Register. It's all about knowing where your state government records such routine information.

Tracking documents on your beat

Chastity Pratt Dawsey of the Detroit Free Press

By Doug Haddix

IRE training director

Each year, education reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey of the Detroit Free Press files public records requests for five documents on her beat. She requests other records and data as story ideas emerge but makes sure that her sources know they need to produce key information regularly for her. Her advice came during an Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop in Detroit.

Here are Dawsey’s five key education documents:

  • Expenditure reports, which show how the Detroit school district is spending its money.
  • Personnel database, which lists names ...
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