If you’re on the fence about whether to attend the national IRE Conference this year, or need to persuade a reluctant boss to send you, here are five key pitches:
- Group therapy. When you and your colleagues have been branded “enemies of the American people” by the new president, there’s nothing like recharging your watchdog batteries with more than 1,500 journalists from around the world. Get inspired during the IRE Awards luncheon. Explore opportunities to network and collaborate on stories that matter. Expect to leave Phoenix emboldened to uphold the First Amendment and dig for truth, wherever your reporting leads.
- Practical tools and tactics from amazing speakers. Seriously, where else can you learn from the likes of keynote speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times Magazine and showcase panel speakers Monika Bauerlein of Mother Jones, Richard Greenberg of NBC News and Marc Lacey of the New York Times? Still not convinced? We’ve got Paula Lavigne of ESPN, Michael Rezendes of the Boston Globe, Jay Rosen of New York University and Brian Ross of ABC News. Plus, more than 250 other high-caliber presenters will help you ramp up your watchdog game.
- Special sessions on security. As IRE commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Arizona Project and remembers the slaying of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles, the conference will feature training on protecting journalists from digital and physical threats. A special storytellers presentation will offer new insights on Bolles’ work, as well as the lasting lessons of the collaborative Arizona Project.
- Hands-on data training. In addition to specialized data workshops (which require pre-registration), the conference includes computer labs to learn everything from spreadsheets to data visualization. Whether you’re a data newbie or veteran data nerd, you’ll learn something new to dig deeper on watchdog stories.
- Specialized workshops by IRE partners: Supplement the IRE Conference with a variety of specialized training events. Learn from the American Society of Newspaper Editors how to lead projects and nurture an investigative newsroom culture. Or, spend an afternoon exploring 10 data sources that likely will be new to you via training by the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business Journalism. Figure out how to produce compelling graphics and maps using free Tableau software. Dive into 60 million police stops through data provided through the Stanford Open Policing Project and training coordinated by the Poynter Institute.