Registration is open for IRE’s virtual 2020 national conference, which will feature keynote speaker Ronan Farrow and more than 100 sessions, including numerous opportunities for networking and socializing during the Sept. 21-25 event.

Register by the end of July to secure the early-bird rate of $175 for professionals. Registration rises to $200 in August and $250 in September. Students may register at any time for $50. IRE membership is required through October 1 to attend.

During the conference, members will be able to attend investigative sessions, interact with speakers and one another, schedule one-on-one or small group video meetings, mingle with winners of the IRE Awards, and gather virtually with IRE friends from across the country and around the world for fun activities.

Just as in person, the IRE conference will feature multiple tracks, with several options for each time slot — typically between noon and 4 p.m. Eastern each day.

Expected sessions

IRE20 will offer high-caliber training sessions on topics including covering COVID-19, investigating law enforcement, exposing systemic inequities, Election 2020, public records, broadcast investigations and many more. 

In addition to panels, the schedule also will include several special types of sessions:

  • Master classes: These are small, workshop-style classes that last four hours (including breaks). Taught by expert journalists on subjects such as interviewing, narrative writing, misinformation and media law, master classes cost $30 and will be available for registration soon.
  • Data sessions: A number of hands-on data demonstrations will be available to watch on-demand during the conference, with data provided to follow along with the training. IRE trainers and data experts will be available during data office hours for attendees to ask questions about specific data tools, including spreadsheets, SQL, Python and R.
  • Story idea blitz: These fast-paced sessions will arm you with dozens of story ideas to put to use immediately on various beats, including education, business, COVID-19 and data reporting.
  • Networking: IRE20 will offer more structured networking opportunities than ever before. Each day will include networking sessions for various groups, including freelancers, students, educators, managers, reporters on different beats, journalists of color, international journalists and more. Attendees also will be able to network one-on-one with each other and exhibitors at the conference.
  • Conversations: These sessions will provide a space for smaller groups to discuss various topics in an interactive format. 

View a list of expected sessions here. A full schedule with more sessions, descriptions and speakers will be released later this summer.  

Access all sessions and materials for one year

Attendees will gain full access to the conference site for one year so that they can take full advantage of the high-caliber training. Session videos, tipsheets, slide decks and other materials may be accessed on demand during that period.

Mentorship program

Our popular one-on-one mentorship program will return this year. IRE will match mentors with mentees and arrange for them to meet at a special event during the conference. Participants also can meet in individual video calls to talk more. Applications are open for both mentees and mentors; please sign up here.

IRE Awards celebration and fun events

We’ll dedicate a whole afternoon to celebrating the winners of the 2019 IRE Awards as well as mixing and mingling with friends old and new. We’ve got some fun ideas in the works but are open to suggestions if you’ve attended fun virtual events. 


If you’d like to volunteer to help with the conference, please fill out this form. We have limited opportunities available to speak on panels, lead networking sessions, host a fun event or talk about your book in a “meet the author” conversation. Note that we cannot accommodate everyone who volunteers.

Other FAQs

For other information, please see our initial announcement and FAQs about the virtual IRE20 conference.