The photographer and the law: Tips for photographing and recording in public spaces

By Christina Animashaun In the late 1800s, the invention of Kodak’s Brownie changed the landscape of photography. The cardboard box camera was simple to use, inexpensive and gave ordinary people the ability to document their surroundings outside of a photographer’s studio. The laws that protected those who took snapshots with their Brownie cameras more than…

Read more »

Be active with records requests

By Doug Haddix, IRE training director Getting public records often takes far more effort than filing a written request and simply waiting for the juicy documents to arrive. “It’s reporting, not requesting,” says Shawn McIntosh, public editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The best reporters realize that a written public-records request usually is just one step…

Read more »

Manage your time for investigative stories

By Doug Haddix, IRE training director Time management can be a reporter’s biggest challenge when it comes to watchdog stories. During a recent Better Watchdog Workshop in Denver, two seasoned investigative journalists shared tips and tricks they’ve learned to make time for the big story. Advice and tips came from Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee…

Read more »

Teaching the trainer

By Doug Haddix, IRE training director Every trainer will tell you that one of the joys of the job is learning from people you’re training. During recent custom training for The Associated Press in San Francisco, the group was talking about ways to avoid high copying fees for paper documents. After I suggested using a…

Read more »

Santa Fe paper focuses on watchdog work

Only a local news organization can hold institutions and individuals in a community accountable, so journalists need to be equipped for the job, says Rob Dean, managing editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican. That’s why the newspaper sponsored custom IRE training for its staff in early February. “In the last three days, I think…

Read more »

Handling anonymous tipsters

This audio snippet comes from the Saturday, Nov. 15, Better Watchdog Workshop in New Haven, Conn., where WTTG-Washington reporter Tisha Thompson shared tips on the art of the interview. When Tisha Thompson of WTTG in Washington, D.C., gets a call from a tipster who’s afraid to leave a name or phone number, she has a…

Read more »