Send a team to free training in Connecticut, Oregon or Ohio

Do you have reporters or editors on your staff who would benefit from training to help them produce enterprise and investigative stories? Thanks to a grant from Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) is working with Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) to…

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A weekend of Watchdog Workshops

IRE traveled to Los Angeles, Tucson and Laramie last weekend for a trio of Watchdog Workshops. Attendees shared their tips and ideas on Twitter. Our Los Angeles workshop at USC featured IRE trainer Jaimi Dowdell, independent journalist Ronald Campbell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter/assistant editor Ellen Gabler, NBC Bay Area reporter Jenna Susko, and Los Angeles Times legal counsel Jeff Glasser. —…

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Sharpen rural coverage

By Doug Haddix, IRE training director Plenty of watchdog stories are waiting to be told in small towns and rural areas across America, says Daniel Gilbert of The Wall Street Journal. “There aren’t enough of us (reporters) in rural areas, so there are lots of opportunities to plow new ground,” he told participants at an…

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Watchdog Wisdom at Duke University

By Jaimi Dowdell IRE Training Director Just as schools run students through drills for tornadoes and fires, journalists need to do drills to be prepared. One way to incorporate quick-hit, investigative techniques into your daily reporting is to practice and know what you and your newsroom are going to do when faced with breaking news,…

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Spreadsheet training sparks stories

Paul Sloth, a reporter with The Journal Times in Racine, Wis., proved that a little hands-on CAR training can go a long way. Less than a month after attending the optional CAR training at a Better Watchdog Workshop in Madison, he’s already completed two spreadsheet-based stories. After only a few hours of training in Excel,…

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Focus watchdog eyes on business

Tough economic times and financial fraud go hand in hand, from Charles Ponzi and his 1919 pyramid scheme in Boston to Bernie Madoff and massive investor deception. Regardless of your beat, there never has been a better time to do business-related investigations, according to reporter Ron Campbell of The Orange County Register. While everyone’s making…

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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…

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Covering the economic crisis

Several Web sites and documents can help journalists track federal stimulus spending and the ongoing economic turmoil, according to Ron Nixon, a reporter for The New York Times. Taxpayers for Common Sense aims to provide more transparency in government spending. USA Spending is the federal government’s site for tracking all federal contracts, grants and awards.…

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