Be fair to sources, don’t rough them up

When conducting an interview — or attempting to extract information from public officials who are less than forthright — it’s essential to be fair and upfront about your needs. While Tisha Thompson, a reporter for WTTG in Washington D.C., doesn’t hesitate to sit herself on public officials’ door steps at 6 a.m. to get the…

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Maurice Tamman: CAR really bulletproofs a story

At the New Haven, Conn., Better Watchdog Workshop, Maurice Tamman of The Wall Street Journal shared his thoughts on why skills in computer-assisted reporting can help strengthen and legitimize a story. At the IRE workshop, which provides journalists with instruction on the tools needed to be better watchdog journalists, Tamman provided participants with an introduction…

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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…

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Wichita Watchdogs talk FOI

In Kansas, reporters often must wait for public records to be extracted from a salt mine. After a few years, records required to be retained are stored deep underground at a giant salt mine complex in Hutchinson. That’s one of the many tidbits we learned last weekend during a Watchdog Workshop at Wichita State University.…

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