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10 newsrooms to receive free IRE Total Newsroom Training

Ten newsrooms have been chosen to receive custom watchdog training through IRE’s Total Newsroom Training program.

TNT provides two days of intensive, in-house training for small and medium-sized newsrooms dedicated to watchdog journalism. This is the sixth year IRE has offered the free program, which is supported through a grant.

TNT newsroom training is customized and includes two days of sessions ranging from public records battles to hands-on data analysis.

The newsrooms were chosen from more than 40 applications this year.

“We’re eager to see how the 10 organizations selected for Total Newsroom Training will put their watchdog and data training to use,” IRE Executive Director Doug Haddix said. “During the past five years of TNT, the program has made a significant impact in communities all across America. The real winners are readers, viewers and listeners who are getting better coverage of issues that matter to them.”

Congratulations to the winning newsrooms:

Applications are now open for Total Newsroom Training — IRE’s grant-funded, customized training program that is returning for its fifth year.

IRE’s experienced trainers will come to selected newsrooms for two days of intense, in-house investigative training – at no cost. Spots in the program are limited and awarded on a competitive basis.

Total Newsroom Training is meant to help small to medium-size news organizations, and IRE customizes training based on the needs of the organization. These sessions can include web tools, background techniques and hands-on data analysis training.

The program is designed to increase the ability of news organizations to provide watchdog and enterprise coverage for their communities and to produce work that can lead to change and improvements.

The newsroom must be committed to allowing a significant portion of its staff attend the full two days of training and to tracking their progress after the training. The winning newsrooms will attend a webinar later in the year to showcase their work.

The deadline to apply is midnight ET Sunday, July 2. Learn more about the program and how to apply.

A record number of ten newsrooms were chosen for IRE’s Total Newsroom Training this year. TNT provides intense, in-house training for small and medium-sized newsrooms dedicated to watchdog journalism. This is the third year IRE has offered the free program. 

New this year are TNT Boot Camp Fellowships. Nine TNT alumni will be awarded free training to IRE’s data analysis boot camp. 

TNT training is customized and includes two days of sessions ranging from public records battles to hands-on data analysis.

"TNT is one of the most important initiatives IRE has launched in the past few years," IRE Executive Director Mark Horvit said. "It gives our trainers an opportunity to work with highly motivated news organizations. The projects and stories that have been done by the journalists we've had the opportunity to work with has been inspiring."

Congratulations to the following newsrooms:

By Ryan McGeeney, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

When Washington County employees began tearing down the Miley Wagon Bridge near Baldwin earlier this year, there was no doubt about how the county was going to stay within its estimated $400,000 budget for the project: in-house manpower and resourceful purchasing.

A quarter of the road bridges in Arkansas are obsolete and, of those, a third are in serious need of repair.
Full story: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2013/jun/02/governments-battle-maintain-bridges-20130602/

This story was published with help from IRE's Total Newsroom Training

By Misty Gittings, NWAonline

Businesses selling alcoholic beverages in Benton and Washington counties had 72 violations from March 2012 through February, according to records from the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

Full story: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2013/apr/21/enforcement-works-keep-alcohol-violations-check/

This story was published with help from IRE's Total Newsroom Training

By Ryan McGeeney, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Only one fertilizer manufacturer in Arkansas currently reports storing both anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate, the two chemical compounds thought to be responsible for the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, on April 17

Full story: http://www.emailthis.clickability.com/et/emailThis?clickMap=viewThis&etMailToID=899415213

This story was published with help from IRE's Total Newsroom Training

By Daniel Kelley, The Belleville News Democrat

A review of the salaries and benefits of public employees and elected officials at St. Clair County found the county spent more than $1 million on such benefits for 86 part-time employees and politicians. County officials say the benefits are necessary as an incentive to draw better employees while critics believe the practice is unnecessary and costly.

County Board members, attorneys, assistant public defenders, assistant state's attorneys, jury commissioners, East St. Louis Election Board commissioners, nurses and others received full benefits for working part-time with the county. The county spent more than $1.07 million providing such benefits last year - about $872,000 more than the combined cost of four neighboring counties.

The News-Democrat found the county does not have a minimum wage level for part-time employees to receive benefits. For example, one employee received health and retirement benefits but only earned $153 in wages.

This story was published with help from IRE's Total Newsroom Training

Full story: http://www.bnd.com/2013/04/14/2576241/health-costs-for-part-timers-in.html

By Brad Weisenstein, The Belleville News-Democrat

The News-Democrat found the newly legal video gaming in Southwestern Illinois grew rapidly, with gamblers in April losing $1.06 million - nearly triple what they lost at the end of 2012. 

The growth of machines worries video gambling opponents and those who work with gambling addicts. Locally, the machines grew from 144 in December to 484 in April. 

Collectively, they handled more than $13 million in bets with an average payout of 91.8 percent at local bars, restaurants, lodges and truck stops. By comparison, gamblers lost $16.7 million at the two metro-east riverboat casinos during April. The boats each saw revenues drop about 3 percent from a year earlier, but have been on a downward slide since 2008 when the recession began. 

The expansion promises to continue as the current local fleet of 484 machines could potentially reach 3,500, according to Illinois Department of Revenue numbers. With roughly 7,500 qualifying establishments in the state, the total could potentially go from 6,219 video gaming machines to 37,500. 

Full story: http://www.bnd.com/2013/05/27/2633030/video-gambling-triples-its-reach.html

This story was published with help from IRE's Total Newsroom Training

By Daniel Kelley, The Belleville News-Democrat

Filtering through Census data, Belleville News-Democrat discovered cities that experience huge daily growth as commuters arrive from bedroom communities.

For example, workers caused the population of Sauget to balloon 10 times its normal size, while the village of Shiloh sees its population drop more than 40 percent each weekday. The article details how the estimates help city leaders plan for emergencies and manage public safety.

Link: http://www.bnd.com/2013/06/10/2651121/census-commuters-cause-local-city.html

This story was published with help from IRE's Total Newsroom Training

Eight news organizations have been chosen for IRE’s Total Newsroom Training.

TNT is a new program that provides intense, in-house training for newsrooms dedicated to watchdog journalism.

More than 50 applications were submitted. Training is customized and includes sessions ranging from public records battles to hands-on data analysis.

"We are thrilled with the large number of strong applications we received for this first-time program," IRE Executive Director Mark Horvit said. "The selection process was very difficult, which is a testament to the quality of work being done in newsrooms across the country."

Congratulations to the following newsrooms:

141 Neff Annex   |   Missouri School of Journalism Columbia, MO 65211   |   573-882-2042   |   info@ire.org   |   Privacy Policy
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