2014 Georgia Watchdog Workshop

**This workshop is being postponed to the Fall of 2014.  Once a final date has been determined, we will update this page.  

Hosted by: University of Georgia, The Department of Journalism, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Georgia Press Association

This training will offer several of our core sessions that will improve your ability to find information on the Web quickly, and point you to key documents and data that will help you add depth to your daily work and produce quick-hit enterprise stories. In addition, this workshop will give you tips on bulletproofing stories, digging deeper on the Web with social media, search engines and much more.

These sessions are designed for reporters, editors, and producers from small, midsize and large publications, TV, radio stations, Web-only news sites and news blogs. Freelancers, students and journalism educators are also encouraged to attend.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop. 

Get the tools and the tricks of the trade that you need to be a better, faster, watchdog journalist.

Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting Training

xx, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Excel, a powerful electronic spreadsheet for deadline and beat reporting on budgets, salaries, election data and more. Also, learn how to dig deeper using the Internet and find valuable datasets for your stories. Class size is limited; register early to reserve a seat on a first-come, first-served basis.

Workshop Fees (includes a one-year IRE membership, if you are a current IRE member, your membership will be extended by one year. Attendees must meet IRE membership terms)

$55 Professional

$25 Student

$30 Optional Advanced Hands-on Spreadsheet Training


If you are a current member, please complete your registration online by logging into your member profile.  Once you have logged in, click on my profile, next to the welcome and your name.  Once you are in the members-only side of the database, select conferences and events on the left-hand side of the screen under my profile, then select the 2014 Georgia Watchdog Workshop.  

If your membership has expired or you are not currently an IRE member, you can still register for the workshop online.  Click here

Time and place

Saturday, Apr. 26, 2014 - Sunday, Apr. 27, 2014

University of Georgia
48 Baxter St
Athens, Georgia 30602

Registration information

Registration for this event is open! Click here to begin.

Hurry! Registration closes on Sunday, Apr. 27 at 9:00am.

Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome and overview of the workshop

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    Miller Learning Center - Room 101

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Quick-hit investigations

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    Strategies, story ideas, resources and tips for watchdog stories on a variety of beats. How to produce meaty enterprise stories that may take a few days or a few weeks rather than months.

    Miller Learning Center - Room 101

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    FOI/Open records

    Speakers: Charles Davis of University of Georgia; David Armstrong of Georgia News Lab

    How to use federal and state laws. How to write an open-records request the right way. How to appeal and challenge denials. How to keep a steady flow of information and ideas coming into the newsroom by using FOI.

    Miller Learning Center - Room 101

    10:30 am - 11:30 am

  • Panel

    The art of the interview

    Speaker: Pia Malbran of ESPN

    Learn the best ways to approach sources, prepare and handle the interview process. Plenty of tips and strategies for handling tough situations, ethical trouble spots, etc.

    Miller Learning Center - Room 101

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Effective use of the Internet

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    What reporters and editors need to know. From better search techniques to the invisible Web, how to find documents and databases on deadline and where to find reliable websites for enterprise stories. The craft of better searching and not wasting time. Handling issues of credibility and ethics online.

    Miller Learning Center - Room 101

    1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Panel

    Watchdogging government spending

    Speaker: Lois Norder of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Miller Learning Center - Room 101

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    Digging deeper with data and documents

    Speakers: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV; Stephen Klimstra of independent journalist

    Move beyond anecdotes and he-said, she-said journalism with data and documents. Advice on developing a documents state of mind, navigating public records, understanding records retention schedules, exploring key records on a variety of beats and becoming familiar with key national data sets to produce high-impact local stories.

    Miller Learning Center - Room 101

    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm