2014 San Antonio Watchdog Workshop

Investigative Reporters and Editors Watchdog Workshops offer tips, tools and training that you can use immediately to add depth to your work, from breaking news coverage to quick-turn enterprise and long-term projects. Reporters, editors and producers return to their newsrooms with hard-hitting story ideas, websites and online resources to explore, lists of key documents to obtain, techniques for more effective reporting, ways to use the web and social media to find information, insight into the latest technology for news gathering and much more.

This workshop is hosted in conjunction with NAHJ's National Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

IRE thanks the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation for helping underwrite workshop expenses.

The workshop will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is open to NAHJ conference attendees (preregistration is required). For additional details visit the NAHJ Convention site.

Time and place

Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014

National Association of Hispanic Journalists Annual Multimedia Convention & Career Expo
200 E. Market St.
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Schedule details

  • Panel


    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    The art of the interview

    Speaker: Angela Kocherga of Cronkite News, Arizona PBS

    Learn the best ways to approach sources, prepare and handle the interview process. Advice for conducting video interviews for your website. Plenty of tips and strategies for handing tough situations, ethical trouble spots, etc.


    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    The buying of Election 2014

    Speakers: Dave Levinthal of The Center for Public Integrity; Ben Wieder of McClatchy

    This year's election will be the most expensive congressional midterm in U.S. history -- by a lot. Center for Public Integrity senior political reporter Dave Levinthal and data reporter Ben Wieder show you how to tell compelling, enterprising stories by navigating the labyrinth of big-money politics in both federal and state campaigns. Dave and Ben will particularly focus on how to cover powerful super PACs and political nonprofits, track attack ads and make money stories more relevant to a general news audience.


    10:30 am - 11:30 am

  • Panel

    FOI/Open records

    Speakers: Angela Kocherga of Cronkite News, Arizona PBS; Paul Watler of Jackson Walker L.L.P.

    How to use U.S. federal, state and Mexico 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.


    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Web as an investigative tool

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    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. We will guide you to the best social media tools for your next investigation. 


    1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Panel

    Finding and cultivating sources

    Speaker: Manny Garcia of ProPublica

    Identifying who you need to know and how to get them to talk. How to get the best information and interviews through source development and interviewing techniques


    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    Digging deeper with data and documents

    Speaker: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters

    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.


    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm