2015 Washington D.C. Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: Howard University School of Communications

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 Saturday, March 28.

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

Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting Training

Sunday, March 29, 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.

Campus Map

Howard University campus map

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 Computer-Assisted Reporting Training (hands-on)

Registration

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 2015 Washington D.C. Watchdog Workshop.

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

Cancellations must be sent via email to Amy Johnston, amy@ire.org.  There is a $25 processing fee for professionals ($10 for students) for cancellations until the day before the event. Refunds will not be given for cancellations on the day of, or after the event.

Workshop evaluations

Attendees can access the workshop evaluation online or we will have paper copies available at the registration desk on Saturday. We appreciate feedback from attendees as this allows us to improve the program and provide feedback to our funders.

Time and place

Saturday, Mar. 28, 2015 - Sunday, Mar. 29, 2015

Howard University
2397 Sixth St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20059

Armour J. Blackburn University Center


Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Sunday, Mar. 29 at 12:30pm.


Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome and overview

    Speaker: Alex Richards of Syracuse University

    Blackburn Ctr, Digital Auditorium,1st Fl

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Web for investigations

    Speaker: Alex Richards of Syracuse University

    Find documents and databases on deadline with better search techniques and the invisible Web. Learn how to locate reliable websites for enterprise stories and receive guidance on the best social media tools for your next investigation.

     

    Blackburn Ctr, Digital Auditorium,1st Fl

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    Law enforcement/crime watchdog

    Speaker: Cheryl W. Thompson of NPR

    This session will go over ways to elevate the coverage of law enforcement and crime by watchdogging those whose job it is to uphold the law. It will focus on who to talk to, what kinds of records to ask for and the issues to highlight.

    Blackburn Ctr, Digital Auditorium,1st Fl

    10:30 am - 11:30 am

  • Panel

    FOI/Open records

    Speakers: Talia Buford of ProPublica; Ron Nixon of The Associated Press

    Learn how to use federal and state open records laws to draft records requests the right way. Covers ways to challenge denials and keep a steady flow of information coming into the newsroom with FOI.

     

    Blackburn Ctr, Digital Auditorium,1st Fl

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    The art of the interview

    Speaker: Tisha Thompson of ESPN

    Learn the best ways to approach sources and prepare for interviews. Includes advice on conducting video interviews for your website. Plenty of tips and strategies for handling tough situations, ethical trouble spots, etc.

     

    Blackburn Ctr, Digital Auditorium,1st Fl

    1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Panel

    Watchdog on the beat

    Speaker: Ron Nixon of The Associated Press

    Have an idea for a great investigative story but can never find the time to do it because you have to cover your beat? Then this course is for you. This session will walk participants through the investigate process from start to finish. During the session, participants will learn how to come up with ideas for an investigative story, strategies for location documents and gaining access to public records, managing your time during an investigation and writing the investigative story.

     

    Blackburn Ctr, Digital Auditorium,1st Fl

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    Digging deeper with data and documents

    Speaker: Alex Richards of Syracuse University

    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.

     

    Blackburn Ctr, Digital Auditorium,1st Fl

    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    Wrap-up/What IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Alex Richards of Syracuse University

    Blackburn Ctr, Digital Auditorium,1st Fl

    5:00 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting Training

    Speaker: Alex Richards of Syracuse University

    Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Excel, a powerful electronic spreadsheet for deadline and beat reporting on budgets, salaries, elections and more.  Also learn how to dig deeper using the Internet and find valuable datasets for your stories.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    CB Powell Building - Room 229

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm