2015 Midwest Watchdog Workshop (Madison, WI)

Presented by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

The conference is open to professional journalists, student journalists (high school and collegiate) and the public -- an innovative design to spread knowledge of investigative reporting techniques that hold the powerful accountable and foster an informed citizenry.

Panelists will include Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative reporters Walt Bogdanich and Stephanie Saul, award-winning investigative broadcast journalists Lea Thompson and Kathleen Johnston, and other leading figures from across the Midwest and nation.

Sessions will focus on skills such as interviewing, obtaining public records, data analysis (hands-on training), covering beats, quick hits, source development, using social media, free newsroom tools, organizing a project, writing, multimedia storytelling, podcasting, editing and fact-checking.

A highlight of the conference is the fifth annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner, a celebration of open government and investigative reporting, (separate $55 ticket) on April 8 at the Pyle Center.

Low registration fees are made possible through the generosity of sponsors, including Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Evjue Foundation, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Gannett Wisconsin Media, Wisconsin State Journal, Schott Bublitz & Engel law firm, MacIver Institute, McGillivray Westerberg & Bender law firm, UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, Madison Pro Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists, WORT 89.9 FM, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and Simpson Street Free Press. Additional sponsorships are available.

Thanks to exceptionally generous sponsorships from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and several of its its leading members, we're delighted to provide free workshop registration to all employees of WNA member newspapers!

And sponsors have also made it possible for provide free registration to UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication students, faculty and staff!

Campus Map

University of Wisconsin Madison

Workshop fees for the full two days

Professional journalists: $50

WI Newspaper Association members: $0

UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communciation students, faculty and staff: $0

Students: $25 (scholarships available)

Public: $100

Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting hands-on training: $10 

All participants will receive lunch on April 8, and a one-year IRE membership ($70 value) is included for professional journalists and students.

Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner

$55 per ticket

Donate a student ticket for $55

Registration

Click here to register for the Midwest Watchdog Workshop.

Discounted hotel blocks

Lowell Center (within two blocks of the Pyle conference center). 610 Langdon Street, Madison, WI.

$109/night (Code: Watchdog)

Make reservations by calling toll free 866-301-1753 or local 608-256-2621. **Reservations will be accepted until March 23 or the block is full.

Hampton Inn (within two blocks of the Pyle conference center). 440 West Johnson St., Madison, WI.

$139/night (Code: Watchdog Workshop)

Includes free Internet and breakfast.  Parking is an additional $12 per night.

Make reservations by calling 608-255-0360 or visit Hampton Inn & Suites Madison/Downtown. *Reservations will be accepted until March 23 or the block is full.

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. We appreciate feedback from attendees as this allows us to improve the program and provide feedback to our funders.

Time and place

Wednesday, Apr. 8, 2015 - Thursday, Apr. 9, 2015

University of Wisconsin - Madison
702 Langdon St
Madison, Wisconsin



Schedule details

  • Panel

    Coffee and a crash course in podcasting

    Speakers: Emily Forman of 371 Productions; Anne Strainchamps of Wisconsin Public Radio, Public Radio International

    Pyle Center - Room 325

    8:00 am - 8:50 am

  • Panel

    Harnessing the power of data and documents

    Speakers: Nick Penzenstadler of USA TODAY Network; Raquel Rutledge of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Charles Franklin of Marquette Law School

    Pyle Center - Room 325

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Hands-on

    Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting Training

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    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.

    Pyle Center, Room 335

    9:00 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Taming environmental and agricultural coverage

    Speakers: Kate Golden of The Walkley Foundation; Pam Dempsey of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Pyle Center - Room 326

    9:00 am - 10:00 am

  • Panel

    Covering campaigns: Money, spin and fact-checks

    Speakers: Bill Lueders of Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism; Greg Borowski of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Michael Buelow of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

    Pyle Center - Room 325

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    How to work with whistleblowers to tell important stories

    Speakers: Raquel Rutledge of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Walt Bogdanich of The New York Times; Christa Westerberg of McGillivray Westerberg & Bender LLC

    Pyle Center - Room 326

    10:10 am - 11:10 am

  • Panel

    Health coverage: Tracking doctors, disease and costs

    Speakers: David Wahlberg of Wisconsin State Journal; Meg Kissinger of Columbia University

    Pyle Center - Room 326

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Writing: Secrets revealed

    Speakers: Greg Borowski of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Walt Bogdanich of The New York Times; Mark Johnson of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Pyle Center - Room 325

    11:20 am - 12:20 pm

  • Panel

    Digging Into local government

    Speakers: Dave Umhoefer of Marquette University; Kathleen Johnston of Indiana University

    Pyle Center - Room 326

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    Quick-hit investigations for any newsroom

    Speakers: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV; Dee Hall of Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

    Pyle Center - Room 325

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    Bulletproofing your findings and story

    Speakers: Walt Bogdanich of The New York Times; Kate Golden of The Walkley Foundation; Andy Hall of Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism; Stephanie Saul of The New York Times

    **Moderated by Andy Hall

    Pyle Center - Room 325

    3:10 pm - 4:10 pm

  • Panel

    Education beat, kindergarten to college

    Speakers: Karen Herzog of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Molly Beck of Wisconsin State Journal

    Pyle Center - Room 326

    3:10 pm - 4:10 pm

  • Panel

    Putting it all together: Using collaboration, IRE and networking to produce great watchdog journalism

    Speakers: Lyle Muller of The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism; Megan Luther of InvestigateTV; Karen Michel of Madison Magazine; Pam Dempsey of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Brant Houston of University of Illinois

    **Moderated by Brant Houston

    Pyle Center - Room 325

    4:20 pm - 5:00 pm