2015 Chicago Watchdog Workshop

 Hosted by: Columbia College Chicago Journalism Department

IRE will offer several of its core sessions, designed to improve your ability to find information on the Web quickly, point you to critical documents and data for more depth in your daily work and help you produce quick-hit enterprise stories. Workshop sessions will also give you tips on investigating inequality in your community, how to negotiate for records, get sources to open up 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 Friday, October 23rd.

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

Registration includes a one-year IRE membership, giving attendees access to reporting tipsheets, training resources and more; current members receive a one-year extension. Please note that registration is limited, however, so sign up today.

In addition to the full day of in-depth sessions with top journalists, you can also register for one of two optional training events that will take place Saturday morning, October 24 from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting hands-on training

One focuses on the fundamentals of data journalism: A hands-on workshop on Excel, a powerful tool for deadline and beat reporting on budgets, salaries, election data and more. Get the skills you need to start using data in your reporting immediately.

Optional Solutions journalism workshop

The other is a deeper dive into solutions journalism with New York Times’ Tina Rosenberg: Attendees come equipped with reporting ideas for a more in-depth workshop, taking part in exercises and brainstorming activities that will help integrate solutions journalism into active projects.

Friday's training will take place at Columbia College Chicago, 1104 S. Wabash in the Film Row Conference Center on the 8th floor.

Saturdays optional hands hands-on training will be held at 916 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL.

Campus Map

Columbia College Chicago

Parking

There is a parking lot located on 9th and Wabash. The lot is not affiliated with the college.

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, and then select the 2015 Columbia College Chicago 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 Tricia Morgan, Tricia@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

Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 - Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015

Columbia College - Chicago
1104 S. Wabash
Chicago, Illinois 60605



Schedule details

  • Workshop

    Welcome and overview

    Speaker: Alex Richards of Syracuse University

    Film Row Conference Center- 8th floor

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Workshop

    Web, search and social media for investigators

    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.

     

    Film Row Conference Center- 8th floor

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Workshop

    Investigating inequality – from police stops to the racial wealth gap

    Speakers: Susan Richardson of The Center for Public Integrity; Angela Caputo of APM Reports

    In the wake of a string of police killings of African-Americans in the past year, police departments across the nation are increasingly under fire for their practices in communities in color. At the same time, the decline in property values and the loss of property in African-American and Latino neighborhoods as a result of the housing foreclosure crisis are exacerbating the wealth gap between minorities and whites. Using examples from local investigations, this session will help you craft your own stories—from finding and analyzing data to identifying and interviewing expert and community sources.

     

    Film Row Conference Center - 8th floor

    10:30 am - 11:30 am

  • Workshop

    Using solutions journalism for impactful investigations

    Speaker: Tina Rosenberg of Solutions Journalism Network

    Solutions journalism is a tool that can help you turn your investigations into more compelling and varied stories, and can help produce powerful real-world results. In this session, you will learn what solutions journalism is (and is not) and how to use it as part of an investigative story or series. It covers specific, practical tips for covering "who's doing it better" with the same rigor you apply to covering problems — without fluff, PR or advocacy.

     

    Film Row Conference Center - 8th Floor

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

  • Workshop

    The art of the interview

    Speaker: Chuck Goudie of ABC7 Chicago

    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.

    Film Row Conference Center - 8th Floor

    1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Workshop

    FOI and open records

    Speakers: Brendan Healey of Mandell Menkes LLC; Duaa Eldeib of ProPublica Illinois

    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.

     

    Film Row Conference Center - 8th floor

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Workshop

    Digging deeper with data and documents

    Speaker: Rob Barry of The Wall Street Journal

    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.

     

    Film Row Conference Center - 8th floor

    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Workshop

    Wrap-up / Getting the IRE edge

    Speaker: Alex Richards of Syracuse University

    Film Row Conference Center - 8th Floor

    5:00 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting hands-on 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.

    Computer Lab 122

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Workshop

    Optional Solutions journalism workshop

    Speaker: Tina Rosenberg of Solutions Journalism Network

    After attending Friday's session, bring your current ideas and projects for a more in-depth, optional workshop on solutions journalism. You will take part in exercises and brainstorming activities that will help you use solutions journalism in what you're working on now.

     

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

    Room 150

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm