2015 Seattle Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: University of Washington Department of Communication 

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 interviewing, requesting records, incorporating data into your stories, digging deeper with social media, and much more.

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

Expected speakers include Ken Armstrong, The Marshall Project; Caley Cook, University of Washington; Jaimi Dowdell, IRE; Susannah Frame, KING5-Seattle; Doug Haddix, Ohio State University; Nigel Jaquiss, Willamette Week; Tony Kovaleski, NBC Bay Area; Kate Martin, The News Tribune; Justin Mayo, Seattle Times; and Robert McClure, InvestigateWest.

Get the tools and the tricks of the trade that you need to be a better, faster, watchdog journalist. Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop Saturday, November 14th. 

Saturdays training will take place at the University of Washington Department of Communication in the Communications Building (CMU) 120. 

Sunday November 15, 9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

(Optional) Digging deep with data: Introduction to Excel

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. This session will be held in Communications Building 302.

(Optional) Social Media Deep Dive

In this three-hour workshop, participants will become social media ninjas. They’ll master new skills in an interactive, hands-on lab environment. They’ll leave better equipped to dig deeper with social media on deadline and for enterprise stories.

The deep dive will develop three critical news skills: Twitter Tricks and Analytics; Reporting and Tracking with Storify; and Crowdsourcing with Google Forms. Class size is limited; register early to reserve a seat on a first-come, first-served basis. This session will be held in Communications Building 304.

Before the workshop: Participants must have accounts on Facebook, Google (Gmail), LinkedIn, Storify and Twitter. Even if you haven’t used the platforms, please set up a basic free account so that lab time can focus on developing skills rather than creating accounts!

Sunday November 15, 1:30-4:30 p.m. 

(Optional) Advanced Excel

Attend this hands-on session to take your Excel skills to the next level. You'll leave with a spreadsheet toolkit to help you overcome some of the most common data cleaning obstacles. We'll spend most of our time problem solving in Excel, but we'll also review filtering and pivot tables. Class size is limited; register early to reserve a seat on a first-come, first-served basis. This session will be held in Communications Building 302.

Prerequisites: Attendees should be comfortable writing formulas in Excel and have some experience with pivot tables OR have attended the introductory Excel session earlier in the day.

Campus Map

University of Washington 

Parking

Parking is available in Padelford Parking Garage. There is a $5 fee on Saturday morning, but the afternoon and all day Sunday are free. You can find the garage here. 

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 Digging Deep with data: Introduction to Excel

$30 Optional Social Media Deep Dive

$30 Optional Advanced Excel

Registration Information

Current IRE members should register through their member profile here. Under my profile, select conferences and events. Your IRE membership will be extended one year from your current expiration date.

If you are not a current IRE member, you can still register here for the workshop online. 

Cancellations must be sent via email to Tricia Morgan, [email protected]. 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

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 - Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015

University of Washington
Communications Building 120
Seattle, Washington 98105


Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 12:00pm.


Schedule details

  • Panel

    Getting an investigative mindset

    Speaker: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters

    Welcome to the workshop! In this opening session we'll discuss digging deeper to produce stories with impact. Move beyond anecdotes and he-said, she-said journalism with data and documents. Advice on developing a documents state of mind, navigating public records, and understanding records retention schedules.

     

    Communications Building 120

    8:45 am - 9:30 am

  • Panel

    Conceiving and organizing an investigation

    Speaker: Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week

    How to aim high and avoid the belly flop. Getting ideas and making sure the best ones float to the top. Strategies for taking an idea and turning it into a project. What you should do every time you start an investigation. Plus practical advice on how to stay on track, what questions to ask and how to make sure your stories are interesting.

     

     

    Communications Building 120

    9:30 am - 10:30 am

  • Panel

    The art of the interview

    Speakers: Susannah Frame of KING5 Seattle; Tony Kovaleski of KMGH-Denver

    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 handling tough situations, ethical trouble-spots, etc.

     

    Communications Building 120

    10:45 am - 11:45 am

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    11:45 am - 1:00 pm

  • Panel

    Digging deep with data

    Speaker: Justin Mayo of Stanford University

    Whether you're turning a daily or working on a long-term investigation, data can help. In this session you'll learn how to incorporate data into your work to set you apart from the pack.

     

    Communications Building 120

    1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

  • Panel

    FOI/Open records

    Speakers: Caley Cook of University of Washington; Tony Kovaleski of KMGH-Denver; Robert McClure of InvestigateWest

    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.

     

    Communications Building 120

    2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

  • Panel

    The Web for investigations

    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. Tips and apps for using social media to find experts, witnesses during breaking news and people directly affected by trends.

     

    Communications Building 120

    3:20 pm - 4:20 pm

  • Panel

    Deep dives

    Speakers: Kate Martin of Carolina Public Press; Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters; Robert McClure of InvestigateWest; Ken Armstrong of ProPublica

    We'll give three experienced journalists a chance to talk about ideas, data and documents that you can use for stories in your own community.

     

    Communications Building 120

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Panel

    Wrap up/What IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters

    Communications Building 120

    5:30 pm - 5:45 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional: Digging deep with data - Introduction to Excel hands-on training

    Speaker: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters

    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.

     

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

    Communications Building 302

    9:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional: Social media deep dive hands-on training

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    In this three-hour workshop, participants will become social media ninjas. They’ll master new skills in an interactive, hands-on lab environment. They’ll leave better equipped to dig deeper with social media on deadline and for enterprise stories.The deep dive will develop three critical news skills: Twitter Tricks and Analytics; Reporting and Tracking with Storify; and Crowdsourcing with Google Forms. Class size is limited; register early to reserve a seat on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Before the workshop: Participants must have accounts on Facebook, Google (Gmail), LinkedIn, Storify and Twitter. Even if you haven’t used the platforms, please set up a basic free account so that lab time can focus on developing skills rather than creating accounts!

     

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

    Communications Building 304

    9:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional: Advanced Excel hands-on training

    Speaker: Jaimi Dowdell of Reuters

    Attend this hands-on session to take your Excel skills to the next level. You'll leave with a spreadsheet toolkit to help you overcome some of the most common data cleaning obstacles. We'll spend most of our time problem solving in Excel, but we'll also review filtering and pivot tables. Class size is limited; register early to reserve a seat on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Prerequisite: Attendees should be comfortable writing formulas in Excel and have some experience with pivot tables OR have attended the introductory Excel session offered in the morning.

     

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

    Communications Building 302

    1:30 pm - 4:30 pm