2016 Memphis Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Region III

IRE is bringing its highly rated Watchdog Workshop to Memphis in conjunction with the NABJ Region III Conference

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 watchdogging the police and investigating racial inequality 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 afternoon, April 8th and Saturday afternoon, April 9th. Those who attend both days of the workshop will receive a certificate of completion after the event.

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

This workshop will take place Friday, April 8 from 1-6 p.m. and Saturday, April 9 from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Those who attend both days of the workshop will receive a certificate of completion after the event.

This program is made possible thanks to support from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

Parking

Parking is available on Friday at WMC Action News5 for no charge.  Parking is available Saturday at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel for $26 per day. 

Registration/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)

$25 Professional (if attending NABJ Region III conference)

$55 Professional (for IRE workshop only)

$25 students

Register here

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, Apr. 8, 2016 - Saturday, Apr. 9, 2016

WMC Action News 5/Sheraton Memphis Downtown

Memphis, Tennessee



Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome and overview of the workshop

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    See printed schedule for room information

    1:00 pm - 1:20 pm

  • Panel

    Getting an investigative mindset

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    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.

    See printed schedule for room information

    1:20 pm - 2:20 pm

  • Panel

    Policing the police/watchdogging crime

    Speaker: Cheryl W. Thompson of NPR

    Police officers and prosecutors are supposed to uphold the law, but sometimes they break it -- and get away with it. Learn how to uncover criminal conduct among law enforcement using data analysis, open records laws and shoe-leather reporting.

    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.

    See printed schedule for room information

    2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

  • Panel

    FOI/Open records

    Speakers: Ben Fox of Adams and Reese LLP; Maria Zamudio of APM Reports

    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.

    See printed schedule for room information

    3:40 pm - 4:40 pm

  • Panel

    The art of the interview

    Speaker: Cheryl W. Thompson of NPR

    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.

    See printed schedule for room information

    4:50 pm - 5:50 pm

  • Panel

    Investigating racial inequality

    Speaker: Susan Richardson of The Center for Public Integrity

    What tools can provide more in-depth coverage about racial inequality, school segregation, housing and policing? We'll discuss past coverage and provide tools for investigating the racial divide.

    See printed schedule for room information

    1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Panel

    The web as an investigative tool

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    What reporters and editors need to know. 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. The craft of better searching and not wasting time. Handling issues of credibility and ethics online.

    See printed schedule for room information

    3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Panel

    Wrap-up

    Speaker: Megan Luther of InvestigateTV

    See printed schedule for room information

    4:15 pm - 4:30 pm