Educators' roundtable: Best ways to teach investigative reporting

  • Event: 2017 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Jacquee Petchel of ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Deborah Nelson of University of Maryland; Brant Houston of University of Illinois; David Armstrong of Georgia News Lab; Brent Walth of University of Oregon
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Jun. 24 at 10:15am
  • Location: Grand Canyon 1-3
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

**Moderated by Brant Houston, University of Illinois

This session will offer examples of how to successfully teach investigative reporting at universities. Then, we’ll start a conversation among the panel members and audience on best practices and tips for turning the classroom into an investigative newsroom.

Speaker Bios

  • David Armstrong is the director of The Georgia News Lab, an award-winning investigative reporting collaborative. He is a veteran investigative reporter and editor. He served as bureau chief of the National Security News Service in Washington, D.C., and earlier as editor of the Texas Observer. He is the principal author of the book, “America and the Islamic Bomb: the deadly compromise,” an investigation of global nuclear trafficking networks. @GeorgiaNewsLab

  • Brant Houston is the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. Before Illinois he was executive director of IRE for more than a decade after 17 years as an award-winning investigative reporter in U.S. newsrooms. He is author of  "Data for Journalists: A Practical Guide to Computer-Assisted Reporting" and co-author of "The Investigative Reporter's Handbook." He works with nonprofit newsrooms and co-founded INN and GIJN. 

  • Deborah Nelson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist based at University of Maryland, home of the new Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. Recent student projects examined jail suicides with the AP, urban heat islands with NPR and juvenile lifers with PBS NewsHour. Nelson co-authored a series for Reuters on military base housing that won top honors from SPJ, NPC and WHCA last year. She previously worked at the Washington Post, LA Times and Seattle Times.

  • Jacquee Petchel is executive editor of the Carnegie-Knight News21 multimedia investigative reporting initiative at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She worked as a reporter at The Indianapolis News and The Arizona Republic, an investigative reporter and editor at the Miami Herald, investigative executive producer at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and WFOR-TV in Miami and investigations editor at the Houston Chronicle. 

  • Brent Walth teaches investigative reporting at the University of Oregon Journalism and Communication. Before joiing the UO, he spent more than 30 years working as an editor, author, and investigative reporter, including for The Oregonian and Willamette Week. Among other honors, Brent has won the Gerald Loeb Award, was a 2008 IRE Award finalist, and at The Oregonian shared the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. 

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