Let's get creepy: Backgrounding tips from a journalist and librarian

  • Event: 2017 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Lauren Grandestaff of IRE and NICAR; Sarah Hutchins of IRE and NICAR
  • Date/Time: Sunday, Jun. 25 at 9:00am
  • Location: Grand Canyon 1-3
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

Backgrounding sources can be a tedious and time-consuming process. But there's nothing worse than being caught off-guard in the moments before publication – or, even worse, after publication. We'll help you develop a list of go-to online tools and resources to speed up the process, and run through a couple scenarios to show you how they work in practice.

Speaker Bios

  • As director of IRE's resource center, Lauren manages the annual IRE and Philip Meyer contests, maintains the ever-growing investigative stories library and tipsheet database, coordinates efforts for new and updated versions of IRE's beat book series, and offers research and backgrounding help to IRE's more than 5,000 members. She also helps coordinate and plan IRE's two annual conferences. Before coming to IRE, Lauren worked at the Missouri School of Journalism Library and the Columbia Missourian Newspaper Library. Lauren holds a master's degree in library science. @lgrandestaff

  • Sarah Hutchins is a training director for IRE & NICAR. She previously served as the organization’s editorial director, overseeing IRE’s publications and online platforms. Sarah has worked for daily newspapers in several states. Before joining IRE in 2014, she was a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot. Sarah has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a master's degree in data science and analytics from the University of Missouri. @sarhutch

Related Tipsheets