2017 Tulsa Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: The Frontier in collaboration with Tulsa Central Library

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 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, May 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Expected speakers include Clifton Adcock of The Frontier; Erica Byfield of WNBC, News 4 New York; Doug Haddix of IRE/NICAR; Todd Halihan of Oklahoma State University; Corey Johnson of the Tampa Bay Times Bob Nelon of Hall Estill Attorneys at Law; Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma and Cody Winchester of IRE/NICAR. 

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

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

Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting hands-on training

Saturday, May 6, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

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.

Driving directions

You can view a map for directions to Tulsa Central Library here.


Free parking is available underneath the library. 

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 Information

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, select conferences and events on the left-hand side of the screen and the 2017 Tulsa Watchdog Workshop.

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

Cancellations must be sent via email to Lara Dieringer, [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

Friday, May. 5, 2017 - Saturday, May. 6, 2017

Tulsa Central Library
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Friday, May. 5 at 12:30pm.

Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome and introduction to workshop

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Pocahontas Greadington Lrng & Creativity

    9:30 am - 9:45 am

  • Panel

    FOI and open records

    Speakers: Bob Nelon of Hall Estill Attorneys at Law; Corey Johnson of Tampa Bay Times

    Learn how to use federal and state open records laws to draft records requests the right way. We'll discuss ways to challenge denials and keep a steady flow of information coming into the newsroom with FOI.

    Pocahontas Greadington Lrng & Creativity

    9:45 am - 10:30 am

  • Panel

    Finding and using Oklahoma state data

    Speaker: Clifton Adcock of The Frontier

    The Frontier reporter Clifton Adcock will provide a walk-through of the tools he uses to track spending by state agencies, political candidates, and campaigns. We'll cover territory that will help you find and write stories about individuals and institutions across the state, whether you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma City or Enid, and regardless of whether you cover local, municipal, or state government. 

    Pocahontas Greadington Lrng & Creativity

    10:45 am - 11:30 am

  • Panel

    Oil drilling activity and earthquakes

    Speakers: Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma; Todd Halihan of Oklahoma State University

    Oklahoma has recently found itself in the national headlines for earthquakes that have been tied to drilling activity. This session will explore the science behind these quakes and help reporters find reliable sources of data and context, even on deadline. 

    Pocahontas Greadington Lrng & Creativity

    11:45 am - 12:30 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

  • Panel

    Breaking news watchdog

    Speaker: Erica Byfield of WNBC New York City

    When big news breaks, the investigator’s role is to dive head-first into the story behind the spot news story: How did this happen? How do we keep this from happening again? This session show real world examples of how journalists were able to contribute to a big story. You’ll also learn how to be a resource for the rest of the newsroom and uncover quick facts that will add depth to the breaking story (and details your competitors won't have).

    Pocahontas Greadington Lrng & Creativity

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    Art of the interview

    Speakers: Erica Byfield of WNBC New York City; Corey Johnson of Tampa Bay Times

    Learn strategies to prep for interviews, approach sources, handle tough situations, navigate ethical trouble-spots and more.

    Pocahontas Greadington Lrng & Creativity

    3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Panel

    Web, search and social media for investigators

    Speakers: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR; Cody Winchester of IRE and NICAR

    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.

    Pocahontas Greadington Lrng & Creativity

    4:30 pm - 5:15 pm

  • Panel

    Wrap up

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Pocahontas Greadington Lrng & Creativity

    5:15 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional computer-assisted reporting training

    Speakers: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR; Cody Winchester of IRE and NICAR

    Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Excel, a fairly simple but powerful spreadsheet application, to begin analyzing data for stories. We'll start from the beginning with basic formulas and work our way up to summarizing information using pivot tables and more. How do you think about data analysis as a journalist? How do you find the story within the columns and rows?

    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.

    Computer Lab

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm