Covering natural disasters: Breaking news and beyond

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Matt Dempsey of Houston Chronicle; Rong-Gong Lin of Los Angeles Times; Carla Minet of Centro de Periodismo Investigativo de Puerto Rico
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 14 at 10:15am
  • Location: Oceans 5-7
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

When disaster strikes, will you be ready? How can you prepare before it hits? How do you manage the chaos in real time? What are some ways you can come out of the disaster with strong stories lined up explaining it all? 

This session will offer proven tips on where to get data, records, sources and story ideas from journalists who lived through it all.

Speaker Bios

  • Matt Dempsey is the data editor at the Houston Chronicle. He worked on projects involving wildfires, state pensions, and the chemical industry. His passion for public records frequently leads to disclosure of data from all levels of government. His series Chemical Breakdown won the 2016 IRE Innovation award and the National Press Foundation’s “Feddie” award. His work was a key part of the Chronicle’s Pulitzer Prize finalist entry for Breaking News. 

  • Rong-Gong Lin II is a metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, specializing in covering statewide earthquake safety issues and Northern California. He won the California Newspaper Publishers Assn.’s Freedom of Information Award and the University of Florida’s Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award. A San Francisco area native, he graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004.

  • Carla Minet has been an independent journalist for publications such as 80 degrees, the Center for Investigative Journalism, mayaguezsabeamango.com and Diálogo. She was the executive director of the Community Press Organization. She has worked as a researcher, editor and content producer content for radio, television and internet, on Channel 6, Radio Universidad, El Nuevo Día, Primera Hora, Univisión and Noticel. She studied at the School of Public Communication of the University of Puerto Rico, University of Barcelona and the University of Columbia, in New York. 

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