On the beat: The data sets every government reporter should have

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Mark Greenblatt of Scripps Washington Bureau; Jennifer Peebles of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Claudia Vargas of The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 14 at 2:30pm
  • Location: Oceans 4
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Veteran data and government reporters team up to share a list of data sets that can give you a competitive edge in both breaking news and long-term investigations. Walk away from this panel with a wide-ranging list of local and national databases you can request or download immediately, along with related story ideas that will position you to lead coverage while holding governments of all levels accountable. Databases covered will include topics as diverse as payroll, pensions, settlements, vendor information, check registers, immigration courts, voter registration, licensed professionals, property tax, and much more.  

Speaker Bios

  • Mark Greenblatt is a 3-time Peabody award winner who’s work has led to widespread reforms, new local and federal laws and the federal indictment of a former V.A. chief. His work has earned the I.R.E. Medal, duPont-Columbia, Livingston, national Emmy for investigative, national Murrow and he has twice been named a finalist for Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize. Mark is a proud father and husband, brews his own beer, and he is the Fund For Investigative Journalism’s Treasurer.

  • Jennifer Peebles is a newsroom data specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, helping reporters get and tell stories with data (and sometimes documents). She has previously been a reporter and editor with The (Nashville) Tennessean, the Washington (D.C.) Examiner and the website Texas Watchdog. 

  • Claudia Vargas is a quick-strike investigations reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Prior to her assignment on the investigations team, she spent nearly a decade covering government and politics in Philadelphia and its surrounding communities, including Camden, NJ. Before The Inquirer, Claudia was a public safety reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, NY. She is a Penn State graduate and Daily Collegian alum. You can follow her on Twitter @InqCVargas.

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