Election & Politics Track: What is that politician hiding? And other backgrounding tips

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Steve Eder of The New York Times; James Grimaldi of The Wall Street Journal; Naomi Martin of The Dallas Morning News
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 15 at 9:00am
  • Location: Crystal AB
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Election season is upon us. We’ll discuss the best tips, websites and tools for scrubbing candidates at all levels of government, from the Trump administration to City Hall to the courthouse. We’ll show you how to investigate through politicians' business ties, past work experience, public records and even family to find potential conflicts of interest while writing the investigative profile — plus other stories that help inform readers. You'll learn backgrounding techniques that can be used for stories about politicos in the never-ending election season or for profiles about everyday individuals in your community.

Speaker Bios

  • Steve Eder reports on the government under President Trump, as well as his personal businesses. He covered the 2016 campaign, and earlier, he investigated a range of topics, such as baseball doping, hedge funds, and spouses spying on each other. He previously reported for WSJ, Reuters, and The Toledo Blade. He was part of the New York Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for investigating sexual harassment in 2018. @steveeder

  • James Grimaldi is a senior writer on the investigative desk at The Wall Street Journal. A former IRE president, he now serves on the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. He won a Pulitzer in 2006 and has won many other awards, including an IRE FOI award in 2010 and a Dirksen award from the National Press Foundation in 2018. He previously worked for The Washington Post, Seattle Times, Orange County Register and San Diego Tribune. He is based in Washington, D.C. 

  • Naomi Martin is an enterprise reporter at The Dallas Morning News reporting on local government and politics. Previously she covered criminal justice at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and The Advocate in Baton Rouge. @NaomiMartin

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