Reporting on the opioid epidemic

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Julia Lurie of Mother Jones; Holly Baltz of The Palm Beach Post; James Pilcher of The Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Date/Time: Friday, Jun. 15 at 9:00am
  • Location: Crystal E
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Overdoses are killing more Americans each year than U.S. military deaths during the Vietnam War, yet there are only a handful of reporters on the opioid beat. Hear from reporters who are dedicated to covering the epidemic from multiple angles as they share the stories behind articles they’ve written and tips on how to cover this national crisis. Learn how to use data to show the scope of the epidemic, how to investigate pharmaceutical companies making painkillers, how to create empathy for a disease that is incredibly stigmatized, and how to navigate source-reporter relationships with active drug users and dealers. 

Speaker Bios

  • I'm senior editor, investigations at The Post. I've worked with investigative reporters for nearly 8 years, having been at The Post 27 years. I am most proud of being a part of our 2016 package detailing the lives of all 216 people who died in one year in Palm Beach County of a heroin-related overdose.

  • Julia covers the opioid epidemic and its many ripple effects for Mother Jones in San Francisco. @julia_lurie

  • James Pilcher is an investigative reporter for the Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer and has been a practicing journalist for the past 25 years. He's won numerous journalism awards and was part of the reporting team at The Enquirer that won the 2018 Pulitzer for Local Reporting. James teaches investigative and data journalism as the Journalist in Residence for the University of Kentucky. @jamespilcher

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