Localizing the investigation: Sexual misconduct

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Bente Birkeland of KUNC Radio; Jim Brunner of The Seattle Times; Joel Ebert of The Tennessean
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Jun. 16 at 9:00am
  • Location: Crystal E
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

From city halls to statehouses across the country, politicians are facing scrutiny like never before. Secrets about sexual impropriety and misdeeds once brushed aside as mere rumor have gained traction, in part to because of the #MeToo movement. Learn from state government and political reporters who have uncovered sexual misconduct allegations against elected officials. They will give tips on how to access investigation reports that are difficult to find or not considered open records, build and maintain relationships with reluctant sources who are afraid to speak out, vet information, and manage the fallout.

Speaker Bios

  • Bente Birkeland has covered Colorado politics and government for the last decade for KUNC and 15 public radio stations throughout Colorado. Bente's work has aired frequently on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She has won local and national awards, including a Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting. Bente grew up in Minnesota and England, and in her free time enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her family. @bentebirkeland

  • Jim Brunner has covered politics and government for The Seattle Times since 1998. He was part of the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning breaking news coverage in 2010 and 2015. He and colleague Lewis Kamb's 2017 reporting on sexual-abuse allegations against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray won a National Headliner Award, the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism and was an IRE award finalist. @Jim_Brunner

  • Joel Ebert covers the Tennessee state government, the General Assembly and politics in the Volunteer State. Before joining the Tennessean, Ebert covered politics in Illinois, South Dakota and West Virginia. He has an English degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ebert and his colleague, Dave Boucher, won the 2016 Malcolm Law Award for Investigative reporting for work related to sexual misconduct of a state lawmaker. @joelebert29

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