Surveys save the day: An old tool emerges as a cutting edge

  • Event: 2019 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: James Grimaldi of The Wall Street Journal; Chris Jackson of Ipsos; Carolyn Thompson of independent journalist
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 9 at 3:30pm
  • Location: Cardiff
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Surveys are a familiar social science tool in newsrooms. But did you know that you can use them to break through obstacles in your investigation? In one case, powerful email programs and online surveys let reporters track down thousands of victims whose stolen identities were used to defraud the government. In another case, enterprising reporters barred from part of a foreign country used a mobile phone survey to track down human rights violations. Phil Meyer gave you the basics on newsroom surveys in "Precision Journalism." This panel will explain modern, practical methods and tools that can be adapted for investigative journalism.

Speaker Bios

  • Grimaldi is a senior writer for The Wall Street Journal based in Washington D.C., where he specializes in government and political investigations. A 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner, Grimaldi won the 2017 Dirksen Award for congressional reporting. He frequently lectures at George Washington University and Boston Law School, among other places. He has worked at The San Diego Tribune, Seattle Times and The Orange County Register, where he contributed to Pulitzer-winning work. 

  • Chris is Vice President and program director of Ipsos’s Strategic Research and Polling practice in the United States. His research specialties include public opinion trends, election polling, strategic communications research and reputation research. He works with a wide variety of public and private sector clients including collaborations with Reuters, NPR, USA Today, CPI and others. He is a spokesperson for Ipsos in the US. @jcbjackson

  • Carolyn Thompson is a freelance journalist with a focus on East Africa. She reports on human rights, humanitarian crises, economies, refugee movements, policy and government accountability. Her work uses data and investigative tools, such as surveys and satellite imagery. @caroethompson

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