Master class: Becoming a public records sleuth **pre-registered attendees only

  • Event: 2019 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: David Cuillier of The University of Arizona; Jennifer LaFleur of Investigative Reporting Workshop
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 13 at 9:00am
  • Location: David Mitzner
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

This half-day workshop will cover the essentials for becoming a public records power sleuth – the key elements for mastering the art of access. David Cuillier, associate professor at the University of Arizona and co-author of The Art of Access, and Jennifer LaFleur, data editor at Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, will lead you through the fundamentals, as well as the latest research and tools, including: 

  • Cool records/data and how to find them, including online resources for identifying records and dozens of examples of data worth dipping into
  • Art of the ask: Learning the law, effective request techniques and online tools to assist, such as iFOIA
  • Overcoming denials: How to use psychological strategies, effective appeals, and how to go about suing, even on your own

You'll dig into hands-on activities such as trying the online tools, brainstorming ideas, and workshopping request language. You'll leave as a master public records sleuth with a plan for requests to submit when you get back home.

Please bring your laptop fully charged if you have one.

Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. 

** This class is full. Add your name to the wait list. **


Speaker Bios

  • David Cuillier, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, is a former newspaper journalist and now teaches data journalism, media law, and access to public records. He is president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, former president of the Society of Professional Journalists, and co-authored The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records. Reach him at cuillier@email.arizona, or on Twitter @David.Cuillier.

  • Jennifer LaFleur is the Investigative Reporting Workshop's data editor and teaches at American University. She previously was a senior editor at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she managed a team of data journalists, investigative reporters and fellows. She is the former data journalism director at ProPublica and has held similar roles at newspapers. She is a former IRE training director and serves on IRE's board.

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