2018 Palm Springs Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: IRE in conjunction with the NLGJA National Convention

IRE will offer several of its core sessions, designed to improve your ability to find information on the Web quickly, and point you to key documents and data that will help you add depth to your daily work and produce quick-hit enterprise stories. In addition, this workshop will give you tips on bulletproofing stories, interviewing, digging deeper on the Web with social media, search engines and much more.

These sessions are designed for reporters, editors, and producers from small, midsize and large publications, TV, radio stations, Web-only news sites and news blogs. Freelancers, students and journalism educators are also encouraged to attend.

Expected speakers include: Joel Grover, NBC4 Los Angeles; Doug Haddix, IRE/NICAR; Maya Lau, Los Angeles Times; Norberto Santana Jr., Voice of OC; and Nicole Vap, KUSA-9News Denver.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop Thursday, September 6.

Get the tools and the tricks of the trade that you need to be a better, faster, watchdog journalist.

This program is made possible thanks to support from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

Workshop Fees (includes a one-year IRE membership for attendees that meet the IRE membership terms and  a one-year membership renewal for current IRE members).

$25 Professional

$25 Student


You can register for this event here.

Cancellations must be sent via email to Dylan Sinn, dylan@ire.org.  There is a $25 processing fee for professionals ($10 for students) for cancellations until the day before the event.  Refunds will not be given for cancellations on the day of, or after the event.

Workshop evaluations

Attendees can access the workshop evaluation online. We appreciate feedback from attendees as this allows us to improve the program and provide feedback to our funders.

Time and place

Thursday, Sep. 6, 2018

Hotel Zoso
150 S. Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, California 92262

Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome & overview

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Welcome from NLGJA and IRE to the watchdog workshop -- what to expect, how to get the most out of today's training and ways to stay connected.

    Fillmore Room

    10:30 am - 10:45 am

  • Panel

    Digging deeper with data and documents

    Speaker: Nicole Vap of KUSA/9News Denver

    Move beyond anecdotes and he-said, she-said journalism with data and documents. Advice on developing a documents state of mind, navigating public records, understanding records retention schedules, exploring key records on a variety of beats and becoming familiar with key national data sets to produce high-impact local stories.

    Fillmore Room

    10:45 am - 12:00 pm

  • Panel

    The watchdog interview

    Speakers: Joel Grover of NBC4 Los Angeles; Maya Lau of Los Angeles Times

    Watchdog stories pose special challenges, including how best to prep for interviews, approach sources, handle tough situations, navigate ethical trouble-spots and more. Learn how to master the interview to hold your sources accountable. Seasoned watchdog journalists also will provide tips on preventing your sources from hijacking and controlling the interview.

    Fillmore Room

    1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

  • Panel

    Public records: Tips and tactics

    Speaker: Norberto Santana of Voice of OC

    Hear practical advice and strategies for crafting public records requests, tracking them and holding officials’ feet to the fire. Includes strategies for dealing with excuses and obstacles from public officials who stand in your way of getting key documents and data.

    Fillmore Room

    2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

  • Panel

    Online sleuthing

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Learn advanced tricks and tips for mining Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites during breaking news and for enterprise stories. Learn how to do geographic searches to find sources, visuals and other material near a specific address or in a particular city. Discover ways to automate tasks to save time and run searches by location, hash tags and more.

    Fillmore Room

    3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

  • Panel

    What IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Fillmore Room

    4:45 pm - 5:00 pm