2018 Boston Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: Boston University College of Communication

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, 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: Nicole Dungca & Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe; Sarah Hutchins, IRE/NICAR; Ryan Kath, NBC Boston; Jenifer McKim, New England Center for Investigative Reporting; Phillip Martin, WGBH Radio; Jeff Pyle, Prince Lobel Tye LLP; Eric Rasmussen, WFXT-Boston; Andrew Tran, The Washington Post; and Brooke Williams, Boston University.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop Saturday, October 20.

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.
 
Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting Training
 
Sunday, October 21, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
 
Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Google Sheets, a fairly simple but powerful spreadsheet application, to begin analyzing data for stories. We'll start from the beginning with basic formulas and work our way up to summarizing information using pivot tables and more. How do you think about data analysis as a journalist? How do you find the story within the columns and rows?
 
Class size is limited; register early to reserve a seat on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
*You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this hands on training. Please have an active Google account as the training will be done in Google Sheets. If you have questions you can contact training@ire.org.
 
Workshop Location
 
Saturday's workshop will take place in BU College of Communications, Room 101. Sunday's optional hands-on session will take place in BU College of Communications, Room 317. A campus map can be found here.
 
Parking
Parking is available in the Warren Lot (Lot K, in the 700 Commonwealth Avenue building. This lot is accessed via Hinsdale Street).  It’s $12 per car, flat rate all day. Attendees can pay the attendant upon entry.
 
Workshop Fees (includes a one-year IRE membership, if you are a current IRE member, your membership will be extended by one year. Attendees must meet IRE membership terms)
 
$55 Professional
 
$25 Student
 
$30 Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting Training (hands-on)
 
Registration
 
If you are a current member, please complete your registration online by logging into your member profile. Once you have logged in, click on my profile, next to the welcome and your name. Once you are in the members-only side of the database, select conferences and events on the left-hand side of the screen under my profile, then select the 2018 Boston Watchdog Workshop.
 
If your membership has expired or you are not currently an IRE member, you can still register for the workshop 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.

Time and place

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 - Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018

Boston University College of Communication
640 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, Massachusetts 02215


Registration information

Registration for this event is open! Click here to begin.

Hurry! Registration closes on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 12:30pm.


Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome & overview

    Speaker: Sarah Hutchins of IRE and NICAR

    Room 101

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Developing a watchdog mindset

    Speakers: Andrew Tran of The Washington Post; Brooke Williams of Boston University; Ryan Kath of NBC Boston

    Learn how investigative methods and tools can transform your stories, whether they're quick turns or long-term enterprise pieces.

    Room 101

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    The datasets you should be using

    Speakers: Andrew Tran of The Washington Post; Todd Wallack of The Boston Globe

    We'll list a wide range of local and national databases you can request or download immediately, along with related story ideas that will position you to lead coverage while holding governments of all levels accountable.

    Room 101

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Public records tips & tricks

    Speakers: Todd Wallack of The Boston Globe; Jeff Pyle of Prince Lobel Tye LLP

    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.

    Room 101

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

  • Panel

    Investigating inequality

    Speakers: Nicole Dungca of The Boston Globe; Phillip Martin of WGBH Radio

    Hear from journalists on the front lines of investigating racial and other inequities. Get story ideas as well as reporting and writing tips, along with advice on how best to frame stories in the proper historical context. Relevant public records and data sets also will be discussed.

    Room 101

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    Art of the interview

    Speakers: Jenifer McKim of New England Center for Investigative Reporting; Eric Rasmussen of KSTP-Minneapolis/St. Paul

    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.

    Room 101

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    Web & social media sleuthing

    Speaker: Sarah Hutchins of IRE and NICAR

    When news breaks, you need to be nimble and smart in finding sources, backgrounding people, verifying what’s real vs. fake, and staying ahead of the competition. Learn key sites, apps and social media strategies to quickly build a digital dossier on someone.

    Room 101

    4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

  • Panel

    What IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Sarah Hutchins of IRE and NICAR

    Explore key resources and services from IRE to help you bolster your watchdog reporting after the workshop.

    Room 101

    5:15 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional Computer-Assisted Reporting Training

    Speaker: Sarah Hutchins of IRE and NICAR

    Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Google Sheets, a fairly simple but powerful spreadsheet application, to begin analyzing data for stories. We'll start from the beginning with basic formulas and work our way up to summarizing information using pivot tables and more. How do you think about data analysis as a journalist? How do you find the story within the columns and rows?

    Class size is limited; register early to reserve a seat on a first-come, first-served basis.

    *You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this hands on training. Please have an active Google account as the training will be done in Google Sheets. If you have questions you can contact logistics@ire.org.

    NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

    Room 317

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm