2019 Toronto Watchdog Workshop

**This workshop has reached capacity. Please email logistics@ire.org to inquire about possible cancellations.

Co-Sponsored by: CTV, Unifor, The National Observer, Glacier Media, and the Art Gallery of Ontario

Co-hosted by: Veritas - Advancing Journalism in the Public Interest and Ryerson University School of Journalism 

IRE is bringing its highly rated Watchdog Workshop to Toronto. 

This training will offer several of our core sessions that will 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. This workshop will focus on issues on shared interest between the U.S. and Canada.

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 Ebyan Abdigir, Canadian Broadcating Corporation (CBC); Harvey Cashore, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); Susanne Craig, New York Times; Robert Cribb, The Toronto Star; Will Fitzgibbon, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Jaren Kerr, CANADALAND; Peter Klein, Global Reporting Centre; Lynn McAuley, The Toronto Star; Jesse McLean, The Toronto Star; Brett Mitchell, CTV W5; Masashi Nishihata, University of Toronto; Arif Noorani, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); Valerie Ouellet, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); Susanne Reber, Scripps Washington Bureau; Justin Safayeni, Stockwoods LLP; Julian Sher, Investigative Journalist; Patti Sonntag, Institute for Investigative Journalism, Concordia University; Tanya Talaga, The Toronto Star; Lisa Taylor, Ryerson University; Martha Troian, independent journalist; and Connie Walker, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5.

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 Location

The workshop will take place at Ryerson University in The Catalyst at Rogers Communication Centre. The hands-on sessions will be held in RCC 183. Sunday's session will take place in Venn's Reporters Lab.

Parking
 
Parking is available across the street under the Metro. The entrance is on a one-way street running North.  Parking fees can be paid by cash or credit card.  
 
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 (U.S.) Professional
 
$25 (U.S.) Student
 
Registration Information

**Seating is limited for this workshop. Once capacity has been met, registration will close and a waiting list will be started.
 
Registration can be done by clicking on "click here to begin" which can be found below. Current or expired members will log into their profile. If you do not have a profile, you will be able to create one and then register for the event. Instructions will be found when clicking "click here to begin" which can be found below. 
 
Cancellations must be sent via email to logistics@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

Saturday, May. 4, 2019 - Sunday, May. 5, 2019

Ryerson University
80 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2M7



Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome/overview

    Speaker: Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR

    RCC, The Catalyst

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Global collaborations

    Speakers: Will Fitzgibbon of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Lynn McAuley of Toronto Star; Valerie Ouellet of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); Robert Cribb of Toronto Star

    From sweeping international investigations into offshore money laundering and tax evasion to the global industry of medical devices flowing across borders, journalists are adopting collaboration over competition to tell deeper, broader stories.

    RCC, The Catalyst

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Introduction to data journalism

    Speaker: Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR

    An introduction to using data in stories, including the key analysis tools used to produce investigative stories (spreadsheets, databases, mapping, programming and statistical software), with examples of stories that were made possible with these tools.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 183

    9:15 am - 10:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Google Sheets 1: Using formulas, sorting and filtering

    Speaker: Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR

    Attend this hands-on session and learn how to use spreadsheets for deadline and beat reporting on budgets, salaries, elections and more. In this session, we'll cover how to navigate spreadsheets, use formulas, sort and filter. We will use Google Sheets, and attendees should have a Google account. You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this hands-on training.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 183

    10:15 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Mind the Gap: The possibilities and pitfalls of print/broadcast collaborative investigations

    Speakers: Jesse McLean of Toronto Star; Lisa Taylor of Ryerson University; Peter Klein of Global Reporting Centre; Harvey Cashore of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

    The collaborative model is generating award-winning work and inspiring new ambitions at a time of unprecedented economic restraint. Most often, those collaborations are based on print/broadcast partnerships designed to utilize the storytelling strengths of each and the combined reach and impact of both. But merging the approaches, timelines, cultures and egos of both is not without challenge. We explore the powerful benefits and the sometimes thorny hurdles.

    RCC, The Catalyst

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Secure source communications

    Speakers: Masashi Nishihata of University of Toronto; Will Fitzgibbon of International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

    Protecting your work, sources and whistle blowers against prying eyes is no mean feat in a digital world. This session will present an overview of information security threats experienced by journalists, share new research on how journalists perceive and practice digital security, and discuss how reporters and newsrooms can increase security awareness and skills.

    RCC, The Catalyst

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

  • Hands-on

    Google Sheets 2: Pivot tables & advanced spreadsheet techniques

    Speaker: Sarah Hutchins of IRE and NICAR

    We'll build on the foundations from the first hands-on session and learn how to use pivot tables, a powerful tool for aggregating and analyzing data quickly. We'll also learn some advanced functions for cleaning and reformatting data. We will use Google Sheets, and attendees should have a Google account. You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this hands-on training.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 183

    2:00 pm - 5:15 pm

  • Panel

    Mastering the investigative interview

    Speaker: Julian Sher of Investigative Journalist

    We've all done it - blown a key interview or missed a vital question.

    We do interviews every day, often without thinking. Maybe that’s the problem –we make basic mistakes in interviews because we are not thinking strategically and tactically. Journalists too often think all we need is a lot of research and a few pointed queries. But the politicians, businesspeople and PR flacks are experts at jumping on the smallest opening we give them, the tiniest mistake in formulating a question.

    It’s not just about getting the facts out: it’s about how to dramatically rethink the way you approach interviews, how to master the basic rules of tough interviews, and then learn how to break them when needed.

    This session aims to radically change the way you prepare and approach your interviews, with plenty of examples of interviews from media around the world that worked well and some that failed miserably.

    RCC, The Catalyst

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    Writing the investigative narrative

    Speaker: Susanne Craig of The New York Times

    You’ve gathered data, docs and human sources. Now it’s time to turn your reporting into a story -- or a series -- that packs a punch. This session will cover framing and focusing your story, how to make it through all that material and keep your story moving.

    RCC, The Catalyst

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    We Charity vs Canadaland

    Speakers: Justin Safayeni of Stockwoods LLP; Jaren Kerr of CANADALAND; Robert Cribb of Toronto Star

    A bombshell investigation into one of the world's most successful child charities last fall alleged several corporate partnerships undermined the charity's foundational mission of ending child labour. The response from the charity was unprecedented: We issued a libel notice alleging the report featured “manufactured evidence” and “malice.” It hired a retired judge to review Canadaland's investigation and issue a public report dismissing the allegations. This session examines the case and the larger lessons it holds for high-stakes, legally-sensitive investigations.

    RCC, The Catalyst

    4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Data visualization with Tableau

    Speaker: Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR

    Learn how to make interactive data visualizations such as charts and maps, no programming necessary, using Tableau. Attendees must download and install the free software Tableau Public before the session. You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this hands-on training.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 183

    9:00 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Investigative podcasts

    Speakers: Susanne Reber of Scripps Washington Bureau; Arif Noorani of CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); Connie Walker of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

    Investigative and true crime podcasts are currently some of the most popular series among podcast listeners. Serialization is well suited to the many twists and turns of an investigation. What does it take to get into this hot medium? How can you use effective audio and storytelling techniques to draw listeners to investigative stories? How do you balance engaging your audience without turning into true crime entertainment? Join this panel of investigative reporters and producers who have turned their in-depth stories into award-winning podcasts both in Canada and the US.

    RCC, Venn Reporter's Lab

    9:00 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    The face of First Nations reporting

    Speakers: Tanya Talaga of Toronto Star; Connie Walker of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); Susanne Reber of Scripps Washington Bureau; Martha Troian of independent journalist

    This session brings together three of the most respected First Nations reporters in Canada who have brought to light some of the most important stories and issues in Indigenous communities in multiple mediums. Join us for a wide-ranging conversation that will explore building trust and respectful relationships with Indigenous communities while effectively working with sources that have often suffered multiple traumas, both historical and current.

    RCC, Venn Reporter's Lab

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Bridging the newsroom and the classroom: Tackling big projects with student journalists

    Speakers: Patti Sonntag of Institute for Investigative Journalism at Concordia University; Ebyan Abdigir of CBC; Brett Mitchell of CTV W5; Peter Klein of Global Reporting Centre

    One of the most promising emerging models for investigative reporting is collaborations between journalism schools and mainstream media outlets. In Canada and the U.S. we've seen class projects move to award-winning investigations on front pages and television screens with added depth, context and scope while at the same time helping to develop the next generation of investigative journalists. But how does it work? And how can editors ensure student work meets the newsroom's quality control and legal standards? We explore.

    RCC, Venn Reporter's Lab

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Super ninja web searching

    Speaker: Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR

    Learn how to find reliable information on deadline and for enterprise stories using more effective search techniques, the latest search engines, data sites and other practical tools you can use immediately. We’ll also share a checklist your newsroom can customize to background all your sources, verifying their information and uncovering their online presence.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 183

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm