2019 Toronto Watchdog Workshop

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 Will Fitzgibbon, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Lynn McAuley, The Toronto Star; Valerie Ouellet, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News; Justin Safayeni, Stockwoods LLP; Julian Sher, Investigative Journalist; Patti Sonntag, Institute for Investigative Journalism, Concordia University and more.

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 Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103 & RCC 183. 

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 [email protected] 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


Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Saturday, May. 4 at 12:30pm.


Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome/overview

    Speaker: Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Hands-on

    Behind the story

    Speaker: Valerie Ouellet of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 183

    9:15 am - 10:15 pm

  • Panel

    Global collaborations

    Speakers: Will Fitzgibbon of The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists; Lynn McAuley 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.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • 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

    Secure source communications

    Protecting your work, sources and whistle blowers against prying eyes is no mean feat in a digital world. This session covers tools and techniques including encryption, PGP, secure drops, and other methods for defending your privacy.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    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: Denise Malan 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.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    Writing the investigative narrative

    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.

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    ME to WE vs Canadaland: Libel case study

    Speaker: Justin Safayeni of Stockwoods LLP

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    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

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    9:00 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

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

    Speaker: Patti Sonntag of Institute for Investigative Journalism at Concordia University

    Rogers Communication Centre, RCC 103

    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