2019 Philadelphia TV Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: NBC10/Telemundo62

IRE will offer several sessions to improve your ability to produce watchdog and enterprise stories for broadcast. Learn how to find and get key public records and data for stories that make a difference in your market. Master the art of the investigative interview. Get tips on quick-turn stories with an investigative edge. Learn to dig deeper online and via social media.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran journalists for our Watchdog Workshop Saturday, April 6. Expected speakers include Lucy Bustamante, NBC10/Telemundo62-Philadelphia; Doug Haddix, IRE & NICAR; Harry Hairston, NBC10 Philadelphia; Brendan Keefe, WXIA-Atlanta; Julian Sher, investigative journalist and trainer; and Katie Townsend, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. 

This program is made possible thanks to support from the Knight Foundation.


Attendees of the workshop can use the parking garages located near the training. Fees for the parking garages vary from garage to garage.

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


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. See "Registration information" below for a link and more information. 

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, Apr. 6, 2019

Comcast Technology Center
1800 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Saturday, Apr. 6 at 5:15pm.

Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome/success stories

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Get inspired with this short video montage of winning watchdog stories produced by local TV stations. See what’s possible when you sharpen your watchdog teeth.

    14th Floor

    9:00 am - 9:30 am

  • Panel

    Prying loose public records

    Speaker: Katie Townsend of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

    One major key to digging deeper than your competition? Know your open records laws cold -- and use them. We'll discuss how to find what your state and local governments keep, writing detailed requests to get the data and documents you want, and following up to pry them loose.

    14th Floor

    9:30 am - 10:45 am

  • Panel

    Art of 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.

    14th Floor

    11:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • Panel


    Lunch is provided on-site.

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Panel

    Turning data and documents into TV & online gold

    Speaker: Brendan Keefe of WXIA-Atlanta

    Discover ways to use data and documents effectively in storytelling -- on the air and online. Digital tools such as data visualizations can boost viewership and audience engagement online. Plus, as people explore your data and key findings, they may find new leads for you to explore.

    14th Floor

    1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

  • Panel

    30 stories in 60 minutes

    Speakers: Harry Hairston of NBC10 Philadelphia; Lucy Bustamante of NBC10 Philadelphia

    Looking for story ideas? We’ve got 30 stories from broadcast investigative reporters that can be done in any market. You’ll walk away with a tipsheet full of ideas that can keep you busy for months.

    14th Floor

    2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

  • Panel

    Web and social media for watchdogs

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Tips on more effective web searches, how to find reliable information on deadline and for enterprise stories. The latest search engines, data sites, social media tools, and other practical information you can use immediately to background sources and businesses.

    14th Floor

    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    How IRE can help

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Now that you’re an IRE member, learn how best to tap into tip sheets, data services, fellowships and other resources to ramp up your daily coverage.

    14th Floor

    5:00 pm - 5:15 pm