2019 Hawaii Watchdog Workshop

Co-hosted by: The University of Hawaii School of Communications; Society of Professional Journalists--Hawaii Chapter; Asian American Journalists Association--Hawaii Chapter; and Media Council Hawaii.

IRE is bringing its highly rated Watchdog Workshop to Honolulu.

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 for TV journalists and producers. 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.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop Saturday, February 9.

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 Spreadsheet Training

Sunday, February 10, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Excel, a powerful electronic spreadsheet for deadline and beat reporting on budgets, salaries, election data and more. Also, learn how to dig deeper using the Internet and find valuable datasets for your stories. Class size is limited; register early to reserve a seat on a first-come, first-served basis.

Workshop Location

Saturday’s workshop will take place at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Crawford Hall, Room 115. Sunday’s optional session will take place in Crawford Hall, Room 212. A campus map can be found here.


Parking is available on campus at a cost of $6 and must be paid in cash.  Additional parking is available in the neighborhood surrounding the campus.

Workshop Fees

$55 Professional

$25 Student

$30 Optional Spreadsheet Training


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, Feb. 9, 2019 - Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019

University of Hawaii at Manoa
2550 Campus Rd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 5:15pm.

Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome & overview

    Speakers: Cody Winchester of IRE and NICAR; Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    Crawford Hall - Room 115

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Prying loose public records

    Speakers: R. Brian Black of Civil Beat Law Center for Public Interest; Sophie Cocke of Honolulu Star-Advertiser

    Get practical advice for writing rock-solid FOIA and Hawaii UIPA requests to obtain key documents and data on your beat. You'll get an overview of the law and learn strategies for filing and tracking requests and dealing with common roadblocks.

    Crawford Hall - Room 115

    9:15 am - 10:30 am

  • Panel

    Digging into documents and data

    Speaker: John Hill of Honolulu Civil Beat

    Advice on developing a watchdog state of mind by following paper and data trails -- learn how these investigative methods and tools can transform your journalism right now.

    Crawford Hall - Room 115

    10:45 am - 12:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Panel

    Everyday watchdog

    Speaker: Cody Winchester of IRE and NICAR

    Proven organizational strategies for building watchdog work into your daily routine to produce meatier stories, even in breaking news situations.

    Crawford Hall - Room 115

    1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Panel

    Nailing the investigative interview

    Speaker: Bigad Shaban of NBC Bay Area

    Learn proven strategies for managing the investigative interview, with tips on preparation, approaching difficult subjects and keeping the conversation on track.

    Crawford Hall - Room 115

    2:45 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    Web tools for watchdogs

    Speaker: Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    Whether you're working on a breaking story or a deep dive, you need to be smart in finding sources, backgrounding people, verifying what’s real and staying ahead of the competition. Learn key sites, apps and social media strategies to quickly build a digital dossier on someone.

    Crawford Hall - Room 115

    4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

  • Panel

    Wrapping up: What IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    Crawford Hall - Room 115

    5:15 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional hands-on spreadsheet training (Hawaii)

    Speakers: Cody Winchester of IRE and NICAR; Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Excel, 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.

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

    Crawford Hall - Room 212

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm