2020 IRE Conference (Virtual)

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 IRE conference will be a virtual event rather than an in-person gathering. For the first time, attendees across the United States and around the world will be able to participate in the signature investigative reporting event via a secure, interactive digital platform.

The virtual #IRE20 global conference will be held Sept. 21-25. Most sessions will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Eastern time, to allow for participation across the United States and around the world. Most sessions will be recorded and available for attendees on demand for up to one year on the Pathable platform.

Subscribe to our email list for detailed updates: We'll let you know any time we make a major announcement, update you on the planning process and remind you of key dates/deadlines surrounding the conference. Sign up!

Please read our FAQ for more information on the virtual conference.

Additional details on the conference can be found here.

RECORDING NOTICE: All IRE events are subject to being photographed, video/audio-recorded, screen captured and/or live-streamed. Attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors may be captured via these formats. All conference sessions, materials and activities are subject to recording by IRE and may be reproduced in part or whole, and distributed or used in any way consistent with IRE's mission.

 

Time and place

Monday, Sep. 21, 2020 - Friday, Sep. 25, 2020



Virtual,


Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 12:00pm.


Schedule details

  • Master Class

    Master class: Strategies for avoiding defamation claims

    This workshop will focus on understanding the law of libel and defamation, as well as best practices to limit your personal and organizational risk. We will review the fundamentals of the law and engage in exercises to help illustrate what media attorneys look for when they conduct pre-publication review of your content. Reporters, photographers, documentary filmmakers, producers, editors and other managers are welcome.

    This class will cover:

    * The ins and outs of libel cases, including common law and constitutional defenses, privileges for opinion and using public records, and the effect of corrections, denials and using anonymous sources

    * Recent trends in libel lawsuits, including lawsuits brought by the president and other public officials

    * Risk analysis and red flags in the pre-publication phase

    * Special legal issues relating to digital media

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    1:15 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Identifying, verifying and reporting on disinformation

    In this four-hour workshop, First Draft will show you the tools needed to find and sort problematic content online. They will demonstrate and have you test drive basic verification tools, and discuss the ethics of sourcing from the darker corners of the web. The session will end with a group assignment so that you can test in real time how to add these tools, tactics and techniques into a report.

    First Draft is a nonprofit with the mission of helping journalists and others address challenges with disinformation, trust and truth in the digital age. In this class, First Draft trainers will lead you through several tools and strategies needed to navigate and verify online information, including:

    * The seven types of mis- and disinformation

    * Introduction to social verification & why getting it right matters

    * Setting up your desktop/workstation

    * Ethical considerations

    * The Dark Web and mis- & disinformation campaigns designed to fool journalists

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Becoming a public records sleuth

    This half-day workshop will cover the essentials for becoming a public records power sleuth – the key elements for mastering the art of access. David Cuillier, associate professor at the University of Arizona and co-author of The Art of Access, and Grace I. Cheng, Director of Practical Law Government Practice at Thomson Reuters, will lead you through the fundamentals, as well as the latest research and tools, including:

    * Cool records/data and how to find them, including online resources for identifying records and dozens of examples of data worth dipping into

    * Art of the ask: Learning the law, effective request techniques and online tools to assist, such as iFOIA

    * Overcoming denials: How to use psychological strategies, effective appeals, and how to go about suing, even on your own

    * Understanding how FOIA officers think and how to better work with them

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Covering inequality and racial issues on any beat

    Regardless of your beat, platform, region or your own perspective covering inequities and racial issues is an integral part of everyone's reporting. Instructors for this course will include Venise Wagner, a writer and journalism educator, who wrote "Reporting Inequality: Tools and Methods for Covering Race and Ethnicity" and Fernando Díaz, editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, a Chicago publication that investigates the city's issues of race and poverty. 

    A more detailed description of this class will be posted soon.

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: It’s just video… Until a storyteller creates an experience

    Tried and true drivers of the narrative: focus, surprise, suspense, and character are powerful tools. It’s time to put them to work in your stories. Together, let’s answer the questions, why do we laugh, why do we cry, why do we care - and how can we make it happen for our viewers more often?  Boyd Huppert will open wide the toolbox that’s helped him earn an unprecedented 19 National Edward R. Murrow Awards in both hard news and feature reporting. 

    Topics will include:

    * Creating interactive – not passive – viewing experiences

    * The first :30 -- hooking viewers with powerful opens

    * How to avoid emotion-draining clichés

    * Unlocking the hidden power in sentences

    * Ten literary devices that will breathe life into your writing 

    * Creating moment-driven stories viewers will remember long after the newscast ends 

    Bring a laptop or note pad.  This session will be loaded with practical tips to bring back to your newsroom and your next story.

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Management

    Experienced editors will share practical tips on how they’ve run their teams to produce high-impact investigations and blockbuster projects — even when newsroom resources are tight. Mark Rochester, editor-in-chief at Type Investigations, and Jim Schaefer, senior news director at Detroit Free Press, will discuss how they became I-team leaders and detail how they helped their reporters excel.

    Topics will include:

    * How to run a team to create the best work

    * Managing up: handling expectations from bosses (and avoiding drive-by editing)

    * Picking stories, producing packages, and bullet-proofing everything

    * The pros and cons of rolling investigations versus long-term projects

    * Maintaining relationships around the newsroom

    * Managing your time and organizing the work

    This class is ideal for reporters who are looking to break into leadership and existing editors who want tips on how to manage effectively.

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Digital Investigations

    This workshop will teach fundamental skills, tools, and techniques for conducting digital investigations. The workshop will mix demos with exercises for participants using tools that are free or reasonably priced. No computer programming or advanced technical skills are required. You'll learn digital investigative and OSINT techniques that can be used in just about any story.

    Craig Silverman and Jane Lytvynenko from BuzzFeed News will show you how to:

    *Find people and online identities 

    *Monitor and analyze social media content and accounts

    *Investigate websites

    *Connect it all together using network analysis

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Election reporting in the time of COVID-19

    This workshop will focus on how to cover voting during this year’s historic pandemic election. ProPublica voting rights reporter Jessica Huseman and Electionland partner manager Rachel Glickhouse will provide a primer on covering election administration, how to report on voting problems responsibly, and key COVID-related issues affecting the election this year. This workshop will cover:

    * How vote by mail works

    * Voting technology

    * Problems at the polling place

    * The vote-counting and certification process

    * Covering voting-related misinformation

    * Where to find voting data and reporting resources

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Mastering the interview (broadcast TV focus)

    Learn how to plan, prepare for and execute the most difficult interviews. 

    A more detailed description of this class will be posted soon.

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Mastering the interview (print focus)

    There’s a powerful person or organization in your area and they’re abusing their power. Rumors are swirling about people who’ve been hurt, or money that was stolen. The folks in the know are scared. The flack is spewing hot-smoking nonsense.

    You want this story. You want it bad. But you don’t have a clue how to get it.

    It may seem hopeless. It is not.

    During this half-day session, we’ll demystify the process and break down the concrete steps to take the Big Story. Topics will include:

    * How — and when — to land a tough interview

    * Interview preparation

    * Interviewing people who have been hurt, and interviewing the people who hurt them

    * The power of silence

    * How to interview someone who won’t talk to you (and yes, this can be done — sort of)

    * What to do after the interview

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: Launching an investigative podcast

    This class will give attendees a jumping-off point to launching an investigative podcast. 

    A more detailed description of this class will be posted soon.

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Master Class

    Master class: 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. If you’re new to investigative storytelling or want to up your writing game, this workshop is for you.

    Alexandra Zayas, senior editor at ProPublica, and Jessica Contrera, enterprise reporter at The Washington Post, will teach you how to:

    * Understanding narrative

    * Reporting for story — How to gather the details and scenes that will give your piece emotional power

    * Focus and framing – Finding your way through all that material

    * Self-editing tips and techniques

    Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. This class is from noon - 4 p.m. (ET)

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm