2019 New York Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: Columbia University

IRE will offer several of its core sessions for watchdog reporting, along with sessions aimed at navigating business documents and data -- whether or not you're a business journalist. In addition, the workshop on Saturday, May 4, will feature a special session by an attorney for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a panel on multimedia storytelling with national leaders in innovation. The optional hands-on software training on Friday, May 3, features two sessions: an introduction to spreadsheets and a more advanced class on using SQL to explore data. The workshop is 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 also are encouraged to attend.

Expected speakers include Russ Buettner, The New York Times; Andrea Fuller, The Wall Street Journal; Doug Haddix, IRE/NICAR; Holly Ivel, Candid; Andrew Lehren, NBC News; Adam Marshall, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; Hanna Sender, The Wall Street Journal; Lisa Schwartz, The Wall Street Journal; Cheryl W. Thompson, NPR; Lylla Younes, ProPublica and more.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop on Saturday, May 4. 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 Hands-on Spreadsheet Trainings

Friday, May 3, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Crunching data with Google Sheets. Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Google Sheets, a 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. You'll need to bring a laptop and have a free Google account for this class.

Exploring data with SQL. Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to analyze and investigate your data with SQL. First we’ll show you how to slice and order your data to find a story. Then, you’ll learn how to count records in a database and sum totals across rows. Finally, we’ll teach you how to join tables together -- even if they weren’t meant to be put together -- for an ultimate tool in your new SQL toolbox. You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this hands-on training. You will need to download DB Browser for SQLite (http://sqlitebrowser.org/) and install it on your computer.

Workshop Locations 

**Please note that Friday and Saturday have different locations.

Friday's optional hands-on sessions will take place at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism located at 219 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018. The workshops will take place on the fourth floor. 

Saturday's workshop will take place at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Pulitzer Hall, 2950 Broadway, New York, New York. This workshop will take place in the Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall on the 3rd Floor.

Parking

Public transportation is recommended for this workshop. There is no parking at the University but several public garages around Columbia University. There are fees for each 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

$30 Optional Spreadsheet Training (hands-on)

Registration

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 Susie Likovic, susie@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

Friday, May. 3, 2019 - Saturday, May. 4, 2019

Columbia University
Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Pulitzer Hall
2950 Broadway
New York, New York 10027


Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Sunday, May. 5 at 3:00pm.


Schedule details

  • Hands-on

    Optional: Crunching Data with Google Sheets (New York)

    Speaker: Cody Winchester of IRE and NICAR

    Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Google Sheets, a 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. You'll need to bring a laptop and have a free Google account for this class.

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

    Room 436

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional: Exploring data with SQL (New York)

    Speaker: Andrew Lehren of NBC News

    Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to analyze and investigate your data with SQL. First we’ll show you how to slice and order your data to find a story. Then, you’ll learn how to count records in a database and sum totals across rows. Finally, we’ll teach you how to join tables together -- even if they weren’t meant to be put together -- for an ultimate tool in your new SQL toolbox. * You will need to bring your own laptop to participate in this hands-on training. You will need to download DB Browser for SQLite (http://sqlitebrowser.org/) and install it on your computer.

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

    Room 438

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm

  • Panel

    Welcome and overview

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Quick overview of the day and goals for the workshop.

    Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Prying loose public records

    Speaker: Adam Marshall of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

    Hear practical advice and strategies for crafting public records requests, tracking them and holding officials’ feet to the fire. Includes strategies for dealing with excuses and obstacles from public officials who stand in your way of getting key documents and data. Discover new free tools and resources for journalists from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

    Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    Uncovering hidden stories at nonprofit organizations

    Speakers: Andrea Fuller of The Wall Street Journal; Holly Ivel of Candid

    Nonprofit organizations can be an untapped source for watchdog stories and investigations. Learn how to find and navigate IRS 990 forms and other documents to track spending, contracts, executive compensation and potential conflicts of interest at nonprofit organizations. Find out how to dig digger on organizations such as nonprofit hospitals, charity groups, arts organizations, youth sports leagues and more.

    Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

    10:15 am - 11:15 am

  • Panel

    Fertile data for local investigations

    Speakers: Lylla Younes of ProPublica; Andrew Lehren of NBC News

    Whether you're a data novice or savvy numbers cruncher, you'll learn about key data sets that can help you deliver watchdog stories with high impact.

    Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

    11:30 am - 12:30 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

  • Panel

    Mining for gold with business documents

    Speakers: Lisa Schwartz of The Wall Street Journal; Russ Buettner of The New York Times

    You don't need to be a business reporter to navigate SEC filings, UCC filings and other financial documents. Learn how every journalist can tap business documents to verify business connections, hidden assets, executive compensation and links to contractors.

    Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

    2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    The art of the investigative interview

    Speakers: Cheryl W. Thompson of NPR; Chris Glorioso of WNBC New York City

    Watchdog stories pose special challenges, including how best to prep for interviews, approach sources, handle tough situations, navigate ethical trouble-spots and more. Learn how to master the interview to hold your sources accountable. Seasoned watchdog journalists also will provide tips on preventing your sources from hijacking and controlling the interview.

    Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    Multimedia storytelling: Putting it all together for impact

    Speaker: Hanna Sender of The Wall Street Journal

    Transform your website into a must-see site for your community. Multimedia storytelling tips will cover text, visuals and interactives. These days, no one really is a "print" reporter or "broadcaster." The tools of the trade -- words, images, video, audio, searchable data, interactive graphics and maps -- are available regardless of primary platform. See success stories and ways to work across multiple platforms to produce stronger enterprise stories.

    Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

    4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

  • Panel

    What IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Doug Haddix of IRE and NICAR

    Learn about key resources and benefits of IRE membership.

    Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

    5:15 pm - 5:30 pm