2019 New Orleans Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: IRE in conjunction with the NLGJA National Convention

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. In addition, this workshop will give you tips on bulletproofing stories, interviewing, 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.

Expected speakers include Madi Alexander, Bloomberg Government; Jan Diehm, The Pudding; Cindy Galli, ABC News; Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times; Pete Madden, ABC News; Lauren McGaughy, The Dallas Morning News; Francisco Vara-Orta, IRE/NICAR; Katie Zavadski, ProPublica; Dan Zimmerman, Phelps Dunbar LLP; Lee Zurik, WVUE-New Orleans.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop Thursday, August 29, 2019.

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 Fees (includes a one-year IRE membership for attendees that meet the IRE membership terms and a one-year membership renewal for current IRE members).

$25 Professional

$25 Student


Register for the workshop here.

Cancellations must be sent via email to Susie Likovic, [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

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019

InterContinental New Orleans
444 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome and overview

    Speaker: Francisco Vara-Orta of IRE and NICAR

    Welcome from NLGJA and IRE to the watchdog workshop -- what to expect, how to get the most out of today's training and ways to stay connected.

    Poydras, Third Floor

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Developing an investigative mindset

    Speakers: Katie Zavadski of ProPublica; Pete Madden of ABC News

    Solid watchdog journalism isn't just for the I-team. Learn how investigative methods and tools can transform your reporting, whether they're quick turns or long-term enterprise pieces.

    Poydras, Third Floor

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    Digging into public records

    Speakers: Dan Zimmerman of Phelps Dunbar LLP; Cindy Galli of ABC News; Lauren McGaughy of The Dallas Morning News

    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.

    Poydras, Third Floor

    10:30 am - 12:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Panel

    Best practices to get and use data

    Speakers: Madi Alexander of The Dallas Morning News; Jan Diehm of The Pudding

    Interested in using more data in your reporting? Learn how to get started, how to sharpen your requesting and analysis skills, and the pros and cons of digging into what data is out there on the LGBTQ community.

    Poydras, Third Floor

    1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

  • Panel

    Art of the in-depth and watchdog interview

    Speakers: Jaweed Kaleem of Los Angeles Times; Lee Zurik of WVUE-New Orleans

    Proven tactics for preparing for an important interview and getting the goods on camera and for print.

    Poydras, Third Floor

    2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

  • Panel

    Social media sleuthing

    Speaker: Francisco Vara-Orta of IRE and NICAR

    Learn advanced tricks and tips for mining Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites during breaking news and for enterprise stories. Learn how to do geographic searches to find sources, visuals and other material near a specific address or in a particular city. Discover ways to automate tasks to save time and run searches by location, hash tags and more.

    Poydras, Third Floor

    3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    Wrap up and what IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Francisco Vara-Orta of IRE and NICAR

    Learn about key resources and benefits of IRE membership.

    Poydras, Third Floor

    5:00 pm - 5:15 pm