2019 Detroit TV Watchdog Workshop

Co-sponsored by: WDIV and Graham Media Group

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.

Expected speakers include Heather Catallo, WXYZ-Detroit; Patti DiVincenzo, IRE/NICAR; Jennifer Dukarski, Butzel Long;  M.L. Elrick, Fox 2 Detroit; Ashley Graham, WLNS-TV; Julian Sher, investigative journalist and Hank Winchester, WDIV Local 4.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran journalists for our Watchdog Workshop Saturday, October 19.

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

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


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, [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, Oct. 19, 2019

550 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 12:00pm.

Schedule details

  • Panel


    Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR

    Intro to the IRE Knight TV workshop and brief overview of resources available to support our new TV watchdog network.

    See printed schedule for room information

    9:00 am - 9:30 am

  • Panel

    Watchdog state of mind

    Speakers: M.L. Elrick of Fox 2 Detroit; Julian Sher of Investigative Journalist

    How to develop the mindset of an investigative journalist. Tips on finding key data and documents to go beyond the daily grind and take your reporting to the next level.

    See printed schedule for room information

    9:30 am - 10:30 am

  • Panel

    Digging into public records

    Speakers: Heather Catallo of WXYZ-Detroit; Jennifer Dukarski of Butzel Long

    You want it. They have it. How do you get it? In this session, a public records expert and a journalist discuss the best ways to get to "yes." They'll help you tackle common roadblocks, including excessive fee estimates, broken deadlines and other shenanigans. They'll also share strategies on how to keep track of multiple requests at the same time.

    See printed schedule for room information

    10:45 am - 12:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Panel

    Breaking news interactive exercise

    Speakers: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR; Ashley Graham of WLNS-TV

    You can't know when breaking news will happen, but you can have a game plan to deal with it. We'll go over the basics, and then you’ll dive into the deep end as we cover a hypothetical breaking news event.

    See printed schedule for room information

    1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

  • Panel

    Art of the investigative interview

    Speakers: Julian Sher of Investigative Journalist; Hank Winchester of WDIV Local 4

    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.

    See printed schedule for room information

    3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Panel

    Digital detective work

    Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR

    From Facebook to Twitter and deep web searches, we'll go over the latest techniques to background people and institutions.

    See printed schedule for room information

    4:15 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    What IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR

    Explore key resources and services from IRE to help you bolster your watchdog reporting after the workshop.

    See printed schedule for room information

    5:00 pm - 5:15 pm