2019 Tampa/St. Petersburg Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: The University of South Florida St. Petersburg's Department of Journalism & Digital Communication

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, 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 Corey Johnson, Tampa Bay Times; Rachael Jones, Brechner Center for Freedom of Information; Mark Katches, Tampa Bay Times; Marisa Kwiatkowski, USA TODAY Network; Katie LaGrone, The E.W. Scripps Company; Emily Le Coz, GateHouse Media;  Charles Minshew, IRE/NICAR and Saundra Weathers, Bay News 9.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop on Saturday, October 26, 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.

Optional Hands-on Spreadsheet Training

Sunday, October 27, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

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

**Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and charger to this training.

Workshop Location

Saturday's workshop will take place in Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130 at The University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus. Sunday’s optional session will also take place in Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130. A link to the campus map is here.

Parking

Parking is available for a fee on the street or in a parking garage. Please view the campus map here for nearby parking options.

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 hands-on spreadsheet training

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

Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 - Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg
140 7th Ave S
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701


Registration information

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

Hurry! Registration closes on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 12:00pm.


Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome/overview

    Speaker: Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    Quick overview of the day and goals for the workshop.

    Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Developing an investigative mindset

    Speakers: Katie LaGrone of The E.W. Scripps Company; Mark Katches of Tampa Bay Times

    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.

    Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    Navigating FOI and open records laws

    Speakers: Emily Le Coz of GateHouse Media; Rachael Jones of Brechner Center for Freedom of Information

    Learn how to use federal and state open records laws to draft records requests the right way. We'll discuss ways to challenge denials and keep a steady flow of information coming into the newsroom with FOI.

    Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130

    10:30 am - 12:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Panel

    The investigative interview

    Speakers: Saundra Weathers of Bay News 9; Marisa Kwiatkowski of USA TODAY Network

    Two veteran journalists will cover strategies to prep for interviews, approach sources, handle tough situations, navigate ethical trouble-spots and more.

    Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130

    1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Panel

    Developing sources on the beat

    Speakers: Corey Johnson of Tampa Bay Times; Marisa Kwiatkowski of USA TODAY Network

    Identifying sources and how to get them to talk. Interviewing strategies to get the best information from sources and cultivating relationships.

    Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130

    3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Panel

    Web for watchdogs

    Speaker: Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    Tips on more effective web searches, how to find reliable information on deadline and for enterprise stories. The latest search engines, data sites and other practical information you can use immediately. Using free applications for mapping, timelines, and other reporting tools and visuals.

    Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130

    4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

  • Panel

    Wrap-up and what IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

    Learn about the many benefits of IRE membership.

    Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130

    5:15 pm - 5:30 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional hands-on spreadsheet training (Tampa/St. Petersburg)

    Speaker: Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR

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

    **Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and charger to this training.

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

    Lowell E. Davis Memorial Hall, Room 130

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm