POSTPONED: 2020 Salt Lake City, Utah Watchdog Workshop

**Given the ongoing concerns about the spread of coronavirus, IRE has decided to postpone the watchdog workshop scheduled for March 20 in Salt Lake City, UT.

Workshop registration fees will be refunded in the next few days. IRE memberships associated with workshop registrations have been activated. Workshops include a free one-year IRE membership for those new to our organization and a one-year extension for current members. Please be sure to take advantage of exclusive member benefits

Hosted by: Brigham Young University School of Communications

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. Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop Friday, March 20.

Expected speakers include Andrew Becker, KUER Public Radio; Howard Berkes, NPR; Nate Carlisle, The Salt Lake Tribune; Patti DiVincenzo, IRE & NICAR; Judy Fahys, InsideClimate News; Gillian Friedman, Deseret News; David Reymann, Parr Brown Gee & Loveless; and more.

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

Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Excel, 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.

Workshop Location

Friday's workshop will take place in BYU Salt Lake Center Auditorium, Room 101. Saturday's optional session will take place in BYU Salt Lake Center, Room 318.

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 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. 

All cancellations must be sent via email to [email protected] There is a $25 processing fee for professionals ($10 for students) for cancellations until the Wednesday prior to the event. Refunds will not be given for cancellations after this day. Cancellations void the membership included with the workshop registration.

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, Mar. 20, 2020 - Saturday, Mar. 21, 2020

BYU Salt Lake Center Auditorium
3 Triad Center, Suite 300
345 W. North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84180

Schedule details

  • Panel


    Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR

    Rundown of what you'll learn today and key logistics about the meeting space.

    Room 101

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    How to be a watchdog for your community

    Speaker: Howard Berkes of NPR

    Solid watchdog journalism isn't just for the I-team. Learn how you can lend voice to the voiceless and tell the stories that those in power want to keep hidden.

    Room 101

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    Navigating FOI and open records laws

    Speakers: Nate Carlisle of The Salt Lake Tribune; David Reymann of Parr Brown Gee & Loveless; Judy Fahys of InsideClimate News

    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.

    Room 101

    10:30 am - 12:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Panel

    Bulletproofing the story

    Speakers: Andrew Becker of KUER Public Radio; Gillian Friedman of Deseret News

    Strategies, tips and techniques for reporters, editors, producers and online staff to ensure accuracy.

    Room 101

    1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

  • Panel

    The investigative interview

    Pick up tips on how to prepare for an investigative interview, how to approach sources, how to deal with ethical trouble spots and more.

    Room 101

    2:45 pm - 4:00 pm

  • Panel

    Social media sleuthing

    Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo 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.

    Room 101

    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Panel

    Wrap-up & what IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR

    Now that you’re an IRE member, learn how best to tap into tipsheets, data services, fellowships and other resources to ramp up your daily coverage.

    Room 101

    5:00 pm - 5:15 pm

  • Hands-on

    Optional hands-on spreadsheet training (Salt Lake City)

    Speaker: Patti DiVincenzo of IRE and NICAR

    Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Excel, a fairly 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.

    Room 318

    9:00 am - 12:30 pm