2020 Nashville Watchdog Workshop

Hosted by: National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Region III

IRE is bringing its highly rated Watchdog Workshop to Nashville in conjunction with the NABJ Region III Conference.

This training will offer several of our core sessions that will 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.

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 Francisco Vara-Orta, IRE & NICAR and more.

Join IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters for our Watchdog Workshop Friday, April 3rd. Those who attend the workshop will receive a certificate of completion after the event.

Get the tools and the tricks of the trade that you need to be a better, faster, watchdog journalist.

This workshop will take place Friday, April 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This program is made possible thanks to support from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

Workshop Location

Friday sessions will take place at The Freedom Forum, John Siegenthaler First Amendment Center in Nashville, TN. If you have any questions, please contact logistics@ire.org.

Registration/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)

$25 Professional (if attending NABJ Region III conference)

$55 Professional (for IRE workshop only)

$25 students

Register here

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, Apr. 3, 2020

The Freedom Forum - John Siegenthaler First Amendment Center
1207 18th Avenue South
Nashville, Tennessee 37212



Schedule details

  • Panel

    Welcome/overview

    Speaker: Francisco Vara-Orta of IRE and NICAR

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    9:00 am - 9:15 am

  • Panel

    Watchdog your community

    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.

    See printed schedule for room information

    9:15 am - 10:15 am

  • Panel

    Digging into public records

    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 public records.

    See printed schedule for room information

    10:30 am - 12:00 pm

  • Outside Event

    See printed schedule for room information

    12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

  • Panel

    Art of the investigative interview

    Learn proven strategies for managing the investigative interview, with tips on preparation, approaching difficult subjects and keeping the conversation on track.

    See printed schedule for room information

    1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

  • Panel

    Backgrounding like a boss

    Speaker: Francisco Vara-Orta of IRE and NICAR

    How are you sure that great source with the perfect quote isn't too good to be true? Even great reporters can get tricked by fake names or sketchy backgrounds. We'll walk through some websites and strategies you can use to create a routine and spot potential red flags before you get burned.

    See printed schedule for room information

    2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

  • Panel

    Wrap-up & what IRE can do for you

    Speaker: Francisco Vara-Orta of IRE and NICAR

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

    See printed schedule for room information

    3:45 pm - 4:00 pm