Investigating Off-Campus Housing: From Slumlords to Safety Violations  

Across the country, the vast majority of college students live in off-campus houses and apartments. In this webinar you’ll learn how to investigate landlords and safety hazards that put students at risk.

Presenters: Jill Riepenhoff, The Columbus Dispatch; Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe; Hagit Limor, Fox19 Cincinnati; Frank LoMonte, The Student Press Law Center (moderator)

Media & Money: What we can learn from campaign advertising

Get a sneak preview of an unprecedentedly detailed data set that the Internet Archive, the Sunlight Foundation and Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy compiled on political ads in Philadelphia this fall. Learn how University of Delaware researchers will be using the data to watchdog local TV stations, and learn how you can replicate the project in your own communities for next year.

The Buying of the Election 2014

The 2014 election will be the most expensive congressional midterm in U.S. history – by a lot. Center for Public Integrity senior political reporter Dave Levinthal and data reporter Ben Wieder show you how to tell compelling, enterprising stories by navigating the labyrinth of big-money politics in both federal and state campaigns. Dave and Ben will particularly focus on how to cover powerful super PACs and political nonprofits, track attack ads and make money stories more relevant to a general news audience.

A quick tour of Census Reporter

Census Reporter is a Knight News Challenge-funded project to make it easy for journalists to write stories using US Census data. Expanding upon the volunteer-built, Census Reporter simplifies finding and using data from the American Community Survey. Learn how to navigate the site with this short video, courtesy of the Census Reporter team.

Data Journalism for Broadcasters

KTVB-Boise investigative reporter Jamie Grey explains how to get started on data projects, offering story ideas and tips for visualizing data on air. She walks through several examples including: Finding stories in airport and flight data; analyzing interstate crash data using basic Excel techniques; charting population change using driver’s license data; using county jail data to determine the cost of recidivism; and turning quick-hit stories using post-election and bridge data. Grey’s presentation is designed for broadcast journalists, but would be good for anyone looking to get started in data journalism.

I See Dead People: Online genealogical records for journalists

Paul Parker of the Providence Journal walks through how to use online genealogy records and ancestry databases to profile subjects and verify stories. Learn how to use popular genealogy websites like as well as lesser-known sites such as Parker explains how he used online records for his front-page story “A letter from England.”




Watchdogging Lions, Tigers, Bears, et al: Inside college sports

Jill Riepenhoff of The Columbus Dispatch shares tips on investigating college sports, from how to examine the rule book and find story ideas to using the NCAA’s infraction database and digging into athletes’ mysterious departures from their teams. Riepenhoff has worked at The Columbus Dispatch since 1985 and as a projects reporter since 2004. She has investigated issues ranging from naughty teachers to naughty college athletes and coaches to naughty mortgage brokers. She’s spent the past year peeling back the onion on the shadowy operations of the national credit-reporting agencies, which largely ignore complaints from consumers about errors on their credit reports. As a result, she’s quite certain that her credit score now is somewhere south of 500. Follow her on Twitter: @JRiep


Search strategies, sites and databases for investigative reporting

Barbara Gray, Distinguished Lecturer & Interim Chief Librarian at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and a former Director of News Research at The New York Times, explains advanced techniques to get the most out of your search, including getting around the “filter bubble” to find the results you really need. A reproduction of a popular presentation at the 2013 IRE Conference in San Antonio.


Spycraft for Journalists

Keep your sources and your secrets safe from prying eyes. In IRE’s latest webinar, Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism at Arizona State University, explains spycraft for journalists. This webinar covers the use of cryptography, spoofing caller ID, anonymous email, throwaway phones, steganography and other covert techniques for communicating with sources without leaving a trail. Doig gave this presentation to an overflow crowd at the 2013 IRE Conference in San Antonio.


Can investigative journalism save your newsroom?

What’s hot and what’s not – the results of a national survey research project conducted by AR&D and IRE. What types of investigative stories are the most compelling? Is the crowd ready to help you investigate? Can investigative content bring back viewers, readers, listeners? This is the latest national research study purely dedicated to investigative journalism.


An introduction to DocumentCloud

DocumentCloud is a catalog of primary source documents and a tool for annotating, organizing and publishing them on the web. Documents are contributed by journalists, researchers and archivists. We’re helping reporters get more out of documents and helping newsrooms make their online presence more engaging.


Election Coverage: Follow the Money

There are several ways that political funds can play a role in key states, especially during an election year.  You’ll see how to trace money that comes from outside sources to state-based political groups, and how to follow the path of expenditures from the ground game to the air wars.


Investigating campus assault

This session can help you learn how to make sense of federally mandated campus crime data (Clery Act data), how to identify and investigate cases, and how to better prepare yourself for overcoming potential reporting barriers. Kristen Lombardi and David Donald of The Center for Public Integrity also discuss the federal laws at work in these proceedings, what they require of schools, and ways you can use public records requests to your advantage.


Welcome to IRE’s series of training webinars, produced by IRE trainers and veteran journalists on investigative techniques, reporting tools and tips for digging into specific topics. Webinars are available for IRE members. Have an idea for a webinar? Send it to