Cart 0 $0.00
IRE favicon

Custom Training

Get more bang for your training bucks by bringing IRE and NICAR to your newsroom. You decide which skills your staff needs to sharpen, and we put together a training schedule to help you reach your goals, from building a watchdog culture and researching on deadline to using databases effectively.

The training is affordable, with a proven track record of producing results. Our experience includes dozens of workshops each year in news organizations of all sizes and media platforms.

Custom training can be held online, too!

Ready to book a training?

The next step is fill out our online request form. An IRE trainer will get in touch with you to discuss your newsroom's needs and explain our training fees in more detail. Not sure IRE training is right for you — or fits your budget? You're welcome to fill out the form to request more information, too. We'll see if we can come up with a program to meet your needs.
submit a request online

Training Services

Mix and match from a variety of options for reporters, editors and producers:

Hands-On Data Training

Introduction to data journalism
An overview of the key analysis tools used to produce investigative stories, with examples of stories that were made possible with these tools.
Spreadsheets and databases
Use data software for better watchdog stories and beat coverage. We offer beginning, intermediate and advanced training in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, SQLite and other data tools.
Introduction to mapping
Use free web tools and other software to produce interactive charts and graphics powered by maps — no programming required.
Introduction data visualization
Use free web tools and other software to produce interactive charts and graphics — no programming required.
Coding for data analysis
Advanced sessions in R and Python that show how you can use computer programming to quickly and transparently analyze data.
Advanced coding to speed up your work
Tackle the problems of data locked away on a website or in a PDF with web scraping, and work with APIs to process data, speed up your analysis and share your work with your newsroom and the world.
Diagnosing and cleaning dirty data
We'll cover different tools and techniques for working with "dirty" data. These include spreadsheet functions (Excel or Google Sheets), OpenRefine, tools for dealing with PDFs and simple web scraping using Google Sheets. You'll leave knowing how to diagnose data problems and have a toolbox to fix what comes your way.
Mapping analysis
An overview of data reporting with common mapping software like QGIS, which gives you the power to attach data to locations and tally things up within a given space.
Making the data story ironclad
Strategies, tips and techniques for journalists to ensure accuracy in watchdog stories that rely heavily on data and documents.

Background, Research and Verification

Digital sleuthing
There's more to the web than just Google. This 90-minute session will demo a variety of free websites that can help you quickly find information on people or entities, and help your newsroom develop a backgrounding checklist. Bonus: Making effective use of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites for reporting and digging.
Backgrounding like a boss
Even great reporters can get tricked by fake names or sketchy backgrounds. We’ll walk through some strategies you can use to create a routine and spot potential red flags before you get burned.
Verifying information online
As a journalist, you should be skeptical of everything, especially on social media - and this shorter hour-long session focuses on it. Get tools and techniques to help you separate fact from fiction and track down the best information.
Backgrounding businesses
Learn to dig deeper into businesses. We’ll show you where to look and what records and data are available.

Using Public Records

Prying loose public records
A broad introduction to using open records laws at the federal and state levels, customized for your coverage area. You’ll also receive a checklist of all you need to know before you make a request.
Public records workshop
Specific tips on how to word requests for documents and data in order to get what you want, in a reasonable amount of time. We'll also talk about how to overcome obstacles and push back against common denials. Bring your ideas for requests to workshop with the group.
Finding and negotiating for data
Hone your research and public records skills to find databases quickly, and learn techniques to negotiate to get what you want.
Getting around roadblocks to information
We’ll discuss how to deal with multiple roadblocks as they come up, and resources where you can find help.
Navigating federal court records
This session gives a quick primer on PACER, as well as showing a growing number of free alternatives to locate federal court records.

Investigative Reporting Basics

Everyday watchdog
We'll discuss how to build watchdog work into your daily routine and produce meatier stories. We'll also give some real-world tips on time management, organization and focusing on enterprise, and talk through different scenarios to look for ways to make everyday stories more investigative.
Digging into data and docs (online and offline)
Advice on developing a documents state of mind, exploring key records on a variety of beats and becoming familiar with key national data sets to produce high-impact local stories.
Quick-hit investigations
Strategies, story ideas, resources and tips for watchdog stories on a variety of beats. How to produce meaty enterprise stories that take days or weeks rather than months.
Perfecting your pitch
No, we’re not talking about baseball, we're talking about pitching stories. In this session, we’ll discuss how to find and pitch better stories, and we’ll share a worksheet that can make it easier to decide what stories to pitch.
Making the investigative story ironclad
Strategies, tips and techniques for journalists to ensure accuracy in watchdog stories that rely heavily on data and documents.
Managing and planning the investigation
A management-focused session. Editing a data-driven or investigative story comes with its own challenges. We'll talk about how to manage quick-turn and enterprise projects. Topics include vetting ideas, time management and keeping channels of communication open inside the newsroom. We'll also look at a litmus test for whether a story is worth further investigation.
Reporting and planning the investigation
A reporter-focused session. A reporter-focused session. We'll talk about how to find, develop and report quick-turn and enterprise projects. Topics include vetting ideas, time management and communicating with your editor and others in the newsroom. We'll also look at a litmus test for whether a story is worth further investigation.
Overcoming common roadblocks to watchdog reporting
Top 10 watchdog roadblocks and strategies to overcome them.
Art of the interview
Proven strategies for managing the investigative interview, with tips on preparation, approaching difficult subjects and keeping the conversation on track. **Can be platform-agnostic or tailored to broadcast journalists.**
Sourcing and building a beat
Strategies to find sources off the beaten path, develop source relationships and handle tough situations.
The multiplatform investigation
How to make your stories and investigations pop on air, online and on mobile.
Fast & free data viz
We’ll demo and discuss two programs -- Datawrapper and Tableau -- that can help you make fast data visualizations. We’ll also discuss what makes a good data viz. This session is appropriate for all journalists and no prior data viz knowledge is required.
Time-saving tools
Tips on time management, organization and daily watchdog stories.
Ethics for watchdogs
Every year, the Pew Research Center measures trust in the mainstream media. The results aren’t great. At the same time, more Americans are getting their news from television stations rather than newspapers. In this session, we’ll discuss how to make ethical decisions from the beginning of a story to its promotion and publication.

Diversity, Belonging, Equity and Inclusion (DBEI)

How to become a more inclusive newsroom
Newsrooms are under various pressures to be more inclusive in their coverage and staffing. This session is a 101 workshop for newsrooms looking to get better at this work and learn how inclusivity will inform better, bolder, sharper coverage. We discuss key terms in the DBEI space and through a lens that is catered to journalism and newsrooms.
Empower your audience
How can you educate and empower your audience to participate in your investigation? We’ll talk about different strategies for getting readers to engage with your work before, during and after publication.
Bolstering source diversity
A newsroom-wide training about how to build a sustainable culture of source diversity in a time where the DBEI tent only grows larger and more nuanced. People will leave with hard skills and templates on how to replicate efforts in their newsrooms and build better audience engagement and community trust.
Covering historically marginalized and underrepresented communities
You can get all the data and documents laws and agencies may provide you but to bring them to life and have impact in 2022, cultural competency is what will take your work to the next level. Come learn some key golden rules on how to report on communities you are not from, see examples of what to do and not do and also takeaway guides and tools so you don't get dragged on social media or your work hit with a thud to those who it impacts the most.
Fostering a newsroom culture toward better source diversity
Management track: In order for reporters to excel get more diversity in sourcing, they must have strong guidance and support from their management. We will discuss the basics of great sourcing, how to foster such a culture with hiring and retention, what are common roadblocks and solutions and examples of building source databases and source trackers to hold your newsroom accountable.
Best practices for covering the queer community
Tips on reporting on LGBTQ+ people with respect, rigor and accuracy. This presentation will give you a solid foundation to report on a complex community facing significant discrimination.
Building a more inclusive newsroom culture: working past our differences
Newsrooms and journalism classrooms are not immune from the same misunderstandings, tensions and disagreements that we see in a global, multicultural society. In this session, we'll discuss how to build a stronger team by addressing, working through, and healing from tensions, some of which can arise from what's deemed as microaggressions and in other cases, behaviors tied to power dynamics that can arise on this journey.

We'll connect this work to how it immediately affects our working environment, recruitment and retention, and ultimately the communities and audiences we serve.
Words matter: Style guides 101
Don't let a poor choice of words derail your quality journalism. Join us to discuss how we can move one another toward culturally competent journalism, delving into the universe of style guides in the journalism field. This presentation can be 30 minutes add-on to a longer training or an hour that has more workshop elements.

Topic-Specific Training

Investigating education
Learn how this sometimes undervalued beat can put you on track to uncover systemic problems in your backyard. We'll dig into some history on the beat's formation that have led to blind spots and discuss key areas investigative journalists and beat reporters should be digging into: K-12 school district governance, education budgets, and oversight of colleges and universities. What records should you be requesting? What roadblocks may arise?
Investigating immigration
Immigration finds itself as an area of coverage that experiences a push and pull effect when it comes to a heightened focus by newsrooms and greater society at large. In recent years, it's became a focus of international and U.S. domestic debate, intertwined with law, politics, identity, racism, xenophobia, and ethics - both in society and in journalism. It's a complex and emotional issue and we'll talk about how to better cover the topic and avoid tropes and disinformation in your reporting and framing.
Acclerating your transportation investigations
Be ready for anything. We’ll show you the best websites and resources to dig deeper on crashes, hazmat spills, train derailments and more, to beat the competition on breaking news.
Local investigations
Not sure where to start on digging into local investigations? This session is for you. We'll discuss some the best tips that award-winning, ethically conscious journalists have taken to go beyond the superficial coverage that often grips us in breaking news situations and with fewer resources.
Covering law enforcement
Considered one of the most important beats in journalism, learn some of the best techniques on covering law enforcement from sourcing, digging into docs to crime stats and framing. A strong focus on state and local law enforcement agency coverage.
Investigating businesses & nonprofits
Dig into nonprofits and charities, including red flags to keep an eye out for on tax documents.
Investigative podcasts
Learn how to develop, record, produce and publish a podcast. This workshop-style session walks through all of the core elements of an investigative podcast with plenty of examples of successful audio storytelling. You'll leave with a roadmap for developing your own show.
Breaking news investigations
What data and documents should you have on hand when disaster strikes? We'll talk about how a little planning can help elevate your breaking news coverage. We'll provide a comprehensive list of resources to have on hand and practice using these tools.
Covering local elections
Learn all about covering local elections with data, documents and research.
Investigating religion and faith-based organizations
Religion is often woven into the hearts of human behavior, and as journalists we cover human behavior, be it earnest or hypocritical. This presentation delves into how to cover religion and faith-based organizations. We'll discuss what public information exists, what ethical codes to aspire to, how to build sources and why this is one of the most complex and emotionally-charged areas of investigative journalism full of stories all around.
Kathy Best
The reporters at the Missoulian raved about — and used — the training they received from IRE. From backgrounding non-profits to organizing and querying large datasets to checking corporate ownership records, the techniques and sites your instructor shared were practical and invaluable. And your willingness to be an ongoing resource has been a force multiplier for your site visit.
- Kathy Best, director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and former editor of The Missoulian

Meet Your IRE Expert

Patti DiVincenzo
Laura Moscoso

Laura Moscoso is a Puerto Rican journalist and training director for IRE & NICAR. Laura is a professor focusing on data, visualization tools, and media literacy. She has a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Puerto Rico and a master's degree in Journalism from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos I in Madrid. She has worked in a variety of newsrooms, including Prensa Comunitaria, El Nuevo Día, El Mundo (Spain), the Center for Investigative Journalism, and Todas. In 2018 she contributed the non-fiction piece Monta mi guagua for the book Santurce y 8 crónicas de viaje, a publication of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico.

109 Lee Hills Hall, Missouri School of Journalism   |   221 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201   |   573-882-2042   |   |   Privacy Policy
crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
My cart
Your cart is empty.

Looks like you haven't made a choice yet.