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How IRE empowered investigative journalism in 2023

Thank you for helping us advance our mission and support investigative journalism in 2023. Help us finish the year strong by contributing to our end-of-year giving campaign. 

With our end-of-year giving campaign underway, join us in reviewing IRE’s many accomplishments to advance investigative journalism in 2023. 

We put on three successful conferences, expanded training opportunities, advanced diversity initiatives and so much more. This year’s achievements — with support from members and donors — are a testament to IRE’s unwavering commitment to promoting excellence in investigative reporting, editing and data journalism. 

“It's such a joy to reflect on the past year at IRE,” said Lauren Grandestaff, IRE’s Director of Content. “I'm so proud of all that we've accomplished as a small staff of 15. The dedication everyone has to providing thoughtful, inclusive and meaningful training, resources and support to journalists around the world gives me hope for 2024. We know there is still plenty of work to be done, and we're excited to continue bringing IRE to your cities, newsrooms, colleges and universities, and screens.“

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Conferences and camaraderie in 2023

IRE hosted NICAR23 (or “data prom,” as our training director Adam Rhodes calls it), in Nashville, Tennessee.

At IRE23, journalists from around the world came together for an engaging, four-day conference in Orlando, Florida. The annual IRE Awards ceremony allowed us to celebrate the best investigative journalism of 2022, in which our members shined the light of truth on hospitals, school districts, government institutions and more.   

We also hosted the first AccessFest — our fully virtual fall conference previously known as the DBEI Symposium.

And thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and benefactors, we were able to help more than 150 journalists, students and educators attend our events at no cost this year.

We’re looking forward to NICAR24, March 7-10 in Baltimore, Maryland, and IRE24, June 20-23 in Anaheim, California! Stay tuned for AccessFest24 dates and registration details.

IRE news and updates

2023 was also a big year for IRE as an organization. We were thrilled to make changes and announce new initiatives to continue advancing our mission.

At the IRE annual conference, we renamed our prestigious Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship in honor of the late Chauncey Bailey, a dedicated, community-driven journalist at The Oakland Post. Bailey was killed in 2007 in retaliation for his reporting.

On the data journalism side, we announced a major update to our signature Data Journalism Bootcamps. Beginning in 2024, we are offering a bootcamp focusing exclusively on Google Sheets and another focusing on the Python programming language. 

As we plan for elections across the country in  2024, we kicked off a training series dedicated to election coverage. In November, we hosted “2024 Elections - where to begin?” Coming up in December is “Campaign Finance 101,” taught by Anna Massoglia of OpenSecrets and free for IRE members. Keep an eye out for more election-focused training opportunities and special monthly webinars free to IRE members throughout 2024!  

Have an idea for us? Please reach out — we'd love to hear from you!

Collaborations, partnerships and new initiatives

The field of investigative journalism is stronger when we work together. In 2023, we were proud to continue fostering partnerships with like-minded organizations and journalism associations. 

IRE staff attended 12 conferences this year, including the AAJA, NAHJ and NABJ conferences, the National Native Media Conference in Winnipeg, Canada, and the Global Investigative Journalism Network conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

We also worked with organizations such as the Education Writers Association, Trans Journalists Association and Trusting News (and many more!) to develop sessions and programming for our events.

For example, at IRE23, we worked with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to develop sessions on public records and media law. At AccessFest23, we hosted a compelling session with the National Center on Disability and Journalism on how newsrooms can better support journalists with disabilities.

The Indigenous Journalist Association and ICT News were some of the partners who contributed their expertise to the latest IRE Journal, a special edition in Indigenous news which we made available free to the public.

We believe this exchange of ideas and perspectives is crucial — both for our growth as an organization and for our members to excel in and out of their newsrooms.

Looking ahead to 2024

As we look ahead to 2024, we are hopeful for the state of investigative journalism and inspired by our members’ dedication to helping us all live in a better, more informed world. As our executive director Diana Fuentes wrote in her introduction of the latest IRE Journal:

“At its best, journalism holds power accountable. It sheds light into dark places where injustice is trying to drag us down. Don’t give up!”

IRE was founded to bring journalists together to share skills and find community. This field comes with daunting challenges, but its impact is invaluable. We pledge to do our part by remaining steadfast in our commitment to improving the quality of journalism and upholding democracy.

All of this is possible with your help. Your support of IRE — whether it's through donations, your membership, event registration or volunteering your time and ideas — helps journalists across the world develop the skills and relationships they need to produce better investigative journalism.

Here's how you can help

Thank you for helping us provide training, resources and a community of support to investigative journalists in 2023!

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