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Hundreds Expected for IRE Conference in Baltimore

Hundreds of dedicated investigative reporters and editors will gather for the IRE Conference in Baltimore this week to hear from the industry's biggest names, to honor the nation's best investigative journalism and to brainstorm about ways to breathe new life into the profession.

Already, more than 700 reporters, editors, journalism educators and students have pre-registered for the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference that begins Thursday, and continues through Sunday, at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront.

On-site registration will be available at the conference hotel, located at 700 Aliceanna Street.

"With the challenges facing the news media today, the expected attendance is a testament to the incredible commitment of the nation's investigative journalists and to the unique training opportunities offered at the IRE Conference," said IRE president Cheryl Phillips of The Seattle Times.

Among the conference speakers are Bob Woodward of The Washington Post, Donald Barlett and James Steele of Vanity Fair, Jill Abramson and Dean Baquet of The New York Times, Brian Ross of ABC News, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, Armen Keteyian and Byron Pitts of CBS News, and David Simon, creator of "The Wire" and a longtime Baltimore journalist. Jon Klein, president of CNN-U.S., will deliver this year's keynote address.

This year's program offers essential tips, advice and strategies for investigating the biggest stories of the day. Panels will focus on the economic meltdown, new-media strategies, nonprofit journalism and all sorts of investigative techniques.

In addition, IRE will honor the best investigative reporting of 2008 during the awards luncheon on Saturday.

Investigations that exposed local government corruption from New Orleans to Detroit, human-rights abuses by the federal government and international organized crime are among the work honored by the IRE Awards. This year's top prize, the IRE Medal, was given to WWL-New Orleans for its dogged rolling investigation of a city-run housing nonprofit that falsely claimed to have fixed homes in desperate need of repair after Hurricane Katrina and the contractors who pocketed the money without doing the work.

On-site registrations will be accepted beginning Wednesday evening from 4-6 p.m. and will continue Thursday-Saturday during the conference. The hotel is located at 700 Aliceanna Street.

Join your friends and colleagues at the 11th annual IRE Blues Bash on Thursday, June 11th.  Pre-sale for the Blues Bash has closed but you can still purchase tickets on-site at the conference sales desk for $25.  The revelry begins at 7 p.m. with a social hour, cash bar and complimentary pizza (while supplies last). The Wolf Gang will take the stage at 9 p.m. The 8x10 is closed to the public until midnight for our private party.

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