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We want to help with your next big story. Join IRE.

Investigative journalist Eric Eyre led the way in exposing the opioid crisis in rural West Virginia. 

He’s won multiple awards: The field’s top honor, the Pulitzer Prize. An IRE Medal. A National Headliner Award. Most recently, in 2021, the IRE Book Award.

And he still finds value in being an IRE member.

“I still use the tipsheets,” Eyre said. “I tell people, before they launch into a project or a story, to look back (at the IRE Resource Center). … I know for the series on opioids that I did, I used that to see what had already been done, so I didn't duplicate what had been done (and) get an idea of things that worked, didn’t work.”

That trove of knowledge is at the heart of our organization. 

For nearly 50 years, IRE members have been sharing wisdom and exchanging tips of the trade. At conferences. In webinars. At hotel bars and coffee shops (we’re journalists, after all).

We believe this collaborative spirit is vital not only for our industry, but our communities, too. With misinformation on the rise, democracy under threat and cutbacks in the news business, the world needs strong watchdog journalism now more than ever. 

That’s why we’re committed to helping journalists stay successful in the field. This spring, IRE is offering a 10% membership discount to all new and lapsed members. Current members can also take advantage of the discount and renew their memberships at the lower rate. The promotion is available Monday, April 15 through Friday, May 3.

“Our world is always changing, and our jobs and this industry are evolving every day,” IRE Board Vice President Josh Hinkle said. “So what you'll see at the conferences, and what you'll see with upcoming webinars and workshops that we're offering, is that we're always refreshing the curriculum.”

Click here to join.

Click here to renew.

Whether you’re just entering the field or you’ve been around a while, IRE has membership benefits that extend beyond an annual conference.

Our monthly webinars teach reporting advice on specific topics — like recycling and reproductive rights — storytelling techniques, public documents, elections coverage and more. They are available to members across the world for free. 

The IRE Resource Center’s tipsheets, compiled and shared by hundreds of journalists over the years, offer guidance on investigative reporting techniques. If you have a question, there’s probably a tipsheet with an answer, IRE member Arya Sundaram says.

“There's a bazillion tipsheets,” Sundaram said. “It feels like you're given reporting notebooks … and the inner brains of these insanely talented journalists from decades past. That kind of knowledge is really incredible, and I am very grateful to be able to tap into it at a moment's notice when I need to.”

Sundaram, a journalist at WNYC and Gothamist, most recently credited IRE with helping her tell a story about changing migrant demographics in New York. A class at the 2024 NICAR Conference, “Regular Expressions,” taught her to clean and analyze “messy” entries in an academic database — on deadline.

“This stuff takes time, trying to dig through it,” Sundaram said. “Just being able to expedite that process was awesome.”

IRE Board President Brian Rosenthal shared a similar story of IRE helping him in a pinch.

“I’m doing a Sun shift and on a breaking story involving military,” he wrote on X in 2019. “I’ve never covered the military. So I went to IRE and found a tipsheet with contacts - including cell numbers. Just called one and got a response immediately. I love IRE.”

In addition to tipsheets, the IRE Resource Center has audio recordings of past conference sessions and video recordings of webinars. We also have a record of contest entries, so you can see how journalists put together their investigations.

IRE members get free access to tools such as Cometdocs and Tableau, as well as discounted access to SmartProcure/GovSpend and PacerMonitor. Our quarterly magazine, The IRE Journal, documents the latest trends in investigative journalism and goes out to members for free.

For the full list of IRE membership benefits, click here.

It’s all part of our mission to support and uplift investigative journalism — and you don’t need to have “investigative” in your title to join.

Decades before he was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Eyre was a daily reporter in rural Alabama. It was a fellow colleague, Mike Dorning, who lent him the “The Reporter’s Handbook,” by IRE, and got him “hooked” on investigative journalism.

Eyre still has the book. He says Dorning, who’s now at Bloomberg, never asked for it back.

“That's the kind of person Mike is,” Eyre said. “He’s very generous.” 

That story encompasses the spirit of IRE, journalists helping one another out and wanting each other to succeed. 

Learn more about IRE and the benefits of membership here.

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