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Newsroom training options updated

As newsrooms continue work on their 2011 budgets, it’s the perfect time to consider bringing IRE training to your staff. See a full list of IRE presentations and software hands-on training. Custom IRE training for your newsroom or university remains one of the best bargains in the industry, with immediate results: new tools, skills, websites and approaches that bolster everyday beat coverage as well as enterprise stories.

You might not realize the extent of presentations and workshops that IRE can bring to your staff, in addition to hands-on training in using spreadsheets, databases, mapping software and SPSS. Some newsrooms opt entirely for presentations. Others want only hands-on software training. Many choose a combination of hands-on sessions plus presentations.

Here’s a sampling of presentations and hands-on software training now offered by IRE for customized newsroom training:

Hands-on training in spreadsheets and/or databases |  Use computer-assisted reporting for better watchdog stories and beat coverage. We offer beginning, intermediate and advanced training.

Census data for any beat | Local demographic information is available regularly from the U.S. Census Bureau. Learn how to find key census information online for quick-turn trend stories. Find out how to download census data into a spreadsheet for further analysis. Prepare for the 2010 Census, make use immediately of the annual American Community Survey, and learn about other census data products.

Tapping into Twitter and social media | Making effective use of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites for reporting and digging. How to connect with sources on social media, follow breaking news in real time, and track conversations and commentary in a specific geographic area.

Web for watchdogs | From better search techniques to the invisible Web, how to find reliable information on deadline and for enterprise stories. Tips on more effective Web searches. The latest search engines, data sites and other practical information you can use immediately. Using free applications for mapping, timelines, and other reporting tools and visuals.

Paper and database trails | Advice on developing a documents state of mind, navigating public records, understanding records retention schedules, exploring key records on a variety of beats, and becoming familiar with key national data sets to produce high-impact local stories.

Public records: Let the sunshine in | Advice on crafting records requests, tracking them and holding officials’ feet to the FOIA fire. Includes strategies for dealing with excuses and obstacles from public officials who stand in your way of getting key documents and data.

Bulletproofing the story | Strategies, tips and techniques for reporters, editors, producers and online staff to ensure accuracy.

Quick-hit investigations | Strategies, story ideas, resources and tips for watchdog stories on a variety of beats. How to produce meaty enterprise stories that may take a few days or a few weeks rather than months.

Great watchdog reporting | A fast-paced look at some of the best investigative and watchdog stories from the past year in print, broadcast and online. Full of inspiration, story ideas, sources and data tips.

Mining data and documents on campus | Regardless of your beat, you can benefit from story ideas, public records and data available about your local colleges and universities. Topics include faculty/administrator salaries, Congressional earmarks for campuses, crime on campus, sports budgets, research grants and income from licenses/patents.

Introduction to computer-assisted reporting | An overview of the key computer tools used to produce investigative stories (spreadsheets, databases, mapping and statistical analysis software), with examples of stories that were made possible only with these CAR tools.

Fostering a watchdog culture in the newsroom | An interactive exercise to identify your newsroom’s vision for watchdog journalism, the obstacles holding you back, ideas for producing more investigative work, and personal responsibility and goals for each participant.

Storyboarding, planning and managing watchdog work | A discussion of ways to produce high-quality investigative stories, with an emphasis on vetting ideas, having a fallback plan and keeping channels of communication open inside the newsroom.

If you’re interested in further information and a price quote  for your newsroom, please contact one of our training directors:

* Doug Haddix, doug@ire.org, 614-205-5420

* Jaimi Dowdell, jaimi@ire.org, 314-402-3281

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