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Registration opens for IRE21 virtual conference with $150 early bird price

Registration is open for IRE’s virtual 2021 national conference, which will feature more than 120 live panels, demos, and networking sessions; data skill labs and fun ways to connect with your fellow journalists.

Register by May 24 to secure the early-bird rate of $150 for professionals. After that date, registration rises to $200. Students may register at any time for $50. IRE membership is required through June to attend.

The conference is June 14-18 and will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Eastern U.S. time to allow for participation across the United States and around the world. Just as we’ve done at in-person conferences in the past, the IRE conference will feature multiple tracks, with several options during each time slot.

Training sessions will be recorded and available for attendees on demand for up to one year on the conference platform, along with session tipsheets and materials. The conference will also include fun social events, such as happy hours, networking and a celebration of the 2020 IRE Award winners.

Nearly 3,000 journalists, educators and students attended the first-ever virtual IRE Conference in September 2020. Members joined from more than 30 countries.

Below is more information about expected sessions, fellowships and other frequently asked questions. More details will be announced in the coming weeks, including the keynote speaker, featured speakers and full schedule. 

Expected sessions

In addition to training on investigative skills such as sourcing, interviewing and gathering public records, IRE21 will offer training sessions on timely topics such as covering COVID-19, investigating law enforcement and inclusion and equity in newsrooms and news coverage.

In addition to panels, the schedule also will include several special types of sessions:

  • Data sessions: The conference features seven virtual data labs where you can watch videos to learn spreadsheets, SQL, data wrangling, data viz, Python, R and web scraping -- no sign-ups or extra fee required. The classes are all on demand and will be available for a year after the conference so you can work at your own pace and come back for refreshers.
  • Networking: IRE21 will offer more structured networking opportunities than ever before. Each day will include networking sessions for freelancers, students, educators, managers, journalists of color, international journalists and more. Attendees also will be able to network one-on-one with each other at the conference.
  • Conversations: These sessions provide a space for smaller groups to discuss various topics in an interactive format.
  • Broadcast track: Each time slot of the conference will feature a session specifically geared for journalists in television newsrooms. 

View a list of expected sessions here. A full schedule with more sessions, descriptions and speakers will be released in the coming weeks.  

Access all sessions and materials for one year

Attendees will gain full access to the conference site for one year so that they can take full advantage of the high-caliber training. Session videos, tipsheets, slide decks and other materials may be accessed on demand during that period.


We will offer about 200 fellowships, a record number for an IRE conference. Fellowships cover the cost of registration and a one-year IRE membership. Applications are due April 19. View information and apply here.  


If you’d like to volunteer to help with the conference, please fill out this form. We have limited opportunities available to speak on panels, lead networking sessions, or host a fun event. Note that we cannot accommodate everyone who volunteers, and the window for session pitches has closed.

How can I keep up with new developments connected to #IRE21?

Please sign up here to receive email updates about #IRE21. It’s the best way to stay up-to-date on the latest virtual conference news. 

Other FAQs

For other information, please see our initial announcement and FAQs about the virtual IRE21 conference.

109 Lee Hills Hall, Missouri School of Journalism   |   221 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201   |   573-882-2042   |   |   Privacy Policy
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