Tipsheets

Browse more 5,000 tipsheets from our national conferences and Watchdog Workshops on how to cover specific beats, conduct a great interview and learn countless tips on where to find the information you need.

Logged-in members can download any tipsheet, for free. Contact the Resource Center 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org for questions.

  • Cleaning data with OpenRefine

    This tipsheet goes over how to use OpenRefine for common data cleaning problems, such as parsing and cleaning names and addresses, combining and breaking apart fields.

    Tags: OpenRefine; data; data cleaning

    By Martin Magdinier

    2018

  • Intro to R 1

    Give a statistical lift to your reporting with R, the powerful, open-source programming language. This tipsheet covers R basics in a fast-paced tour of Florida data. You will learn how to import, organize and analyze information with R.

    Tags: R; data tools; programming language

    By Ron Campbell

    2018

  • The tools and apps every reporter should know

    Some people say this is the best era to be a journalist - not because of the abundance of news, but because the Internet and other digital advances have made for faster, stronger, broader, and more efficient reporting. Come learn the highs, the lows and the how-tos of some of the best tools for journalism.

    Tags: tools; apps; reporting tools; digital tools

    By Samantha Sunne and Ren LaForme

    2018

  • 60 ideas in 60 minutes

    Looking for story ideas? We’ve got 60 stories from broadcast investigative reporters that can be done in any market. Here is a tipsheet full of ideas that can keep you busy for months.

    Tags: story ideas; broadcast stories; investigation ideas

    By Rachel DePompa and Joe Ellis

    2018

  • FOIA appeals and disputes

    So you filed a FOIA and didn’t get what you wanted. Now what? We’ll walk you through the options for nudging, shaming, and maybe forcing the government to give you records under FOIA. When should you appeal, when should you go to court and when should you walk away? These panelists have tried it all and will walk you through the techniques that work.

    Tags: FOIA; records requests; public records

    By Brad Heath

    2018

  • Prepping for the midterms

    Practical advice and possible story angles as your newsroom gears up to cover the 2018 midterm elections. We'll help you understand different campaign fundraising avenues, find sources for data and turn it all into stories that help your audience know who they're voting for.

    Tags: midterms; election coverage; campaign finance; money in politics; fundraising; campaigns

    By Edwin Bender, Carrie Levine and Andrew Perez

    2018

  • Uncovering national security stories in your community

    Once largely the domain of reporters in Washington and overseas, covering issues relating to national and global (and homeland) security is now truly something that reporters in every town in America can — and should — do. From terrorism and transnational organized crime and drug syndicates to huge government boondoggles in security expenditures to rampant violations of civil liberties, there are a million important stories to do. Panelists will discuss how to get sourced up; how to find, report on and write up the many great national stories; and how to tackle international stories with local connections.

    Tags: national security; homeland security; organized crime; terrorism; drug trafficking; securities

    By Jaimi Dowdell

    2018

  • Looking for accountability on the recovery efforts In Puerto Rico

    Almost eight months after Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico, the recovery effort is moving slowly and much remains to be investigated. Many cities in Florida and around the country are also dealing with an influx of Puerto Ricans who left and have not returned home. Journalists covering the crisis in Puerto Rico will share investigative strategies and techniques as well as issues they faced while covering the crisis that followed the massive storm including health issues, the disputed death count after the hurricane, scandals with the subcontractors hired to repair the electrical grid, and the government lack of transparency. Panelists will also talk about where to look for data stories and provide journalists the tools they need to investigate after a natural disaster.

    Tags: Puerto Rico; hurricane; recovery efforts; natural disaster; storm damage; health issues; death counts

    By Carla Minet, Frances Robles, Mc Nelly Torres and Luis Trelles

    2018

  • The nitty gritty, down & dirty truth about doing investigations for radio and podcasts

    The idea of mixing investigative reporting and audio storytelling isn’t new. But let’s face it, we could all level up. Whether you're interested in launching a multi-part series or producing a single episode, this session will help you learn how to turn your investigation into a compelling and successful audio story. We'll give you more than the basics, and spill our secrets about making documents come alive, scripting for the ear, gathering tape (even when you don’t get the interview), and above all, not leaving narratives behind.

    Tags: podcast; radio; storytelling; audio stories

    By Jacob Ryan, Kameel Stanley and Alain Stephens

    2018

  • Under pressure: Real life in real time with breaking news

    It’s become one of the hottest sessions at every IRE Conference. How would you and your newsroom fare in digging out little-known facts and information under the pressure of a breaking news deadline? One of the best ways to get better is to practice. This is a real-life scenario where you can learn to break news without leaving your computer. The skills learned in this session can also be used for turning daily general assignment stories when there’s not breaking news. This session regularly fills up and the tipsheet that comes with it is in high demand. If you’re interested, get there early to get a seat.

    Tags: breaking news; investigations; under pressure; deadline

    By Stephen Stock

    2018