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Total Newsroom Training

Total Newsroom Training is designed to increase the ability of your news organization to provide watchdog and enterprise coverage for your community, and to produce work that can lead to changes and improvements in those communities.

What IRE Offers

For two days, we provide custom training in your newsroom based on the needs of your organization. We’ll provide hands-on training using spreadsheets and other data tools, plus cover investigative reporting topics that could include:

  • Finding information online
  • Key government documents
  • Examining businesses and nonprofits
  • How to obtain public records
  • Ethical decisions in investigative reporting
  • Getting what you need out of sources
  • Conducting quick-hit investigations
  • Ensuring accuracy

IRE works with reporters and editors to help them launch stories and projects. This can involve brainstorming, story planning, sourcing, etc. We will also be available to consult with reporters, editors and producers from the news organizations in the months following training.

All newsroom staff who go through the training will also receive one-year IRE memberships.


Applications for this year's program are due by Jan. 9, 2022. The application form must be filled out by the editor, news director or equivalent.


Newsrooms must be committed to allowing a significant portion of the staff and management to attend the entire training. 

Selected newsrooms can choose for their training to be conducted virtually or in person as pandemic conditions allow. For in-person training, newsrooms will need to provide a projector and laptops/computers for attendees.

Dates of the training will be coordinated with the winning newsrooms and trainer. Training must be completed by September 2022.


The program is meant to help small- to medium-size news organizations improve the depth of their coverage. Preference will be given to: 

  • Newsrooms in rural areas and smaller cities
  • Small newsrooms in larger markets
  • Newsrooms founded and run by those coming from and serving historically marginalized communities

Share Your Work

We want to see the work you’ve produced after IRE training. Send us a link via Twitter or email.

Meet Your IRE Expert

Francisco Vara-Orta
Francisco Vara-Orta

Francisco Vara-Orta brings 17 years of newsroom experience to his role as IRE's first director of diversity and inclusion. Vara-Orta joined the IRE staff in February 2019 as a training director. While working as a trainer, he has conducted sessions on managing data and investigative reporting for journalists across the United States and internationally. He has worked for a variety of online and print publications, including Chalkbeat, Education Week, the San Antonio Express-News, Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He earned a master’s degree in investigative/data journalism at the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

141 Neff Annex   |   Missouri School of Journalism Columbia, MO 65211   |   573-882-2042   |   |   Privacy Policy
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