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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 and be eligible to apply for fellowships to IRE’s data journalism bootcamp.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have suspended the application process.

If you would like to be notified when the next round opens, please contact your IRE Expert (see below).


Please note that winning newsrooms will need to provide a projector and laptops/computers for attendees and must be committed to allowing a significant portion of the staff to attend the entire training. The winning newsrooms will attend a webinar later on in the year to showcase their work.

Dates of the training will be coordinated with the winning newsrooms and trainer.


The program is meant to help small- to medium-size news organizations improve the depth of their coverage and is open to organizations meeting the following criteria:

  • For newspapers, Sunday circulation of 100,000 and below
  • For magazines, circulation of 100,000 and below
  • For broadcast, markets below the Top 20
  • For online-only organizations, sites with local or regional audiences

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 an IRE trainer, which he began in February 2019. 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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