Wednesday Workshop: IRE’s Watchdog Workshop

IRE’s Watchdog Workshop

August 21, 2013

Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Watchdog Workshops offer tips, tools and training that you can use immediately to add depth to your work, from breaking news coverage to quick-turn enterprise and long-term projects. Reporters, editors and producers return to their newsrooms with hard-hitting story ideas, websites and online resources to explore, lists of key documents to obtain, techniques for more effective reporting, ways to use the web and social media to find information, insight into the latest technology for news gathering and much more.

  • Where: New York Hilton Midtown
  • When: August 21, 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

IRE thanks the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation for helping underwrite workshop expenses.

Course Outline

  • 10 – 10:15 a.m.: Welcome and overview of the workshop.
  • 10:15 – 11:15 a.m.: Effective use of the Internet: what reporters and editors need to know. From better search techniques to the invisible web, how to find documents and databases on deadline and where to find reliable websites for enterprise stories. The craft of better searching and not wasting time. Handling issues of credibility and ethics online.
  • 11:15 – 11:30 a.m.: Break
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: The art of the interview. Learn the best ways to approach sources, prepare and handle the interview process. Advice for conducting video interviews for your website. Plenty of tips and strategies for handing tough situations, ethical trouble spots, etc.
  • 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.: Lunch
  • 1:45 – 2:45 p.m.: Avoiding legal pitfalls. You can make mistakes and never be sued. Or you can make no mistakes and still be sued — repeatedly. We will discuss general sticky areas for journalists from social media to protecting sources.
  • 2:45 – 3:00 p.m.: Break
  • 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Business investigations. Take your stories beyond the usual sources and learn how to dig through bankruptcy documents, regulatory filings, lawsuits, and other helpful records.
  • 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.: 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. Move beyond anecdotes and he-said, she-said journalism with data and documents.
  • 5 – 5:30 p.m.: Wrap-up, What IRE can do for you.

Speakers and Trainers

Steve Chung
stevechungAttorney, NBCUniversal
Steve Chung is an attorney for NBCUniversal where he serves as the lead lawyer for the NBC Owned Television Stations group and the TODAY Show and supervises the legal production work for syndicated talk shows like the Jerry Springer Show and the Maury Povich Show. Before joining NBCUniversal, Steve was a litigator, representing numerous media clients and also clerked for a federal judge in San Francisco.

Diana B. Henriques
dianabThe New York Times
Diana B. Henriques, author of The New York Times bestseller “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust,” has been a writer for The New York Times since 1989.


Megan Luther
avatar.jpg.75x75pxTraining Director, Investigative Reporters and Editors
Megan Luther joined IRE as training director in February 2012. Megan has worked in radio, TV and most recently, newspapers. Before she joined IRE, Megan was a government reporter for the Argus Leader in South Dakota and a computer-assisted reporting specialist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Previously, she worked at IRE and NICAR in the Database Library while completing her master’s degree at the University of Missouri. @MeganLuther

Phil Williams
PhilWilliamsChief Investigative Reporter, WTVF-TV
Phil Williams is chief investigative reporter for WTVF-TV, the CBS affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee, where he specializes in investigations of government corruption and waste. Phil’s work has been honored with three duPont-Columbia University Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, a George Polk Award, three IRE Awards and a national Emmy. A former print reporter, Phil was a finalist for the Putlizer Prize. He is a former member of the IRE Board.

  • What attendees should bring: Course materials will be provided.
  • What attendees will take away: Better stories and the skills to write them.

Reserve your spot in this workshop.

AAJA members and IRE members get a $10 discount! Check your inbox for the promo code or email us.

@aaja, #AAJAwatchdog

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