2011 IRE Watchdog Workshop – Schedule and Speakers

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Preliminary Schedule
Scranton Watchdog Workshop

Sept. 24-25, 2011 — Hosted by the University of Scranton

Workshop registration and information

Expected Speakers
    • Rose Ciotta, senior editor for digital/print projects, The Philadelphia Inquirer
    • Timothy Darragh, senior reporter, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)
    • James Grimaldi, investigative reporter, The Washington Post
    • Doug Haddix, training director, Investigative Reporters and Editors
    • Dave Janoski, special projects editor, The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)
    • Laura Legere, reporter, The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)
  • Additional speakers will be added as they are confirmed.
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011

University of Scranton — Pearn Auditorium located in Brennan Hall (Room 228)

9 a.m.
Welcome, introduction. How IRE can help you do compelling investigative journalism with limited time and resources.

  • Doug Haddix, Investigative Reporters and Editors
9:15 – 10:15 a.m.
Web for watchdogs. From better search techniques to the invisible Web, how to find reliable information on deadline and for enterprise stories. Tips on more effective Web searches. The latest search engines, data sites, Web apps and other practical information you can use immediately.

  • Doug Haddix, Investigative Reporters and Editors
10:30 – 11:20 a.m.
Navigating public records. Advice on developing a documents state of mind, negotiating for public records, writing an effective open records request, understanding records retention schedules and exploring key records on a variety of beats.

  • Dave Janoski, The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)
11:30 a.m. –
12:15 p.m.
Money and Politics. The latest trends, data and resources for digging deep into campaign finances, gifts, travel, and other perks and privileges of office at the local, state and national level. Key tools and strategies for holding government officials accountable and following the money.

  • James Grimaldi, The Washington Post
12:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own
1:30 – 2:20 p.m.
The art of the interview. Learn the best ways to approach sources and to prepare and handle the interview itself. Plenty of tips and strategies for handling tough situations, ethical trouble-spots, etc.

  • James Grimaldi, The Washington Post
2:30 – 3:20 p.m.
Computer-assisted Reporting tools for watchdogs. How spreadsheets, databases, mapping software, online data visualization software, and newer tools give watchdog reporters more scope and depth for their reporting.

  • Rose Ciotta, The Philadelphia Inquirer
3:30 – 4:20 p.m.
Watchdogging the beat. Tips and strategies for producing high-impact enterprise stories from your beat. How to keep a rolling investigation rolling without veering off track. Advice on organization and writing the big story.

  • Timothy Darragh, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)
  • Laura Legere, The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)
4:30 – 5:20 p.m.
Tapping into Twitter and social media. Making effective use of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites for reporting and digging. How to connect with sources on social media, follow breaking news in real time, and track conversations and commentary in a specific geographic area.

  • Doug Haddix, Investigative Reporters and Editors
5:05 – 5:30 p.m.
Wrapup/What IRE can do for you. How to tap into list servs, tip sheets, investigative stories, additional training and ongoing benefits of your IRE membership.

  • Doug Haddix, Investigative Reporters and Editors
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011

University of Scranton — 102 Hyland Hall

9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Hands-on training: Excel spreadsheets. Learn to build your own spreadsheet from paper records. Learn basic but powerful functions including putting information in order, filtering out just what you need from a national or statewide data set, and doing math calculations such as change and percent change with large data sets. Census data will be used in the training.

  • Doug Haddix, Investigative Reporters and Editors

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