IRE Conference Blog

Sign up for mentoring at the IRE Conference in San Francisco

The IRE Conference offers an opportunity for in-depth, one-on-one coaching on investigative reporting. These private sessions allow attendees to seek advice on challenging stories or follow-up ideas.

IRE pairs those who signed up with a mentor, and contact information is provided to both mentors and those who want to be mentored. Mentors and mentees can then agree on a time and place to meet at the conference.  

These sessions are not for job seekers; they are designed for teaching and sharing information. Mentees should bring examples of work and story ideas.(Note: IRE is unable to provide private access to ...

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Only 2 days left to submit panel ideas for 2014 IRE Conference

Friday is the last day to submit panel ideas for the upcoming IRE Conference, June 26-29, 2014 in San Francisco, CA. 

If your panel is selected, you will be notified no later than mid-April. At that point, we will ask you to confirm your proposed speakers and provide more detail about the session. Since we are not able to accept every proposal, we do not recommend that you confirm each speaker in advance. It will not be possible to include every panel submitted in the program. 

Because of the large number of speakers participating in the conference, IRE will not ...

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The Obama administration's war on leaks

Leonard Downie Jr, far right, moderates the showcase panel entitled "The government's war on leaks" with (l-r) Michael Oreskes of the Associated Press, Lucy Dalglish of the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, author James Bamford and independent journalist Quinn Norton. Photo: Travis Hartman.

The Obama administration’s war on leaks didn’t start with Edward Snowden ...

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Outside the U.S., reporting amid danger

By Perla Arellano

In areas such as Mexico and parts of the Middle East, many journalists have died in their role as watchdogs.

At the recent IRE Conference in San Antonio, the session “Reporting amid danger: When journalist are targeted and newsrooms are infiltrated” included Tim Johnson from McClatchy Newspapers, Gaston Monge Estrada from El Universal, Rana Sabbagh from Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, and Andrew Donohue from The Center of Investigative Reporting as moderator.

Many journalists have died because of their work in Mexico after reporting on drug gangs and crime, and many times officers write it off as ...

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How journalists can work with whistleblowers and protect sources

Leonard Downie Jr, far right, moderates the 2013 IRE Conference's showcase panel with, Michael Oreskes of the Associated Press, Lucy Dalglish of the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, author James Bamford and journalist Quinn Norton. The panel was one of several at the conference focused on leaks and whistleblowers. Photo by Travis Hartman.

By Perla Arellano and Erin Griffin

Pia Malbran of CBS News, David Corn from Mother Jones and Angie Moreschi from James Hoyer Law Firm discussed the relationship between journalists and whistleblowers and offered advice for protecting sources at the recent IRE Conference in San Antonio.

Moreschi ...

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Discovering data at the IRE Conference

Jewel Loree, of Tableau Software, uses her hands to illustrate how the software reformats data into columns during the Tabluea Public for beginners session. Photo by Travis Hartman.

By Kathryn Sharkey

It’s a word mentioned over and over at the IRE Conference, whether you’re at a specific panel on the subject or not: data.

This is my first time attending an IRE conference and I already knew that data can add real power to a story, which is why I made sure to attend the Tableau software hands-on training for better ideas and skills on what to with ...

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Getting skeptical sources to talk

By Erin Griffin

At the recent IRE Conference in San Antonio, Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Michael Isikoff of NBC shared some tips on how to get skeptical sources to talk with you. Below are some of their suggestions:

  • Try to understand why they are reluctant.
  • Throw out some information that they might feel the need to correct.
  • Tell them it might be in their self interest to help you.
  • Establish trust and ask them why they think this story would be important.
  • Set your interview up like a conversation, share with them personal information about yourself ...
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Investigating tax credits, subsidies and incentives

By Zachary Matson

Each year local and state governments provide private companies with billions of dollars of tax credits, subsidies and other forms of incentives to mover or open new facilities in their communities. These deals are shrouded behind layers of quasi-public agencies, weak disclosure rules and secretive businesses, but rarely the economic benefits turn out as originally billed.

IRE board president and columnist David Cay Johnston and Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First provided insights into exploring these deals and their true costs to the public on a panel at the recent IRE Conference in San Antonio.

Johnston said ...

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Mobile-first journalism and new presentations for enterprise reporting

By Syed Tawseef Ali

The web is not a desktop -- it is an interweave of phones, tablets, TV’s, laptops and desktops of every shape and size. Accessibility of the content is an important factor.

During a panel entiled "Demystifying mobile for investigations" at the recent IRE Conference in San Antonio, experts in web design and content presentation from the Knight Lab, The Indianapolis Star and The Wall Street Journal explained how mobile applications and responsive web design are changing the way stories are told.

The ability of a reader to access the information at any time and given situation ...

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The 2013 IRE keynote speech: 'Don't abandon us'

Marcela Turati delivers IRE's keynote address as board members David Cay Johnston and Andrew Donahue look on. Photo by Travis Hartman.

As Mexican journalists become war reporters in their own country, Mexican journalist Marcela Turati of Proceso makes a plea to the investigative reporting community. Regions of Mexico are zones of silence. Citizens die every day, journalists report what they're told by the cartels or they are killed or disappear inthe middle of the day or night.

"These are your colleagues, our colleagues, members of our family of investigative reporters. I want to ask you that you do ...

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