IRE 2013    JUNE 20-23    SAN ANTONIO

Conference blog

News, session recaps and photos galleries.


Leading journalists discuss stories and techniques.

Hands-on training

Learn to mine data and the web for investigations.


See which journalists are presenting at the conference

Exhibitors & recruiters 

Connect with the highly talented crowd at IRE.

Special events

The IRE awards ceremony, concerts and more.


  • May 3: Filing deadline for BOD candidates to be on absentee ballot 
  • May 8: Online absentee voting begins; BOD candidate statements posted at
  • May 31: Last day to make hotel reservations in the discounted room block (if the block has not sold out)
  • June 5: Conference pre-registration closes at 7 p.m. CT and sign-up for mentoring program ends. 
  • June 7: Deadline for BOD candidates to be listed at
  • June 19: Absentee voting closes
  • June 19: Free session "Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data" offered by Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism from 2-5 p.m.  Click for details or registration.
  • June 20: A full day of sessions starting at 9 a.m. and running until 6 p.m. Sessions on Thursday will cover criminal justice, computer-assisted reporting, INN and hands-on training in Tableau Public and Caspio.  After a great day of sessions, join fellow attendees at the welcome reception sponsored by Esri.
  • June 20: IRE Board of Directors Meeting, 2 p.m.
  • June 21: Full day of sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • June 21: Deadline to file at 12 noon (CDT)
  • June 22: IRE Awards Luncheon honoring award winners and Keynote speaker, Marcela Turati 
  • June 22: Full day of sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • June 22: IRE Membership Meeting and Board of Directors Elections, 6 p.m.
  • June 22: IRE Closing Reception, 7:30 p.m.
  • June 23: Final morning of IRE conference, sessions begin at 9 a.m. until Noon


Business Journalism Training

Free Pre-Conference Workshop on June 19: Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will offer a free workshop from 2-5 p.m. on June 19: Breaking Local Stories with Economic Data. Government data offer unparalleled opportunities to distinguish your reporting with trend stories about what’s happening in your local economy. Especially this year, with the release of the every-five-year Economic Census, journalists will have a unique opportunity to track changes in their local community from 2007 — before the recession — to 2012. Instructors Paul Overberg of USA TODAY and Jeannine Aversa, late of The AP, now with the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, will provide you with a road map to finding and delivering at least 15 local enterprise stories from government economic data. Examples will be specific to the San Antonio region, but applicable anywhere. Sign up here for this free workshop.


Hands-on training with Tableau

Tableau Public will be offering two hands-on training sessions on Thursday, June 20 at the IRE Conference.  The morning session, Tableau for Beginners, from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and the afternoon session is Tableau for Pros, from 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.  Pre-registration is required for both sessions and you must be registered for the IRE Conference to attend. Learn more ...


Hands-on training with Caspio

Caspio will be offering several hands-on sessions on Thursday, June 20 at the IRE Conference. Sessions include: Rapid Data Publishing with Caspio; Sneak Peek of Caspio 8.0 Beta; Demo: New Caspio Map Mashup Wizard; and Mapping and User-Generated Data.  Pre-registration is encouraged and you must be registered for the IRE Conference to attend. Learn more... 


IRE Board of Directors Meeting

The IRE Board of Directors will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday in San Antonio as part of the annual conference.
The meeting will be held in Conference Room 7 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. The meeting is open to all IRE members.


Broadcast Show-and-Tell

Show-and-Tell sessions offer new ways to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Sessions will have veteran braodcasters as moderators. Look for sign-up sheets on the 3rd floor near registration. Sessions will take place in Conference Room 17&18 on Friday and Saturday.




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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