Tags : Tools and Sources

Introducing Total Newsroom Training, a new program from IRE

IRE is launching a new program and is looking for news organizations dedicated to doing watchdog work. This is your newsroom’s opportunity to have intense, in-house investigative training -- for free. If your organization is hungry for customized investigative training and can't afford it, apply today. Spots are limited.

Total Newsroom Training from IRE is designed to increase the ability of news organizations to provide watchdog and enterprise coverage for their communities and to produce work that can lead to change and improvements in those communities.

The program is meant to help small to medium-size news organizations, and IRE ...

Read more ...

Scranton Workshop: Invaluable investigative tools

By Christopher Dolan, University of Scranton

From the art of the interview to “Facebook creeping,” we learned many invaluable investigative tools at IRE’s Scranton Watchdog Workshop.

During the day-long event, various expert investigative journalists taught the tricks and techniques needed when hunting down a good story.

Tisha Thompson from WRC-Washington had many tips for crafting a strong interview during her one-hour presentation. Ms. Thompson drew from her experience in the field to outline how journalists should handle their various interviewees—detailing how a journalist should interact with victims, criminals and everyone in between. Ms. Thompson said when interviewing both ...

Read more ...

Doctor data closed by federal government available through journalism groups’ efforts

As part of an effort by three journalism organizations to maintain public access to an important database of physician discipline records, that data is now being made available free of charge through the IRE website.

Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Association of Health Care Journalists and theSociety of Professional Journalists have protested the government’s decision to cut off access to The National Practitioner Data Bank, which has been used by reporters for many years to investigate issues involving lax oversight of physicians. The version of the data that has traditionally been publicly available does not identify doctors, but ...

Read more ...

IRE expands Census toolkit

Investigative Reporters and Editors has produced, gathered and organized a wealth of resources for mining census data. New Census 2010 data will be released on a rolling basis through the summer. American Community Survey census data comes out every year now, down to the tract level. Here’s a sample of the tools to help IRE members with background, story ideas, data and more: Census panels at the CAR Conference Join us Feb. 24-27 in Raleigh, N.C., for the annual Computer-Assisting Reporting Conference. This year, we’re offering a variety of census training. Get story ideas to cover the ... Read more ...

Check out these training sessions online

There are new training videos are available on the IRE website, including free CAR training videos for IRE members. If you missed Tisha Thompson's recent webinar that highlighted documents and data that will help you juice up your stories, it is available now. It's only $5 for members ($10 for nonmembers). And IRE members have a number of free training options as well. Several conference sessions focusing on computer-assisted reporting are available for streaming. Sessions include:
  • Bulletproofing stories
  • Covering Campus: From the Stadium to the Boardroom
  • CAR for Broadcast
  • Probing Banks and Mortgage Lenders
  • Mining Text for Stories

Investigating nonprofits in wake of the crisis in Haiti

The crisis in Haiti has sparked an outpouring of concern and aid pouring in from around the world. With this goodwill comes an opportunity for charities to shine and journalists to make sure that those charities are doing what they promise. Check up on charitable organizations in your community or educate your readers and viewers to investigate those charities themselves. Form 990s are readily available for download via Guidestar. Charity Navigator can also help as it's a site that ranks and rates nonprofit organizations. Here are some tipsheets that can help you unlock a 990's secrets:
  • Ron Campbell ...
Read more ...

Resource Highlights: Covering the Military

IRE has compiled some resources that may assist in covering the fatal shootings that occured today at Ft. Hood in Texas.  If you have other resources that could be of help to your fellow reporters, please feel free to contact us, and we can add it to the list.  (Email the IRE Resource Center, rescntr@ire.org.) Tipsheets 2360: Janet Lundblad's tipsheet lists resources that are helpful in tracking down people in the military - from books to websites. She also provides a few tips doing this sort of investigation, such as using social security numbers from personnel records to ... Read more ...

Fresh tip sheets in the Resource Center

Several new tip sheets are available in the Resource Center from recent Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshops. Topics include tracking federal stimulus money, analyzing Census data, obtaining public records and honing interview skills. For the newest tip sheets, search for "ethnic media" and restrict the year to 2009. IRE members can download tip sheets at no cost. Read highlights from the workshops on the IRE on the road blog.