IRE Watchdog Workshop

March 8, 2014

9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Classroom 102

A crucial duty of a journalist is to serve the public interest by acting as a watchdog. Improve your watchdog coverage and learn how you can hold government and business accountable with this half-day workshop from Investigative Reporters and Editors. Veteran journalists will offer inspiration and give you tangible tips and tools you can put to work immediately in the following sessions:

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. - Welcome/Using the Web and Social Media as Investigative Tools

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. **Mark Horvit, IRE

11:30 - 11:40 a.m. Break

11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - Investigating the Powerful

Veteran NPR correspondent John Burnett talks about investigative reporting—the good, the bad and the ugly. He’s worked on a range of award-winning projects: Mexican government collusion with the Sinaloa drug cartel, abuse by law enforcement authorities of civil forfeiture laws, and examining the empire built by a televangelist. Learn about the tools included in an investigative reporter’s arsenal: court documents, federal government records, county records, congressional hearings, Internet searches, and finding talkative sources.
**John Burnett, NPR

12:30 - 12:40 p.m. Break

12:40 – 1:30 p.m. - Finding Errors in Judgment

Between 1989 ad 2011, courts overturned the convictions of at least 86 Texas defendants. The Texas Tribune analyzed the rulings in each of those cases and found that in nearly 25 percent of them prosecutors made mistakes that contributed to the wrong outcome. In this session, we'll tell you how we gathered the data, analyzed all the cases, put together a database of wrongful convictions and told the compelling stories of the wrongfully convicted in Texas. **Brandi Grissom, The Texas Tribune


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What to Bring:

  • Nothing in particular.
Managing Editor
The Texas Tribune
Investigative Reporter
Houston Chronicle
Content and Distribution