Main page for the IRE 2024 conference, June 20-23, 2024 | Anaheim

IRE 2024 schedule

248 sessions confirmed • Updated July 16 • All times are PT

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IRE 2024 will run from Thursday, June 20, to Sunday, June 23 in Anaheim, at the Anaheim Marriott (700 West Convention Way, Anaheim, CA 92802).

Click here to register. More details will be added to this schedule as they are confirmed.

Start typing to filter the results below. You can search by session title or speaker name.

Showing 248 of 248 sessions

Thursday

Sessions starting at 8 a.m. PT

PanelNetworking track

Welcome to IRE24! First-timers welcome networking event

Time: Thursday, June 20, 8 – 8:45 a.m. (45m)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Welcome to the conference! Hear from IRE staff about tips and tactics to navigate our conference like a pro. Then, stick around for a speed round of networking with fellow attendees and IRE staff and board.

Speaker

Diana Fuentes, IRE & NICAR

Diana R. Fuentes is a second-generation Texan who grew up on the Texas-Mexico border. She is an award-winning journalist with more than 35 years' experience, from copy editor and cops reporter to executive editor and publisher. She serves on Headliners Foundation of Texas Board of Governors, was past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and served on national board of National Association of Hispanic Journalists, among other activities.

Connect: X

Sessions starting at 9 a.m. PT

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: High-emotion investigations

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker

Ismael Estrada, ABC News

Ismael Estrada is an investigative producer with ABC News who recently spent over a year covering the school shooting in Uvalde, TX. His experience also includes over 14 years as a producer with CNN and Anderson Cooper 360 covering border issues, international investigations and breaking news

Connect: X

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: 50 ideas in 50 minutes

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

A speed round of best ideas anyone can do in their markets. Jot these down and go do them now!

Speakers

Jenna Bourne, 10 Tampa Bay (WTSP-TV)

Jenna is an investigative reporter at 10 Tampa Bay (WTSP-TV), a TEGNA-owned and CBS-affiliated station. She previously worked at WJAX/WFOX in Jacksonville, FL; WSPA in Greenville, SC; and WKBT in La Crosse, WI.

Connect: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

Katie Wilcox, 12News KPNX

Katie is the Executive Producer of Investigations at 12News in Phoenix. She leads a team of journalists producing in-depth and data-driven coverage of breaking news and series. Her work has prompted legislation and policy change in Colorado and Arizona. Katie earned her bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Mass Communications and Economics from the University of Iowa. Go Hawks!

Connect: LinkedIn

Tracee Wilkins, NBC4 Washington

Tracee Wilkins is an investigative reporter with more than 25 years in broadcast, 20 years at WRC. Her investigations focus heavily on areas of racial justice and government accountability. She's an Edward R. Murrow, multiple Emmy and AP award winner. Wilkins was the 2022 Journalist of the Year for the Washington Association of Black Journalists.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Level-up your investigation

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Kick your reporting up a notch by learning how to take it to new places. How do you turn your pieces into episodic series like the streamers do it? Or produce a feature documentary or podcast? And what’s the best way to squeeze all you can from a rolling investigation? Learn from four experienced journalists in various markets and platforms – you can do it, too!

Speakers

Jeremy Finley, WSMV-TV

Jeremy Finley's heroes are investigative reporters, so he hopes to meet you. He's a three-time IRE award winner and the chief investigative reporter at WSMV-TV. As an internationally published novelist, his books have been featured in People Magazine, the NY Post, and NPR. He's also the co-host of the literary public affairs show, A WORD ON WORDS, on Nashville Public Television. He lives with his wife, daughters, terrible dog and the James Bond of cats in Nashville, TN.

Connect: X, Instagram, Facebook

Wendy Halloran, KUTV 2 News

Wendy is the Chief Investigative Reporter for KUTV 2 News in Salt Lake. A recipient of the duPont-Columbia Award, National Headliner Awards, multiple Emmy & Murrow Awards, and two-time IRE Award Finalist. She specializes in trauma-based reporting and the victimization of innocent people caused by systemic failures. Her investigations in Utah led to six new laws, removal of parole and prison agency heads and forced the state to overhaul its criminal justice system.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook

Tomas Navia, ABC News

Tomas Navia is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. His work has appeared on Hulu, ABC News, and Vice News. He recently spent a year documenting the aftermath of the Robb Elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, as part of Uvalde: 365, an ABC News initiative and 2024 DuPont-Columbia Awards Finalist. He is a producer for ABC News Investigates.

Connect: LinkedIn

Bigad Shaban, NBC Bay Area

Bigad Shaban is the Senior Investigative Reporter for NBC Bay Area. His stories have spurred government hearings, changed laws, and captured the attention of the White House. Bigad has received the most prestigious honors in broadcast news, including the Peabody, duPont, Murrow, and 18 Emmy awards. His docuseries 'Saving San Francisco' is currently steaming on Peacock.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Session materials

PanelElections track

Covering elections by putting the community first

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Dozens of newsrooms are giving up horse-race coverage in favor of investigating the issues — problems and solutions — that matter most to the community. By reporting on politicians' proposals and campaign promises on these key issues, they are holding politicians accountable. They're also making campaign coverage less toxic and polarizing, and more helpful to voters.

This panel will feature journalists who have transformed their newsroom's coverage, and tips for newsrooms who want to get away from the horse-race.

Speakers

Brianna Lee, LAist

Brianna Lee is an engagement producer for LAist's Civics and Democracy beat. She helped overhaul the newsroom's approach to election voter guides, focusing on comprehensive coverage of down-ballot races and centering audience questions. Between elections, she covers the ways that residents can flex their individual power in L.A. to create the change they want in their communities.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Tina Rosenberg, Solutions Journalism Network

Tina Rosenberg is co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network. At the New York Times she wrote editorials, Sunday magazine articles and the Fixes column. She is the author of hundreds of magazine articles and three books: Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America, The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism, and Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World. The Haunted Land won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Excel 1: Getting started with spreadsheets

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

In this introduction to spreadsheets, you'll begin analyzing data with Excel, a simple but powerful tool. You'll learn how to enter data, navigate spreadsheets and conduct simple calculations like sum, average and median.

This session is good for: Data beginners.

Instructor

Jill Riepenhoff, InvestigateTV

Jill Riepenhoff is nearing her fourth decade as a journalist. She spent more than 30 years at The Columbus Dispatch before joining Gray TV's national team, InvestigateTV, in 2017.

Connect: X

FYI ForumEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

FYI Forum: Defiende la verdad: Strategies to counter the spread of misinformation, disinformation and malinformation

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom B, lobby level

Efforts to spread misinformation, disinformation and malinformation (MDM) narratives among Latinos to hinder their participation in the country’s political processes have existed for a long time, but these efforts have been accelerated by the information revolution and other features of our modern society.

In light of this misinformation crisis impacting the Latino community, broadcasters, community leaders, journalists and researchers came together to launch the Hispanic Media GOTV Coalition, a first of its kind coalition focused on get-out-the-vote efforts for the Hispanic community.

During this conversation, panelists will showcase examples of how they are working to counter the spread of MDM narratives that impact the Hispanic/Latino community, both within their own companies and in collaboration with community

This session is sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Hanna Bolte, Estella MediaCo

Hanna Bolte is the SVP of Marketing, Communications and Talent Relations at Estrella MediaCo, a leading multiplatform Spanish language network and part of the multicultural company MediaCo. A proven communications and marketing executive she works with the company’s video, audio, digital, and events brands, including its award-winning EstrellaTV news, and unscripted divisions.

Connect: LinkedIn

Otto Padron, Meruelo Media (US) / Milenio (MEX)

Retired Col. Otto Padron, a former US Army Special Operations Soldier, is now President and CEO of Meruelo Media in Los Angeles. He has extensive experience running top Hispanic TV networks like Univision and Telemundo. Otto oversees iconic media brands such as Power 106, KLOS 95.5 FM, KDAY 93.5 FM, KLLI “CALI” 93.9, and TV stations KBEH-TV 63 and KWHY-TV 22. He lives in LA with his wife, actress Angelica Vale, and their family.

Connect: X

Liliana Rañón, National Association of Broadcasters

As External Affairs Vice President at the National Association of Broadcasters, Liliana leads engagement of third-party groups on legislative and regulatory issues affecting broadcasters. At the helm of NAB’s Hispanic Media GOTV Coalition, Liliana facilitates engagement with a powerful network of Hispanic media stakeholders to collaborate, discuss strategies and share bilingual resources to mobilize Hispanic voters.

Connect: X

Josué Romualdo, NALEO Educational Fund

PanelPublic records track

Filing a better FOIA request

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

This workshop will show you how to increase your chances of receiving records that reveal significant new information to help advance your story.

What can help identify the records you should ask for in the first place? And how can you make it more likely that you’ll receive a useful response? We will look at strategies for formulating public records requests — treating them as a distinct reporting task, often requiring interviews and other digging to help pinpoint what records could be most helpful to ask for. We will also examine how to make the most of records that you receive to help identify potential sources and future story ideas.

Speakers

Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg News

Josh Eidelson covers the workplace for Bloomberg News and Businessweek. His work has exposed government choices that narrowed workers' rights, corporate practices that exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic, and labor leaders' sexual misconduct. The Loeb Foundation, SABEW, the Sidney Hillman Foundation, the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), the SF Press Club, and SPJ have honored his work.

Connect: X

Suzy Khimm, NBC News

Suzy Khimm is a national reporter for NBC News based in Washington, D.C. Her in-depth stories on consumer product safety, temporary farmworkers and the child welfare system have been recognized by the New York Press Club, the Deadline Club, the Online News Association and SABEW, and she was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize. Her work has also spurred the creation of new federal rules protecting residents of public housing.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

Hands-onStory ideas trackBeginner

Finding the story: Police accountability data

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

A couple years ago, a few IRE members formed a collaborative – starting at one of our conferences – to gather police officer work history and discipline data from all 50 states. That work has taken years and is paying off, and we are about to release the data via Big Local News’ platform for more than 20 states, with close to 30 following before summer ends. We'll share what data is being released, when, and how, along with some tips and guidelines for its use. And! the data will be available to all local journalists at the end of June.

Instructors

John Kelly, CBS News

John Kelly is Vice President of Data Journalism for CBS News and Stations, leading data-driven investigations, enterprise and innovation for the network and 14 local stations from New York to Los Angeles. He's built and led investigative data journalism units at USA Today and ABC News. A champion for collaboration across newsrooms, his teams' stories include winners of Edward R. Murrow Awards, Emmy Awards, and Goldsmith Prize, and finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

Connect: LinkedIn

Cheryl Phillips, Big Local News - Stanford University

Cheryl Phillips has taught data and investigative journalism at Stanford University since 2014. She founded Big Local News, whose staff contributed to two projects that were Pulitzer finalists in 2024. She co-founded the Stanford Open Policing Project. Previously, she worked at The Seattle Times, contributing to Pulitzer-winning coverage in 2009 and 2014. She has worked at USA Today and newspapers in Michigan, Montana, and Texas. She is a former IRE board president.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Following the money behind the climate crisis

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

The climate crisis is one of the biggest issues of our time. Yet from Wall Street bankers and management consultants to PR agents and lobbyists, there are many people who evade scrutiny for profits made at a cost to the environment. This panel will discuss how reporters can follow the money to find the people and companies exacerbating the climate crisis. Hear about digging into business records, uncovering conflicts of interest and building a network of sources to develop your climate stories into hard-hitting investigations.

Speakers

Lauren Etter, Bloomberg News

Lauren Etter is an investigative reporter and editor at Bloomberg News. She was a lead editor on the 2024 Pulitzer finalist series “Water Grab,” which documented how corporate water profiteers “willfully exacerbate the effects of climate change at the expense of less powerful communities.” Previously a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, Etter holds master’s degrees in journalism and in law from Northwestern University.

Miranda Green, Floodlight

Miranda is the LA-based Director of Investigations at Floodlight, where she reports on climate-focused projects including the intersection of dark money, the fossil fuel industrial complex and the manipulation of news to spread misinformation. A two-part series she co-reported with NPR was chosen as a finalist for the 2023 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and won the Los Angeles Press Club’s award on misinformation.

Connect: X

Ben Stockton, Centre for Climate Reporting

Ben is the investigations editor at the Centre for Climate Reporting, a non-profit investigative group founded in 2022. Before his role at CCR, he was a reporter at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. His work focuses on the tools used by multinational corporations, wealthy individuals and powerful politicians to influence policy and public debate. It has appeared in the BBC, The New York Times, The LA Times and The Guardian.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Amy Westervelt, Drilled

Amy Westervelt is an award-winning investigative climate reporter whose work has been published by The Guardian, The Intercept, The Washington Post, and many more. Today, she runs Drilled, a global investigative newsroom publishing climate accountability stories in print and audio. In 2023, Amy was named a Covering Climate Now Journalist of the Year. Her work has previously received Murrow, ONA, SEJ, and Rachel Carson awards, as well as two Peabody nominations.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelAI track

How AI can elevate your newsroom

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

You’ll walk away from this panel with tangible AI tools to supercharge your reporting.

First, we’ll introduce you to CalMatters’ Digital Democracy, which will change the way you cover state government. We’ll walk you through how to use it in your daily reporting and show you examples to get the ideas flowing. Digital Democracy is an unprecedented, custom-built AI tool that tracks every word spoken in public hearings, every dollar donated to politicians, every bill introduced, every vote cast and more. It launched in California this year and is coming soon to a state near you!

Then we’re kicking it up a notch, with a step-by-step *how to* to help you create and customize your own AI tool for any story or beat. We’ll walk you through how to use Make.com to automate almost anything you do, and we’ll show you how to incorporate OpenAI into your automation.

Speakers

Ernest Kung, The Associated Press

Ernest Kung is the AI Product Manager for The Associated Press. He was a local television news producer and writer for nearly 15 years. Ernest earned a Master of Business Information Systems with Distinction from the University of Canterbury and a BA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Connect: LinkedIn

David Lesher, CalMatters

David Lesher co-founded CalMatters in 2015. He was Editor/CEO until 2018; Editor until 2023; and now Senior Editor for Digital Democracy using data and AI. Lesher has more than 30 years of journalism experience as a political writer and asst. national editor at the LA Times and Editor of California Journal magazine. He was also at the New America Foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California.

Connect: X

Julie Watts, CBS News California Investigates

Julie Watts is a national-award-winning investigative correspondent for CBS News, covering California. Her investigations, Capitol accountability reports, and solutions-oriented journalism air weekly on CBS stations across California.

Connect: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, X

Session materials

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

How to cover protests safely and accurately

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Protests are a year-round experience when it comes to reporting. It's not always easy to know which ones to attend, how to frame, and also how increasingly do you keep yourself and your colleagues safe as tensions remain high in U.S and abroad. From college campuses to government pavillions and through centuries of reporting, what have learned are best practices and what to avoid in our coverage comparisions.

Speakers

Emily Elena Dugdale, Independent Journalist

Norberto Santana, Jr. is an experienced investigative reporter and founding publisher and editor-in-chief for Voice of OC. An award-winning columnist with decades of newspaper experience in government/investigations, Santana is a pioneer in the field of nonprofit news having served on the board of directors for the the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). He also served on boards for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the First Amendment group, CalAware.

Connect: X, Instagram

Arishita Gupta, The Daily Targum

Arishita is a graduate student at Rutgers University. She currently serves as The Daily Targum’s news assignments editor. In an almost five-year tenure, Arishita covered the impacts of various sociopolitical issues on the university community, including sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination, labor disputes, legal issues, climate change and global conflict. At the heart of her reporting is the sense that privilege should uplift the voices of the disempowered.

Connect: Instagram, LinkedIn, X, Website

Mark Horvit, University of Missouri School of Journalism

Mark Horvit is a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he teaches investigative reporting, and is director of the school’s State Government Reporting Program. He is also chair of the Journalism Professions faculty. Horvit previously served as executive director of IRE and NICAR, where he conducted training in investigative reporting and data journalism throughout the world. Horvit worked as a reporter and editor for 20 years.

Adam Marshall, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating scientific issues

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

You don’t need to be a science or health reporter to investigate scientific issues. Great watchdog and investigative stories involving science can be found on a wide range of local, national and international beats and topic areas – from education, the environment and business to public health and national security. Scientific programs, policies, budgets and journal articles are created by human beings, and as a result have the potential to be influenced by human error, political agendas, financial motives and conflicts of interest. Public and private scientific institutions can place public safety at risk. And just like any other government entity, scientific agencies at the local, state, national and international level can misspend millions in public funds. This session will provide tools and strategies for identifying and pursuing watchdog stories on scientific issues while also navigating concerns about disinformation and anti-science rhetoric.

Speakers

Katherine Eban, Vanity Fair

Katherine Eban is a Vanity Fair special correspondent and best-selling author, reporting on public health and national security. Her article “Rorschach and Awe” which exposed the architects of the CIA’s torture regimen, inspired the 2019 film “The Report.” Her 2019 book, Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom, was a New York Times bestseller and won numerous awards, including from Investigative Reporters & Editors and Overseas Press Club of America.

Connect: X

Ava Kofman, ProPublica

Alison Young, University of Missouri School of Journalism

Alison Young is an investigative reporter specializing in health, environment, and consumer issues. She is the Missouri School of Journalism’s Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting and author of Pandora’s Gamble: Lab Leaks, Pandemics, and a World at Risk, which was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2023. Young previously reported for USA Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Detroit Free Press. She is a past president of IRE.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Threads

Session materials

Hands-onTools & Tech trackBeginner

Investigative journalism with Pinpoint

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

A practical workshop to explore features in Pinpoint, an AI-based tool built by Google to help journalists find and verify stories. This workshop will take participants through the latest capabilities of Pinpoint, which allows the instant parsing of thousands of documents.

Instructors

Colleen Kimmett, Google News Initiative

Colleen Kimmett is a journalist and educator who worked in independent media for 15 years prior to joining the Google News Initiative. She started her career at The Tyee, played a founding role in The Discourse, and helped launch the Institute for Investigative Journalism at Concordia University. Colleen is passionate about supporting journalists and the journalism industry in Canada.

Connect: LinkedIn

Shlomo Urbach, Google

Shlomo Urbach is a senior software engineer with a diverse technological background who has been at Google for 16 years. In the past few years, he has been working on tools for investigative journalists, most recently using Generative AI. Urbach was the technical lead for the Pinpoint Extract Structured Data tool, and he is a huge fan of investigative journalism.

Connect: LinkedIn

One-on-oneCareer advice track

One-on-one with Barry Nash & Co. (Thursday)

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (7h)
Location: Gold Key 3, lobby level

Barry Nash and his team return to IRE to provide personalized coaching sessions. If you have questions about any aspect of your delivery — your appearance, how you use your voice, how you can perform most effectively in the field or in the studio — this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Barry has been working with talent at all levels of experience and ability for over 30 years.

Please note: Participants should bring recent footage on a flash drive, webpage/online link, or storage drive (Google or Dropbox).

Click here to sign up

PanelPublic records track

Tools for FOIA and large project organization

Time: Thursday, June 20, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

This panel will showcase how to use some of the most popular no-code tech tools to organize large investigative projects. We'll cover how to automate FOIA tracking, facilitate collaborative projects, and create databases for interview notes and fact checking.

This session is sponsored by TEGNA Foundation. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Matt Dempsey, Spotlight PA

Matt Dempsey is the senior editor for investigations at Spotlight PA. He previously led teams at USAFacts and the Houston Chronicle. He served on the board of directors for Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. from 2018 to 2020. Past investigative projects involved wildfires, state pensions, and the chemical industry. His passion for public records frequently leads to data disclosures from all levels of government.

Connect: X

Madison Hopkins, Better Government Association

Madison Hopkins is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist with the Illinois Answers Project, the nonprofit newsroom arm of the Better Government Association. Her past work includes reporting for The Kansas City Beacon and ProPublica's Local Reporting Network. Hopkins holds degrees from San Diego State University and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Connect: LinkedIn, X

Michael Morisy, MuckRock

Michael Morisy is the co-founder and chief executive of MuckRock Foundation, a non-profit that builds transparency tools used worldwide. A member of the National Freedom of Information Coalition's board, he serves on SPJ's FOIA Committee and served two terms on the federal FOIA Advisory Committee. In addition to MuckRock, the Foundation also runs DocumentCloud, oTranscribe and other services that help power reporting around the world.

Connect: Mastadon, GitHub

Session materials

Sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. PT

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: Photographers and editors edition

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker

Beth Peak, KCTV

Beth is a special projects producer, photojournalist, and craft editor for KCTV in Kansas City. Her MMJ work has earned her national awards and her investigative work has been recognized in multiple markets our the country. She credits IRE for her data skills and takes pride in making the most visually poor stories pop on screen.

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Thinking outside the (TV) box: Tips to reach audiences on platforms beyond broadcast

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Broadcast audiences may be shrinking, but our panel of innovators deliver 10 tips to add multiplatform elements to your investigations and find audiences in new places - without burning yourself out. You'll leave with ideas on how to reach new viewers - on YouTube, on social media, OTT, and other platforms you may have never even considered - to get better ROI from your hard work and to amplify your impact.

Speakers

Levi Ismail, NewsChannel 5

Levi Ismail is an award-winning investigative reporter for the prestigious NewsChannel 5 Investigative Unit in Nashville, Tennessee. Most of Levi’s 10+ year career involved shooting, writing and editing his own stories, but now he applies those same skills to sharing his investigations across multiple platforms. Ask Levi about “vertical video storytelling,” and don’t forget to catch more of his reporting on-air and on the TikTok channel Nashville News.

Connect: Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, X

Ashlyn Lipori-Russie, Independent Journalist

Ashlyn is an Emmy-nominated journalist with a diverse background in broadcast and digital news. She started her career with the Investigative Unit at NBC Bay Area before becoming a producer at KGTV. Ashlyn then worked as content manager at inewsource, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in San Diego, where she took the lead on audience engagement and innovation. Most recently, she has launched her own venture called Ask Ashlyn, working to combat news avoidance.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, TikTok

Noah Pransky, Independent Journalist

Noah is a national political and consumer correspondent - most recently at NBC News - who leans heavily on data and historical context to tell great stories. Previously, he was an investigative reporter at Tampa Bay's WTSP-TV for ten years, where he earned national Polk, Murrow, duPont, and Cronkite awards.

Connect: X, Instagram, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Covering public stadium boondoggles

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

How to keep local taxpayers out in front of the litany of special interests - like major league sports franchises, hoteliers and developers - seeking to profit off public stadium projects.

Speakers

Spencer Custodio, Voice of OC

Spencer Custodio is the Civic Editor for Voice of OC, overseeing the news team's general story production. He started as an intern and worked through the ranks, including investigative reporting on Angel Stadium.

Arlene Martinez, Good Jobs First

Arlene Martínez is deputy executive director of Good Jobs First, a nonprofit that promotes corporate and government accountability in economic development, especially around the use of incentives. Before joining Good Jobs First (which maintains the Subsidy, Violation, and Tax Break Tracker databases), she was a reporter with the USA TODAY Network, The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., the Los Angeles Times and Hispanic Link News Service in Washington, D.C.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky, Facebook, X

Norberto Santana, Voice of OC

Norberto Santana, Jr. is an experienced investigative reporter and founding publisher and editor-in-chief for Voice of OC. An award-winning columnist with decades of newspaper experience in government/investigations, Santana is a pioneer in the field of nonprofit news having served on the board of directors for the the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). He also served on boards for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the First Amendment group, CalAware.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Diving into historical displacement and denial of housing rights within communities of color

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

This discussion will explore the intersection of historical racism in housing and land ownership issues and its reverberations in present-day housing challenges for communities of color. Panelists will delve into the methodologies and ethical considerations involved in reporting on the enduring legacy of racism in housing practices, and empower communities through accurate storytelling and documentation. From racially influenced urban renewal and eminent domain land seizures to discriminatory practices such as algorithmic redlining, this panel will unpack how historical injustices continue to shape contemporary housing landscapes. It will provide best practices for approaching this beat, such as scrutinizing historical documents, obtaining public records, analyzing mortgage data, and reporting on and amplifying community voices.

Speakers

Alexia Fernández Campbell, The Center for Public Integrity

Alexia Fernández Campbell is an investigative journalist at the Center for Public Integrity. Her latest investigation, “40 Acres and a Lie,” uncovered historic documents that helped her identify living descendants of formerly enslaved people who received land after Emancipation, only to have it taken back. Alexia previously worked as a reporter for Vox, The Atlantic, National Journal and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Brandi Kellam, ProPublica/VCIJ

Brandi Kellam is an investigative journalist and filmmaker whose work has been honored with an Emmy, Gracie, and Tobenkin Prize. Her local reporting has sparked nationwide debates on racial injustice, including her ProPublica series "Uprooted," which exposed the displacement of Black communities by American universities. Kellam's work has appeared on CBS, NBC, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among others. She holds degrees from Syracuse University and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Mark Nichols, ABC News / ABC Owned Television (OTV)

Mark Nichols is a senior manager of Data Journalism for ABC News, developing data-driven investigative stories and projects for ABC news platforms. He also works with the data team that serves ABC's Owned Television Station affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Excel 2: Formulas & sorting

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Much of Excel's power comes in the form of formulas. In this class, you'll learn how to use them to analyze data with the eye of a journalist. Yes, math will be involved, but it's totally worth it! This class will show you how calculations like change, percent change, rates and ratios can beef up your reporting.

This session is good for: Anyone who is comfortable navigating Excel.

Instructor

K. Sophie Will, Bloomberg Law

K. Sophie Will is an investigative data reporter at Bloomberg Law, Government and Tax. Previously, she was a congressional action reporter at CQ Roll Call and Utah Investigative Journalism Project's Alicia Patterson fellow. The award-winning Utah native graduated from Boston University with bylines found in the Deseret News, USA Today, AP, Thomson Reuters, HuffPost, WGBH and more.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Extracting data from PDFs

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

Join this class to learn how to liberate data trapped inside PDF’s. This class will cover basic approaches for getting text out of PDF documents using powerful and freely available tools. Participants will be introduced to basic concepts and walked through tackling common challenges encountered with tricky PDF documents.

This session is good for: People who are unfamiliar with PDF-to-text tools or would like to learn how these tools can be used for extracting difficult text from images embedded in a PDF document.

Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training; the free software Tabula; and access to Google Drive.

Instructor

Aaron Kessler, The Associated Press

Hands-onStory ideas track

Finding the Story: Court records

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

In this interactive hands-on session, bring your laptop and practice with us as we show you new tools to help you analyze complex court records - especially on deadline.

This hands-on session focuses primarily on two powerful analysis tools: Google Pinpoint and Draftable. We’ll also briefly discuss PACER and RECAP, bread-and-butter tools to help you locate court records across the country.

We’ll keep this session lively with fun challenges, so come hang out with us!

Instructor

Daniel Connolly, Law360

Daniel Connolly is a senior reporter with Law360 —the nation’s leading legal news service— and recently won a first-place national SABEW award for coverage of a nationwide debt relief scam. He formerly worked for publications including The Commercial Appeal (Memphis), contributed to USA Today’s investigative and immigration teams, and wrote "The Book of Isaias," a critically acclaimed book on Mexican immigration to the U.S. South.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onElections track

Finding the story: Campaign finance data

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

A hands-on introduction to searching for, finding and using federal campaign finance data for beginners. This class will cover using the new Federal Election Commission website to find and download different types of campaign finance data. We'll also review things to know about the data, including common pitfalls.

This session is good for: people who want an introduction to finding and working with federal campaign finance data. Knowing Excel will be helpful.

Instructor

Jimmy Cloutier, OpenSecrets

Jimmy Cloutier is a reporter at OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan nonprofit that tracks money in U.S. politics and its influence on public policy. He joined the organization in 2022 as a Roy W. Howard Reporting Fellow after graduating from Arizona State University’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. His work has been published and cited by various newsrooms, including the Associated Press, Inside Climate News and the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism.

Connect: X, Threads

Session materials

PanelGender & reproductive rights track

Gender & reproductive rights track: Covering the local reproductive health beat

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

While repro/gender issues obviously play a huge role in national politics, so many battles are happening at local level. But the beat can be extremely tricky for local reporters to navigate. This panel will offer story ideas, sources and reporting advice for people who are covering repro/gender issues in the communities they live in.

Speakers

Nicole Blanchard, Idaho Statesman

Nicole is an investigative reporter for the Idaho Statesman in Boise, where she covers everything from outdoor recreation and environment to reproductive rights issues. She has been with the Statesman for 8 years. Nicole is a graduate of Idaho State University and Northwestern University. She's a fan of gardening, naps and spending time with her husband, Max, and St. Bernard, Chunk.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Ziva Branstetter, Propublica

Ziva Branstetter has been a senior editor at ProPublica since March 2022, supervising a team of national reporters. Before that, she was an investigative editor at The Washington Post, worked for Reveal and co-founded an investigative newsroom in Oklahoma. Her investigation into Oklahoma’s death penalty process was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. Work she has led at ProPublica has received two Polk awards and been named a Goldsmith finalist.

Connect: LinkedIn, Threads

Kate Howard, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Kate Howard (she/her) is an editorial director at Reveal and Mother Jones. Previously, she spent 17 years in local news: first as a newspaper reporter, then in radio as a reporter and managing editor at the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (KyCIR). Kate is a member of the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and Louisville Public Media, and she lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Kristen Hwang, CalMatters

Kristen Hwang is a health reporter for CalMatters covering health care access, abortion and reproductive health, workforce issues, drug costs and emerging public health matters. Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, Radio Television Digital News Association, Sacramento Press Club and more.

Laura Morel, The New York Times / Reveal

Laura C. Morel (she/her) is a reporter for Reveal who covers reproductive health. She is currently a fellow with The New York Times Local Investigations Fellowship program, where her work will focus on the impacts of abortion restrictions in Florida, her home state.

Connect: X

Session materials

CommonsInternational track

How to build inclusive global collaborative investigations

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom B, lobby level

Investigative journalism is increasingly collaborative – across newsrooms and across borders. But are we developing models of collaboration that recreate -- rather than challenge – historic power imbalances between journalists in the Global South and Global North?

International journalism has a long history of extractive practices, from exploiting “fixers” to failing to credit local outlets. But even the most well-intentioned global collaborations can fall into some of the same patterns.

We will convene a frank, off-the-record discussion between editors and project managers about equity and inclusion in cross-border investigations. Facilitated by Lighthouse Reports editors working on collaborations in Mexico, Afghanistan and Syria, we will discuss practical steps the industry can take to create more inclusive cross-border collaborations.

Speakers

Mohammad Fahim Abed, Lighthouse Reports

Fahim Abed is a investigations editor with Lighthouse Reports and 2023 Nieman fellow at Harvard. He was a reporter for The New York Times in Afghanistan until the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Charlotte Alfred, Lighthouse Reports

Charlotte is senior editor at investigative newsroom Lighthouse Reports, developing cross-border projects that combine OSINT, data journalism and money trails tools. She focuses on investigations in countries affected by conflict, in partnership with local and exiled journalists. Previously based in the Middle East, she has worked in news, features and documentary, reporting on migration, misinformation and conflict.

Connect: LinkedIn

Melissa del Bosque, Lighthouse Reports

FYI ForumFreelance track

How to get funding for investigative projects

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

Tips and tricks from some of the leading journalism foundations on applying to grants. Do's and don'ts of writing an application, creating a budget, and more

Speakers

Pam Dempsey, Data-Driven Reporting Project

Pam Dempsey is the Data-Driven Reporting Project program director at Knight Lab | Medill.

Connect: LinkedIn

Eric Ferrero, Fund for Investigative Journalism

Eric Ferrero is the Executive Director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, which provides grants and other support directly to journalists for groundbreaking stories. He previously served in leadership roles in nonprofit and philanthropy, including at the Open Society Foundations, Innocence Project and Amnesty International.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Jane Sasseen, McGraw Center for Business Journalism

Jane Sasseen is executive director of the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, which provides grants for business and financial investigative stories. Previously, she was senior editor and Washington bureau chief for BusinessWeek, politics editor-in-chief for Yahoo News, and Paris bureau chief of International Management magazine. She is a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award, the top prize in financial journalism.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

How to make a great story into a great narrative podcast

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Ever wondered what it takes to make a limited-run podcast, the kind that unfurls an investigation over episodes, introduces unforgettable characters and asks big questions? We'll give you a high-level view of how to turn great reporting into a great audio narrative.

Speakers

Jenn Abelson, The Washington Post

Jenn Abelson is an investigative reporter for The Washington Post and co-host of the podcast Broken Doors, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in audio journalism for exposing the dangers of no-knock warrants. She was part of the team recognized in 2020 as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its investigation into America’s deadly opioid epidemic.

Jonathan Hirsch, Sony Music Entertainment

Jonathan Hirsch is the founder of Neon Hum Media, a podcast production company, which was acquired by Sony Music Entertainment in 2023. He is an award winning reporter, documentarian, and audio executive. He is the creator and host of the hit documentary podcasts Dear Franklin Jones, I Am Rama, and My Fugitive Dad.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Kristin Nelson, Boston Globe

Kristin Nelson is Head of Audio at the Boston Globe, where she works with producers, reporters and editors to capture the Globe's award-winning journalism for audio audiences. She is an experienced journalist, documentarian and audio producer; before the Globe, Kristin worked with CBC National Radio programs for 15 years.

Cheryl W. Thompson, NPR

Cheryl W. Thompson is an investigative correspondent and senior editor of investigations at NPR. Before joining NPR in 2019, she spent 22 years as an investigative and beat reporter for The Washington Post, writing about guns, police and corrupt politicians. She has won myriad awards, including three shared Pulitzers; an Emmy; and five National Headliner, five NABJ and two IRE awards. In 2018, Cheryl was elected IRE’s first Black president and served three terms.

Connect: X

Kristin Thorne, WABC-TV

Kristin Thorne is an investigative reporter at WABC Channel 7 Eyewitness News in New York. She is also the creator, writer, executive producer and host of Hulu's first-ever true crime series dedicated to finding missing people called Missing. The show is now a WABC podcast.

Connect: Instagram

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

How to report on what goes on in prisons and jails

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Prisons and jails are difficult institutions to crack. Guards maintain a blue wall of silence. Unlike police, citizen cell phones can't capture official misbehavior. And many people don't care about the incarcerated. Hear from panelists about how they get behind the walls to tell the stories of what goes on in prisons and jails.

Speakers

Mike Balsamo, The Associated Press

Mike Balsamo is the national law enforcement editor for The Associated Press, overseeing a team covering the U.S. criminal justice system and leads AP’s coverage of the criminal cases involving former President Donald Trump. He previously covered the Justice Dept. and spearheaded a multiyear investigation into the federal prison system. Balsamo is a two-time winner of awards from the White House Correspondents’ Association and is vice president of the National Press Club

Connect: X

Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times

Keri Blakinger is a Los Angeles Times reporter covering the Sheriff's Department and county jails. Previously, she covered prisons for The Marshall Project and criminal justice for the Houston Chronicle. She is a two-time Pulitzer finalist and the author of Corrections in Ink.

Connect: TikTok, X, Instagram, Threads

Jan Ransom, The New York Times

Jan Ransom is an investigative reporter for The New York Times focusing on criminal justice issues, law enforcement and incarceration in New York. The Newswomen's Club of New York named her “Journalist of the Year” for their 2022 Front Page Awards for her coverage of the crisis at Rikers Island, one of America's most notorious jail complexes.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Christie Thompson, The Marshall Project

Christie Thompson is a staff writer for The Marshall Project, where she covers prison conditions and mental healthcare. Her 2022 reporting with NPR on abuse in a federal prison in Illinois prompted a federal investigation and helped close a violent prison unit. She was the recipient of the 2016 George Polk Award for Justice Reporting and a 2022 Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. She lives in Seattle.

Connect: X

Session materials

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking: Students

Time: Thursday, June 20, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Mix and mingle with peers from throughout the world to find solidarity, make new friends, and build your professional community in this fun and informal networking session.

Speaker

Emilia Ruzicka, Independent journalist

Sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. PT

PanelBeat reporting track

A matter of life and death: How to investigate healthcare failures

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

When a patient dies in alarming circumstances or lifesaving medicines become potentially lethal, how can you develop sources and follow the paper trail to determine who is responsible?

Reporters who have dug into vital parts of the industry – from the global pharmaceutical supply chain to healthcare providers serving the most vulnerable to the failures of the US FDA – will lay out sourcing strategies, documents and data that you can use in your own investigations.

Speakers

Katherine Eban, Vanity Fair

Katherine Eban is a Vanity Fair special correspondent and best-selling author, reporting on public health and national security. Her article “Rorschach and Awe” which exposed the architects of the CIA’s torture regimen, inspired the 2019 film “The Report.” Her 2019 book, Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom, was a New York Times bestseller and won numerous awards, including from Investigative Reporters & Editors and Overseas Press Club of America.

Connect: X

Bianca Fortis, New York Focus

Bianca Fortis covers education for New York Focus. As a reporting fellow at ProPublica, she spent 18 months investigating how Columbia University protected a doctor who had sexually abused hundreds of patients. Following publication, the university apologized, commissioned an external investigation and established a victim’s compensation fund. Bianca was a Columbia Journalism Investigations fellow and also worked with the New York Times team that tracked Covid-19 cases.

Connect: X

Kendall Taggart, Bloomberg News

Kendall Taggart is an investigative reporter at Bloomberg News. Last year, she worked on a series of stories about global pharmaceutical companies that made dangerous chemotherapy drugs and other bad medicine. While at BuzzFeed News, she was part of a team of reporters that won a Polk and a Loeb award for reporting on a private equity giant’s takeover of a healthcare company serving people with disabilities.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelAI track

AI and automation for the local beat

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Tips and tools to help journalists tap emerging new technologies in AI to monitor, summarize, and get alerts on key topics in their community, using low-cost and free tools.

Speaker

Michael Morisy, MuckRock

Michael Morisy is the co-founder and chief executive of MuckRock Foundation, a non-profit that builds transparency tools used worldwide. A member of the National Freedom of Information Coalition's board, he serves on SPJ's FOIA Committee and served two terms on the federal FOIA Advisory Committee. In addition to MuckRock, the Foundation also runs DocumentCloud, oTranscribe and other services that help power reporting around the world.

Connect: Mastadon, GitHub

Session materials

PanelElections track

Best practices on navigating disinformation and online abuse in an election year

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Disinformation and online abuse are significant threats for investigative journalists, editors, and their work, and are expected to increase exponentially in the lead up to the elections. This session will explore how new technologies, including generative AI, can disrupt traditional reporting and fuel online abuse, and how these disruptions can, in turn, threaten progress on diversifying the journalism industry. Featuring an investigative journalist and producer, and digital safety and disinformation experts, this session will offer journalists and editors the opportunity to exchange best practices and practical tools on defending against online abuse and disinformation campaigns.

Speakers

Mina Haq, PEN America

Mina Haq is a consultant with PEN America’s journalism and disinformation program. She spent six years at The Washington Post, where she worked as a curation editor on the apps and homepage team during some of the defining stories of the past decade, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Jan. 6 insurrection. Before that, on The Post's copy desk, she edited breaking news and investigative pieces while training editors on headline-writing and search engine optimization.

Connect: LinkedIn

Jeje Mohamed, PEN America

Jeje Mohamed is the senior manager, digital safety and free expression at PEN America. She has over a decade of experience working on journalism, human rights issues, and safety and security in the Middle East and internationally. She develops identity-centric and trauma-informed physical, digital, and psychological safety and security training for journalists and media organizations. She is on the advisory board and newsroom lead for Coalition Against Online Violence.

Connect: X, Instagram, Bluesky, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Making the jump: How to get the investigative title (or do the job without one!)

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Are you trying to break into the beat? How do you convince the bosses to let you do the work? How do you get the investigative title? Or do the work without it? Here’s how to show everyone you’re ready!

Speakers

Matt Goldberg, CBS News Los Angeles

Matt is the Vice President and News Director at CBS Stations in Los Angeles. He has more than 25 years of experience in TV news, previously working as the head of LX News, Assistant News Director at KNBC in Los Angeles and at NBC Bay Area. Prior to moving into management, Matt was an Investigative Producer in Los Angeles. Matt served on the IRE board for 6 years and was Board President from 2016-18.

Connect: LinkedIn

Jatara McGee, WPXI-TV

Jatara McGee is an investigative reporter and anchor at WPXI in Pittsburgh. She joined her hometown station in 2024 after spending five years at WLWT in Cincinnati. There Jatara exposed a pattern of jail deaths, a surge in crimes against postal carriers and a fraudulent scheme victimizing used car owners. She started her career in West Virginia after graduating from the University of Maryland. Her reporting has received numerous honors, including a regional Murrow.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Walter Smith Randolph, CBS News New York

Walter Smith Randolph is a national award-winning investigative journalist. He's currently the Executive Producer of Investigations at CBS News New York. He's also an adjunct assistant professor the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and he serves as Vice President-Broadcast of the National Association of Black Journalists. Walter is a past member of IRE's Contest Committee.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Digging into corporate behavior: Tracking and reporting on business influence

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Powerful corporate interests are adept at changing policies to gain market share and boost their profits, whether by weakening worker protections (legislation has been introduced or passed in at least 10 states to make it easier for children to work longer hours in more dangerous conditions) and dodging tax laws nationally and abroad to mobilizing elected officials to do their bidding (ever heard of the State Financial Officers Foundation or the American Legislative Exchange Council?) and ensuring they’re at the front of the line for essential public resources (think crypto and artificial intelligence’s impact on the energy grid). In this panel, hear from a group adept at using familiar and little-known public records to dig into all types of hidden influence. You’ll walk away with tips on how to better report on the ramifications of too-cozy relationships between companies and elected officials. We’re taught to question every word a government official tells us – companies must get the same kind of scrutiny.

This session is sponsored by Bloomberg. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

David Armiak, Center for Media and Democracy

David Armiak is research director and an investigative journalist with the Center for Media and Democracy. David joined CMD in 2015, has conducted extensive investigations on dark money, corporate corruption, and right-wing networks, and is responsible for filing and analyzing hundreds of public records requests every year. David has a strong research interest in social movements and political power and has delivered many talks on the subject.

Connect: X

David Cay Johnston, Simon & Schuster/Syracuse U College of Law

Naureen Malik, Bloomberg News

Naureen Malik built the US power-markets beat at Bloomberg News and is the lead US grids reporter on the Power & Natural Disasters Americas team in New York. Naureen juggles coverage of the impacts of unfolding weather events with investigations that delve into how market rules saddle consumers with significant costs. Her stories have exposed severe grid vulnerabilities and revealed how a billionaire-founded pipeline’s aggressive practices squeezed Texas generators.

Connect: X

Arlene Martinez, Good Jobs First

Arlene Martínez is deputy executive director of Good Jobs First, a nonprofit that promotes corporate and government accountability in economic development, especially around the use of incentives. Before joining Good Jobs First (which maintains the Subsidy, Violation, and Tax Break Tracker databases), she was a reporter with the USA TODAY Network, The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., the Los Angeles Times and Hispanic Link News Service in Washington, D.C.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky, Facebook, X

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Excel 3: Filtering & pivot tables

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

A look at the awesome power of pivot — and how to use it to analyze your dataset in minutes rather than hours. We'll work up to using a pivot table by first sorting and filtering a dataset, learning how to find story ideas along the way.

This session is good for: Anyone familiar with formulas, sorting and filtering in Excel or another spreadsheet program.

Instructor

Gary Harki, Bloomberg Law

FYI ForumReporting and writing strategies track

FYI Forum: How to help your audience avoid news fatigue

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

The news is exhausting. Journalists are exhausted producing it. The public is exhausted consuming it. And research shows more people are avoiding news than ever before. Journalists can both earn audience trust and diminish this news avoidance by helping people know when to step away from the news. In this session, you’ll walk away with in-hand strategies and tools for how you can help your audience become smarter news consumers and better navigate the news.

Speaker

Mollie Muchna, Trusting News

Mollie Muchna is a project manager at Trusting News. Most of her journalism career has been spent working in audience and engagement journalism in legacy newsrooms across the Southwest. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Journalism.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

Hands-onStory ideas trackBeginner

Finding the story: Taking a deeper dive into the housing and homelessness crisis

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom B, lobby level

No matter what community you cover in the U.S., chances are there are people nearby who have been waiting a long time for a place to call home. Homelessness has grown nationwide in recent years and waiting lists for public housing and housing choice vouchers can be more than a decade long in some counties. This session will give tips on how to cover the housing crisis across the country and shed light on whether we really know the true extent of homelessness in the U.S. This session will also discuss how to present public housing and homelessness data in a way that will resonate with audiences across digital, television and audio platforms.

This session is good for everyone. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructors

Jared Kofsky, ABC News

Jared Kofsky produces longform and breaking news investigations for ABC News’ broadcast and digital platforms. He works from both the field and the network’s headquarters in New York, and has covered everything from decades-long waiting lists for public housing to Americans being detained in Russia to prison escapes. Jared previously served as the investigative producer for WCSC-TV in South Carolina and a reporter covering New Jersey economic development for Jersey Digs.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Maia Rosenfeld, ABC

Maia Rosenfeld is a data journalist on the ABC Owned Television Stations national data team, based at 6abc in Philadelphia. She integrates statistics into 6abc's daily coverage and investigations, wrangles data into scoops for all ABC stations, and reports national stories with ABC News. Previously, she was an investigative data reporter for the Scripps Washington Bureau. Her programming language of choice is Python and her favorite library is Pandas.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

How to make investigative reporting about non-English speaking communities more accessible to them

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

News outlets sometimes invest in translating stories into Spanish and other languages, but that’s often insufficient to actually get the work in people’s hands or ears. Panelists will share tips on how to shape your reporting and distribution methods to the population you’re covering, ways to track whether those methods are working, how to manage projects with several components in different languages, and tips for making your project accessible while under newsroom budget constraints. They’ll base the discussion on their recent projects investigating conditions on remote dairy farms where Spanish-speaking immigrants work and how Spanish-speaking Texas residents were left in the dark about toxic air from nearby chemical plants.

Speakers

Maryam Jameel, ProPublica

Maryam Jameel is an engagement reporter at ProPublica based in Washington DC. She focuses on community-sourced investigations mainly tied to workers' rights issues.

Connect: X

María Méndez, The Texas Tribune

María Méndez is a service and engagement reporter for The Texas Tribune. As part of the Tribune's audience team, she manages callouts, writes explainers and guides and works on efforts to help Texans navigate politics and public policy. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and previously reported on public education at the Austin American-Statesman, border and business issues at Texas Public Radio and politics and breaking news at The Dallas Morning News.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Wendy Selene Pérez, Independent Journalist

Wendy Selene Pérez is a journalist with a two-decade career spanning various media outlets in Mexico, Argentina, and the US. Her work focuses on social justice, government accountability, and immigration. Pérez's articles have been featured in The Texas Tribune, EHN, El País, Gatopardo, Proceso, and Al Día/Dallas Morning News. She has been honored with the National Journalism Awards in Mexico, Walter Reuter German Journalism Award, and Breach-Valdez Human Rights Award.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking: LGBTQ+

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

What better way to savor Pride month than to be among your community. Join us to mix, mingle and build community. This session is sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Tat Bellamy-Walker, The Seattle Times

Tat Bellamy-Walker is a communities reporter at the Seattle Times. Their work focuses on social justice, race, economics, and LGBTQIA+ issues in the Pacific Northwest.

Connect: X, Linkedln

Toastie Oaster, High Country News

CommonsBroadcast track

Open mic: The future of TV news - how to adapt

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure about the news business’ future and your place in it, this session is for you.

Technological innovation is disrupting newsroom operations, career opportunities, and societal trust in our work. Together, we’ll define the disruption and explore what it means for content creators like us.

Participate actively or simply listen in as we discuss how to keep our work relevant, ethical, and profitable.

This crucial conversation welcomes journalists of all backgrounds. Together, we can transform individual uncertainty into collective opportunity.

Speakers

Mitch Blacher, WJLA-TV, Spotlight on America

Mitch Blacher is an investigative journalist currently based in Washington, D.C. He sits on the Society of Professional Journalists' Ethics Board and has been an active IRE member for 15 years. Mitch earned his MBA from Villanova University, where he studied emerging content distribution methods, their underlying technologies, and their impacts on journalism production and consumption.

Connect: LinkedIn, X

Jodie Fleischer, Cox Media Group

As managing editor of investigative content for Cox Media Group, Jodie manages national collaborations and investigations for eight local TV stations. She spent 20 years as an investigative reporter at NBC4 Washington, WSB-TV Atlanta and WFTV Orlando. She’s earned some of journalism’s top honors including an IRE Award, a duPont Award and a Goldsmith Special Citation, and she was a 2024 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Public Service. She has served on IRE’s Board of Directors since 2019.

Connect: X

Cindy Galli, ABC News

Cindy Galli is Executive Producer of ABC News’ Investigative Unit, leading a team of award-winning reporters and producers who investigate government fraud, corporate corruption, racial injustice and consumer and environmental issues. She led the network’s Uvalde:365 commitment to remain in and cover the community after a mass shooting. Her team’s recent recognitions include a duPont-Columbia baton and three national Murrow awards. Cindy also oversees collaborative projects between ABC News and local stations and affiliates.

Connect: X

Caresse Jackman, Gray Television/InvestigateTV

Caresse Jackman is national consumer investigative reporter with InvestigateTV/Gray Television. Caresse’s work shines a light on issues impacting consumers and marginalized communities. Her work has uncovered the desecration of African American cemeteries nationwide, exposed the complexities of replacing lead service lines across America and the issues surrounding appraisal bias for African American homeowners.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook

Lee Zurik, WVUE-TV, New Orleans, LA

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Records requests to make on the education beat

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

This panel will cover what records requests are behind some of the best reporting in education. Speakers will present on a national reporting project and the public records database they built, troubleshoot obstacles they ran into and ways they rephrased their particular requests. Speakers will also cover what requests lead to community-centered reporting and what requests lead to data stories, and who they talked to next to tell their stories.

This panel was planned in collaboration with the Education Writers Association and will demonstrate how reporters can access the education beat without being beat reporters, and how education-driven journalism makes effective public service storytelling.

Speakers

CD Davidson-Hiers, Education Writers Association

CD Davidson-Hiers is an award-winning journalist from Florida. She covered K-12 education and COVID-19 during the pandemic for the Tallahassee Democrat / USAToday. She runs the Florida Student News Watch student journalism mentorship program and is the Membership Coordinator for the Education Writers Association. She’s written for The Bitter Southerner, The Nation, Poynter, Orion Magazine and elsewhere. She also is an EMT.

Connect: LinkedIn

Matt Drange, Business Insider

Matt Drange is a reporter at Business Insider, previously with The Information, FORBES magazine and The Center for Investigative Reporting. He's spent the past two years investigating educator sexual abuse in K-12 schools across America. In addition to IRE, Drange volunteers with SABEW's First Amendment Committee and SPJ NorCal’s Freedom of Information Committee. He graduated from Columbia University and teaches journalism at Cal Poly Humboldt and Laney College. 

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Jewél Jackson, Illinois Answers Project

Jewél Jackson is a multimedia journalist and storyteller. She is an investigative reporter for the Illinois Answers Project and focuses on K -12 education. Previously, she covered higher education for El Paso Matters in El Paso, Texas, and various social justice movements in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Jackson’s reporting has been featured in multiple national newsletters, podcasts, and television appearances.

Connect: X

Marina Villeneuve, Salon

Marina Villeneuve is an investigative journalist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2023, she graduated from Columbia University's Lede Program in data journalism and was a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism National Fellow for a broadcast series she led on sexual abuse in Massachusetts public schools. She worked for six years as a statehouse reporter for The Associated Press in Maine and New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Should I learn to code?

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Does learning a programming language sound intimidating? Are you interested in expanding your skillset and doing cool projects but don't really know if it's worth your time? Wondering where to start? In this session we will try to help you answer these questions by talking about the best uses of programming languages (Python and R), what it takes to learn them, and where you can start. We'll look at examples of cool journalism projects that required programming and ways to approach taking on such a project. Whatever other questions you have about learning to code, bring them and we'll try to answer those too!

This session is good for anyone.

Instructors

Liz Lucas, IRE & NICAR

Cody Winchester, IRE & NICAR

Cody is the director of technology and online resources at IRE, where he has also been a trainer. Before that, he was a journalist focused on data and investigations at various newspapers.

Connect: GitHub

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Unlocking data.census.gov for your news stories

Time: Thursday, June 20, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

In this hands-on training session, journalists will learn how to access data from the Census Bureau’s main data dissemination tool, data.census.gov. We will first provide the data availability within the site, including the availability of widely used products like the American Community Survey and 2020 Decennial Census. Then, we will pivot to a live demonstration of how to access various data tables, and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in group and individual exercises to explore the site directly. We will then provide users with resources relevant to journalists for learning more about the Census Bureau and its data products, as well as highlighting the recent changes and improvements made to data.census.gov so that reporters have the latest skills to stay up to date on how to retrieve Census data.

Instructor

Tyson Weister, U.S. Census Bureau

Tyson Weister is a survey statistician at the U.S. Census Bureau, where he engages users in the new dissemination platform on data.census.gov. He also helps users navigate the Census data API and microdata access tool.

Sessions starting at 12:45 p.m. PT

SpecialNetworking track

IRE Board of Director candidate speeches & meet and greet

Time: Thursday, June 20, 12:45 – 1:30 p.m. (45m)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

Come hear from the folks running for a seat on the IRE Board! A meet-and-greet will follow the candidate speeches.

Session materials

Sessions starting at 2 p.m. PT

Special

IRE Board of Directors meeting

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2 – 5 p.m. (3h)
Location: Orange County 4, lower level

The IRE Board of Directors will meet on Thursday from 2-5 p.m. in Orange County 4 as part of the annual conference. The meeting is open to all IRE members.

Sessions starting at 2:30 p.m. PT

PanelEducators track

Bridging the newsroom and the classroom: Tackling big projects with student journalists

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

As professional newsrooms shrink, collaborations with student journalists can become a force multiplier for investigations. University classrooms are able to provide reporting and assistance with public service accountability projects. Learn about how groundbreaking local, regional and national collaborations happened and why they mattered from the journalists that facilitated them – including benefits, challenges, and how your newsroom can stretch resources by partnering with higher ed institutions.

Speakers

Amara Aguilar, University of Southern California

Amara Aguilar is a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California. Her work centers on community journalism, Latino audiences, collaborative journalism, emerging technology, visual journalism, social media, design, and engaging diverse communities.

Kathy Best, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

Kathy Best is the inaugural director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland. She previously was the executive editor of The Seattle Times and a top editor in newsrooms from coast to coast. Students in the Howard Center produce national investigations, often working with other universities or professional partners. They won an IRE medal in 2021 for “Printing Hate.’’

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Kathleen Johnston, Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism

Founding director of the Arnolt Center for investigative journalism at Indiana University. Formerly longtime senior investigative producer at CNN in Atlanta and a similar role at CBS NEWS in DC. Prior to television producing, Kathleen had a long career in newspapers. Multiple awards including IRE, national Emmy, Columbia DuPont, Peabodys, Murrows. Specializing in counter-terrorism and homeland security; congressional spending and breaking new events

Justin Pritchard, The Associated Press

Justin Pritchard is a veteran investigative reporter and editor whose work for The Associated Press has led to new laws and national reforms in areas including sexual assault, military weapons, airport security, consumer and environmental protections, and self-driving cars. His current focus is police use of “less-lethal force.” Prior to joining AP in 2000, Pritchard covered Congress and reported out of Cuba and Southeast Asia. He is based in Los Angeles.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Erin Siegal McIntyre, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Erin Siegal McIntyre is an investigative journalist and professor at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC Chapel Hill. She is the author of Finding Fernanda (Beacon Press 2012) and has been a contract photojournalist with Reuters since 2006. Erin divides her time between North Carolina and Tijuana. She attended her first IRE conference in 2009 as a student and is now thrilled to attend as a professor!

Connect: X

Session materials

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: Confrontations and accountability

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker

Chris Nakomoto, InvestigateTV

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Make me care! Writing scripts that hook viewers and keep them invested

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Whether you’re writing a longform investigation or turning something shorter, in this panel you’ll learn tips for making your scripts sing.

Speakers

A.J. Lagoe, KARE- TV

A.J. Lagoe is an investigative reporter for KARE 11 in Minneapolis. His reporting routinely leads to criminal convictions, legislative hearings, and has resulted in numerous new federal and state laws. A.J. is a two-time IRE Award winner and also the recipient of many of journalism’s other highest honors including the George Polk, along with multiple Peabody and duPont Columbia awards.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Joce Sterman, InvestigateTV/Gray Television

Joce Sterman is a national investigative reporter with InvestigateTV and Gray Television. She's a National Headliner, Murrow and Emmy award-winning investigative journalist with two decades of experience. Before she began tackling national investigations eight years ago, Joce worked for ABC7 in DC, ABC2 in Baltimore, and FOX43 in Harrisburg. Her work has resulted in Congressional investigations and federal legislation. She is a proud Penn State graduate.

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, TikTok

Chris Vanderveen, KUSA-TV

Chris Vanderveen is the Director of Special Projects at Denver’s KUSA-TV. He is a recent recipient of both the Peabody and duPont-Columbia Awards. His investigations have changed both federal and state laws.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelDeep dive track

Deep Dive: Two reporters talking writing

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

In investigative journalism, Sarah Stillman (newly minted Pulitzer winner) and Ava Kofman are two of the finest writers around, able to pull readers into deeply reported, long-form pieces on critical but oh-so-gloomy subjects. In this session they'll talk shop, asking each other about their techniques and stories, which range from the draconian felony-murder doctrine and debtors' prisons to penile enlargement surgery (gone wrong) and turning hospice care into a hustle.

Speakers

Ava Kofman, ProPublica

Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Excel: Importing and data prep

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Don't give up if your data isn't presented in a neat Excel file. This session will teach you how to get data into Excel and prepare it for analysis. We will look at how to import text files, deal with data in a PDF, and get a table on a web page into Excel.

This session is good for: Anyone comfortable working in Excel.

Instructor

Emily Davies, WSAW-TV, Wausau, WI

PanelElections track

Facts, fallacies and frames: Getting trans issues right in the 2024 elections

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Right-wing politicians are pushing trans issues to the fore — in campaign rhetoric, proposed bills and executive actions — as they try to mobilize their base. In the process, it’s become a story across a broad range of beats, from health to education to sports to public accommodations, and beyond. On this panel, editors experienced with trans coverage will discuss key issues to consider when covering the topic, traps to avoid, and stories that are being missed.

This session was planned in collaboration with TJA. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Gina Chua, Semafor

Gina Chua is Executive Editor at Semafor. She was previously Executive Editor at Reuters, Editor-in-Chief of the South China Morning Post and The Asian Wall Street Journal; a Deputy Managing Editor at The Wall Street Journal; a correspondent in Singapore, Manila and Hanoi; and a television and radio journalist in Singapore. She graduated with a BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a MS from Columbia University. Gina transitioned in late 2020.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Ina Fried, Axios

Ina Fried is Chief Technology Correspondent at Axios and co-author of its daily AI+ newsletter. She also appears frequently on broadcast outlets including NPR and CNBC. Before Axios, Ina worked at Recode, AllThingsD and CNET. She is a member of the Transgender Journalists Association and NLGJA: The LGBT Journalists Association and is a member of the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Noia Karr, Marketplace/APMG

Noia Karr's path to marketplace ran through NPR (as engineer, producer, reporter, and host), PBS (as producer and correspondent), and Columbia's j school (teacher). Noia is also a songwriter and musician with the collective box set authentic. They live in brooklyn with artist and educator Birgit Rathsmann.

Izz LaMagdeleine, Snopes

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is the production editor/web producer for Snopes. They previously worked in audience engagement at publications like CalMatters, The Texas Tribune, and PolitiFact. Their explainer on gender-affirming care was a finalist for the Institute of Nonprofit News award as part of the Tribune’s package “Gender Affirming Care in Texas.” It was also cited as a source on Wikipedia.

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 1: Getting started with spreadsheets

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

In this introduction to spreadsheets, you'll begin analyzing data with Google Sheets, a simple but powerful tool. You'll learn how to enter data, navigate spreadsheets and conduct simple calculations like sum, average and median.

This session is good for: Data beginners.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Fernando Diaz, Newspack

PanelBeat reporting track

How to investigate charities 101

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Public charities, family foundations and other nonprofits – including those founded by professional athletes and celebrities – are required to submit financial filings to the IRS and state governments. An investigative sports journalist and charity watchdog expert team up to walk you through their in-depth, impactful and award-winning reporting on nonprofits. Learn where to obtain data and how much to trust it, how to navigate roadblocks, analyze charity financial reporting, identify red flags and follow leads.

Speakers

Laurie Styron, CharityWatch

Laurie Styron is the CEO of CharityWatch, founded in 1992 as the only independent charity watchdog in the United States. As an accountant and nonprofit financial analyst, Laurie has logged more than 10,000 hours reviewing charity audits, tax filings, and other reporting. She regularly partners with, and has been quoted by international, national, regional, and local media outlets on charity-related investigations for tv, radio, print, and podcasts.

Connect: LinkedIn, Facebook, X, Medium

Jason Wolf, The Arizona Republic

Jason Wolf is a sports investigative reporter for The Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network. His work has earned dozens of national awards and accolades, including from the Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Associated Press Sports Editors, the Society for Features Journalism, the Pro Football Writers of America and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

Pre-registration - Hands-onEducators trackIntermediate

Introduction to teaching data journalism - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 6 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Have you ever thought about teaching data journalism? Maybe to a class of college students, a cohort of curious reporters at your newsroom, or even just a protégé that wants to know what you know? This 3-hour class will get you started on the fundaments of teaching data skills to the uninitiated at any level. We'll talk about how to structure a lesson, explain fundamental concepts, lead hands-on exercises, and more.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Instructor

Liz Lucas, IRE & NICAR

Pre-registration - Master ClassPublic records track

Master Class: FOI frenzy: Psychological strategies for getting records out of their grubbies - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 6 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

This master class provides a deep dive into research-based psychological strategies to help you get stubborn public officials to provide you the records you are legally entitled to. This hands-on workshop will include tactics for eliminating copy fees, effective wording for request letters, principled negotiation strategies, and how to craft a denial story that hits home with the public. Warning: When you leave the workshop, we urge you to apply these Jedi mind tricks for good, not evil.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Speaker

David Cuillier, University of Florida Brechner FOI Project

David Cuillier is director of the Brechner Freedom of Information Project at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, which has provided research and education in access to government records since 1977. He was a data journalist before earning his doctorate in 2006. He is co-author of “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records,” and has trained more than 11,000 journalists in FOI since 2004.

Connect: X

Pre-registration - Master ClassReporting and writing strategies track

Master class: The investigative interview - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 6 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Grand Ballroom B, lobby level

You need one final confirmation to run your story. It's the key piece of a months-long project, only one person can provide it, and you've got one shot to get it.

The entire story comes down to The Interview. Will you be ready?

We can help. Sign up for this half-day Master Class in interviewing and get a playbook for getting the information you need.

We'll cover all the crucial steps, from preparation to the conversation, confrontational interviews, talking with survivors, getting the most from witnesses, convincing those who don't want to talk with you and much more.

So the next time you dial that number, knock on that door or corner an official who’s been avoiding you, you’ll be ready.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Speakers

Mark Horvit, University of Missouri School of Journalism

Mark Horvit is a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he teaches investigative reporting, and is director of the school’s State Government Reporting Program. He is also chair of the Journalism Professions faculty. Horvit previously served as executive director of IRE and NICAR, where he conducted training in investigative reporting and data journalism throughout the world. Horvit worked as a reporter and editor for 20 years.

Cheryl W. Thompson, NPR

Cheryl W. Thompson is an investigative correspondent and senior editor of investigations at NPR. Before joining NPR in 2019, she spent 22 years as an investigative and beat reporter for The Washington Post, writing about guns, police and corrupt politicians. She has won myriad awards, including three shared Pulitzers; an Emmy; and five National Headliner, five NABJ and two IRE awards. In 2018, Cheryl was elected IRE’s first Black president and served three terms.

Connect: X

Scott Zamost, CNBC

As the senior investigative producer for CNBC, Scott oversees investigative reports and documentaries. Scott joined CNBC in 2017 after nine years at CNN as a senior investigative producer. During his career, he has won more than 75 journalism awards, including two IRE awards, four national Emmy nominations, three National Headliner awards and 23 regional Emmys. A former newspaper reporter, he has spoken or moderated at IRE conferences every year since 2002.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

One-on-oneCareer advice track

One-on-one with Shawn Giangeruso (Thursday)

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: San Diego, lower level

CNN invites journalists of color and those who identify as being from marginalized backgrounds to sign up to meet on-on-one with Shawn Giangeruso, Vice President of Talent Recruitment and Development, to review and discuss their on-air performance and presentation. One-on-ones will be scheduled for 30 minutes and attendees of various years of experience are welcome to sign up.

Click here to sign up

This session is sponsored by CNN. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speaker

Shawn Giangeruso, CNN

FYI ForumManaging & Editing track

Starting an investigative unit at smaller news organizations

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

Newsrooms across America have been struggling for decades to navigate how to create enterprise and investigative work where dedicated funding does not exist. This is a particular pain point for smaller newsrooms, nonprofit and for profit. In this session, participants will learn from current and former investigative editors about how to create and support an investigative unit or team by accessing philanthropic and grant funding, including for specific stories, projects and even capacity building and identifying partnerships to support your work. This panel will be moderated by two journalists who have successfully fundraised to create investigative units as well as for individual reporting projects.

Speakers

Eric Ferrero, Fund for Investigative Journalism

Eric Ferrero is the Executive Director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, which provides grants and other support directly to journalists for groundbreaking stories. He previously served in leadership roles in nonprofit and philanthropy, including at the Open Society Foundations, Innocence Project and Amnesty International.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Damaso Reyes, New York Amsterdam News

Damaso Reyes is the executive and investigative editor at the Amsterdam News. He has been published by the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Magazine, Der Spiegel, KSFR radio, the Miami Herald, Forbes.com and The Irish Times. Previous assignments and projects have taken him to countries including Rwanda, Iraq, Indonesia, Tanzania and throughout the United States and Europe.

Connect: X

Diane Sylvester, Editor & Publisher

Diane is an award-winning journalist and news executive. Formerly working for Futuro Media, CNN & WSJ, she works with newsrooms as a senior editor and as a fundraising consultant. She currently writes for Editor & Publisher.

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram

Noy Thrupkaew, Type Investigations

Noy Thrupkaew is Director of Partnerships and a reporting fellow at Type Investigations. She previously worked as an independent journalist reporting on human trafficking and labor exploitation and has written for outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, National Geographic, and Reveal Radio. A recipient of Open Society Foundation and Fulbright grants, she has also taught at Princeton University and the University of Southern California.

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

State government reporting that matters

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

The federal government receives the greatest share of media attention, but state governments, often overlooked, wield incredible power over its citizenry, making profound decisions that intimately affect disadvantaged youth, people living in poverty, individuals with disabilities and women's health care, for instance. Want to know how to move beyond insider Capitol reporting and horse-race election coverage to stories that compel change and resonate with the people and communities affected by state policy makers? This session will focus on how to find meaningful, people-first investigations on the state government beat.

Speakers

Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News / ProPublica

Kyle Hopkins is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica. He was the lead reporter on the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Lawless" series, which exposed failures by the state government to provide basic public safety in villages.

Connect: X

Beth Hundsdorfer, Capitol News Illinois

Beth has worked in journalism for 25 years. She has been the co-winner of two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, two John Jay College Awards, an IRE award, a National Headliners grand award, a Sigma Delta Chi award and George Polk Award. Beth has a daughter, Hannah and a son, Jameson.

Connect: X

Meribah Knight, Nashville Public Radio

Meribah Knight is a senior reporter at Nashville Public Radio. She’s the host and creator of the Peabody Award-winning podcast The Promise and Serial’s recent podcast The Kids of Rutherford County. Knight has received numerous national awards for her reporting, including the George Foster Peabody and George Polk awards. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the Goldsmith Award, and twice for the National Magazine Award.

Connect: X

Molly Parker, Southern Illinois University, Capitol News Illinois

Molly Parker is a Southern Illinois University assistant professor of journalism, a Capitol News Illinois reporter and ProPublica Local Reporting Network fellow. She has reported extensively on rural issues, affordable housing, child welfare and mental health. In 2022, Molly and CNI Reporter Beth Hundsdorfer won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights print award for exposing patient abuse inside a state-run developmental center.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelManaging & Editing track

Vetting investigations to reduce legal risk

Time: Thursday, June 20, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Pre-publication review can be a crucial step for editors and reporters to protect themselves and their news organizations from legal liability. This session will provide an overview of common vetting principles to assess and reduce legal risk throughout the reporting process. Participants will come away with practical tips they can apply to their work and a better understanding of the resources available to help with legal vetting.

Speakers

Andy Donohue, CalMatters

Karlene Goller, Jassy Vick Carolan

Norberto Santana, Voice of OC

Norberto Santana, Jr. is an experienced investigative reporter and founding publisher and editor-in-chief for Voice of OC. An award-winning columnist with decades of newspaper experience in government/investigations, Santana is a pioneer in the field of nonprofit news having served on the board of directors for the the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). He also served on boards for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the First Amendment group, CalAware.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Katie Townsend, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Session materials

Sessions starting at 3:45 p.m. PT

PanelStory ideas track

Behind the story: Misplaced Trust

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

We’ll discuss the methodology behind Grist's project examining how land-grant universities got their land and money. Grist located and compiled data on more than 8 million acres of state trust lands associated with land-grant universities, established the parcels’ provenance, analyzed the revenue those lands produce for their associated institutions, and retrieved and categorized the income-generating activities in question, which include timber harvesting, oil and gas prospecting and leasing, mineral extraction, and agriculture. We’ll tell you about our research process, highlight the difficulties of tracing geospatial data and revenue streams across hundreds of years of history, and explain how to use our public dataset and get involved.

Speakers

Clayton Aldern, Grist

Clayton Aldern is a senior data reporter at Grist. His writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Economist, Scientific American, Logic, The Guardian and elsewhere. He holds a master's in neuroscience and a master's in public policy from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His book "The Weight of Nature," on the effects of climate change on neurobiology, brain health, and cognition, is out now from Dutton.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Rachel Glickhouse, Grist

Rachel Glickhouse is the director of editorial partnerships at Grist and an advisor to the Democracy Day project. She has worked at the News Revenue Hub, the COVID Tracking Project, ProPublica and Univision, and she has taught at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and the New School.

Connect: X, Bluesky

Session materials

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: Health care and medical investigations

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker

Rachel DePompa, InvestigateTV and WWBT

Rachel DePompa is a National Consumer Investigator for InvestigateTV. Her work is featured on 114 Gray Television stations across the country. She's also an evening anchor and the Director of Investigations for WWBT 12 On Your Side in Richmond, Virginia. She's won numerous Murrow and Emmy awards over the years. Her stories have exposed complicated Ponzi schemes, police corruption and misuse of tax dollars, leading to several federal investigations with convictions.

Connect: X, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: The art of the interview

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

One of our most popular panels every year - we give step by step techniques to persuade reluctant subjects to go on camera. And then when you have them in the hot seat, there is, indeed, an art to your questioning. Learn from the best here.

Speakers

Tony Kovaleski, KMGH-TV Denver7

Tony Kovaleski Is the Chief Investigative Reporter for KMGH-TV Denver7 and works with journalists throughout the country in his training role with the E.W. Scripps Company. Kovaleski's work has changed laws, influenced public safety changes, led to criminal convictions, forced the firing of senior executives, and altered public policy. His reporting has been honored with national and regional awards, including the duPont Columbia Silver Baton.

Connect: X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram

Tisha Thompson, ESPN

Tisha is most well-known these days for her investigation of wire transfers sent from the bank account of MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani to an illegal bookmaker, which included Tisha's interviews with Ohtani's former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara that immediately resulted in a federal investigation and Mizuhara pleading guilty to bank fraud. A former local investigative TV reporter, Tisha appears on all of ESPN's platforms, including SportsCenter.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Lee Zurik, WVUE-TV, New Orleans, LA

Session materials

PanelDeep dive track

Deep Dive: Cultivating sources on the inside

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

You have the seeds of a promising investigation, but how do you develop the sources you’ll need to deliver the goods? Two veteran reporters will break down how they worked their way inside institutions that seemed impenetrable, from the US Supreme Court to major corporations.

Speakers

Justin Elliott, ProPublica

Justin Elliott has been a reporter with ProPublica since 2012, where he covers business and politics. Last year he was one of the reporters covering U.S. Supreme Court justices' hidden relationships with billionaire political donors. He was also on the team of reporters documenting how the rich avoid taxes for “The Secret IRS Files” series.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Website

Anna Werner, CBS News

Anna Werner is CBS News Senior Consumer Investigative Correspondent. In 2024, Werner won her second Polk Award and the Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism. She’s won three IRE awards, two duPont-Columbia awards, two Peabody awards, four SPJ awards, three Scripps-Howard awards, six Murrow awards, 35 Emmy awards, and been named ‘journalist of the year’ seven times. Previously, she was an investigative reporter at WISH, KHOU, KPIX, and CIR.

Session materials

Hands-onPublic records track

Finding stories in IRS Filings

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

In this session, journalists will learn how to find and read various IRS filings and how to identify potential stories. Attendees will be given concrete examples from the last year of stories that came through the analysis of IRS filings.

Instructor

David Armiak, Center for Media and Democracy

David Armiak is research director and an investigative journalist with the Center for Media and Democracy. David joined CMD in 2015, has conducted extensive investigations on dark money, corporate corruption, and right-wing networks, and is responsible for filing and analyzing hundreds of public records requests every year. David has a strong research interest in social movements and political power and has delivered many talks on the subject.

Connect: X

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 2: Formulas & sorting

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

Much of Google Sheets' power comes in the form of formulas. In this class, you'll learn how to use them to analyze data with the eye of a journalist. Yes, math will be involved, but it's totally worth it! This class will show you how calculations like change, percent change, rates and ratios can beef up your reporting.

This session is good for: Anyone who has taken Google Sheets 1 or has been introduced to spreadsheets.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Jill Castellano, ConsumerAffairs

Jill Castellano is the Data Editor at Consumer Affairs, launching a data-based investigative reporting team. Jill has worked for The Salt Lake Tribune, The Desert Sun, inewsource and the USA TODAY Network, earning a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2018 for her reporting on the deaths of undocumented border crossers.

Connect: X

PanelElections track

Google Trends for election coverage

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Learn how to use Google Trends to track search interest in real-time and support election coverage. We’ll show you how to watch for major spikes in searches, get national and regional-level data and use search insights to find inspiration for your next story.

Speakers

Gabriela Caesar, Google Trends

Based in Brazil, Gabriela Caesar is responsible for analyzing Google Trends data in Latam. With over 13 years of experience in newsrooms, she has worked at G1/TV Globo, Folha de S.Paulo and Estadão. Gabriela holds a master's degree in data and automation, enabling her to uncover valuable data points and insights by combining her expertise in journalism and technology. Elections are her primary passion, driving her work both professionally and in personal projects.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastodon

Shanti du Rocher, Google Trends - EMEA

Session materials

PanelResearch track

How to background people in an hour

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Whether covering a mass shooting or a breaking political scandal, reporters need to know how to thoroughly and quickly background people involved in breaking news events. In this panel, journalists will share concrete tips about mining social media accounts, maximizing Nexis searches, accessing public records online, finding friends and relatives and turning hunches into distinctive stories.

Speakers

Michael Biesecker, The Associated Press

Michael Biesecker is a global investigative reporter for The Associated Press. Biesecker’s work tracking potential war crimes in Ukraine was recognized with the 2022 IRE Gold Medal, as well as the top award for investigative reporting from the Overseas Press Club of America. He was a contributor to the AP team that won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Biesecker also teaches investigative and environmental reporting at Georgetown University.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Jennifer Gollan, The San Francisco Chronicle

Jennifer Gollan is an investigative reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle. Investigations she led have prompted sweeping changes in federal law and new state legislation, and received various honors, including an Emmy Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PJ Randhawa, WMAQ

PJ Randhawa is the consumer investigative reporter for NBC Chicago. PJ is a national award-winning investigative journalist with more than 13 years of experience across five news markets.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating campus sexual assault

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Learn how to investigate campus sexual assault at colleges on your beat from investigative journalists who have broken some of the most impactful stories on the issue in the last decade. Panelists will discuss the techniques they use to find sources, earn the trust of survivors, get records and write bulletproof narratives. The session will cover the federal regulations colleges must follow, what public records to request from universities, law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Department of Education and how to hold perpetrators and institutions to account.

Speakers

Hannah Dreyfus, The Arizona Republic

Hannah Dreyfus reports on gender justice, child welfare and higher education for The Arizona Republic's investigative team; previously, she was a fellow at ProPublica. Her investigation into Liberty University's handling of sexual assault contributed to a historic fine and received national recognition, including the 2022 Society of Professional Journalists’ Ethics in Journalism Award and a National Award in investigative reporting from the Education Writers Association.

Connect: LinkedIn, X

Asia Fields, ProPublica

Asia Fields is an engagement reporter at ProPublica, where she focuses on crowdsourced and community-driven investigations. She has recently worked on projects related to school facilities and discipline. Previously, she was on The Seattle Times’ investigative team, where she reported on how Washington state colleges handled Title IX cases. Her reporting led to a state law requiring colleges to share information about employee misconduct as part of the hiring process.

Connect: Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads, X

Kenny Jacoby, USA TODAY

Thomas Peele, EdSource

Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter for EdSource. His many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, two IRE awards, including the Tom Renner Award and the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage. From 2007 to 2011 he was the lead investigative reporter of the Chuncey Bailey Project, which was credited with forcing the prosecution of the men who killed Bailey, editor of the Oakland (CA) Post, over a story. His book on the Bailey case, Killing The Messenger, was published in 2012.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating hospitals

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Hospitals are among the largest employers in many communities across the U.S. but often don't receive much scrutiny. We'll teach you the basics about how a hospital functions, including how to find and analyze little-examined financial reports and other public records that you can track down for your local hospitals within minutes. You'll also come away with tips for finding sources and navigating around the health privacy law HIPAA — plus, you'll bring home plenty of story ideas. If you've ever felt intimidated by health care reporting, this session is for you.

Speakers

Melanie Evans, Wall Street Journal

John Hillkirk, KFF HEALTH NEWS

John Hillkirk was at USA Today for 33 years before joining KFF Health News in 2016. John’s investigative team at KFF Health News has won a Loeb Award, a Goldsmith Prize, a Polk Award, a Sigma Delta Chi award for public service, the Batten Medal from the News Leaders Association, two National Press Club awards, and two Pulitzer Prize finalists.

Connect: X

Kristen Hwang, CalMatters

Kristen Hwang is a health reporter for CalMatters covering health care access, abortion and reproductive health, workforce issues, drug costs and emerging public health matters. Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, Radio Television Digital News Association, Sacramento Press Club and more.

Maya Kaufman, POLITICO New York

Maya Kaufman is a health care reporter with POLITICO's New York bureau. She previously covered the business of health care for Crain's New York Business. She graduated from Kenyon College and received a master's degree from Columbia Journalism School, where she was a fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Reporting.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Threads

Session materials

PanelInternational track

The year in international investigations

Time: Thursday, June 20, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Come hear how your colleagues abroad are fighting back with extraordinary stories, holding power to account despite the worst kinds of corruption, crime and outright deceit. The panel will give a rapid-fire tour of inspired muckraking from around the world.

Speakers

Olesia Bida, The Kyiv Independent

Olesia Bida is a reporter at the War Crimes Investigations Unit at the Kyiv Independent. She is the author of two investigative documentaries on the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia and war crimes committed by Russian military personnel during the occupation of Kyiv and Kherson oblasts in 2022. Prior to the full-scale invasion, her work focused on human rights violations, gender equality, and other sensitive topics.

Connect: Facebook

Carla Minet, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo

As executive director and editor-in-chief at the CPI in Puerto Rico, Carla Minet has worked as a reporter, editor and producer for radio, tv, print and online, and has led teams that have won the IRE Philip Meyer Award for Precision Journalism, the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism, the Aronson Award, and the Izzy Award for Conscience Journalism. She is a member of ICIJ and board member at the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Connect: X

Hoda Osman, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ)

Hoda Osman is a New York-based independent investigative journalist, serving as executive editor for Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) and president of Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association (AMEJA). She has worked with major networks like France24, ABC News and CBS News. Osman taught investigative journalism worldwide. She holds degrees in journalism and Middle Eastern studies from AUC.

Connect: LinkedIn

Reed Richardson, Global Investigative Journalism Network

Reed Richardson is GIJN's managing editor and is based in the New York City area. He has a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York, and has worked in digital media for more than 20 years. Prior to GIJN, Reed was an editor at Mediaite and a freelance features writer and media critic at The Nation and FAIR Media Watch. He recently relocated to the US after living overseas in Vietnam for several years.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky, X

Session materials

Sessions starting at 5 p.m. PT

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

36 chapters and no nut graph: A case study in merging investigative and narrative

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

“The Landlord & the Tenant,” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and ProPublica, took a bold approach to telling an investigative story: 14,000 words; no nut graph; 36 short chapters, all based on scenes. The braided narrative won the National Magazine Award for feature writing, the first time ever for a double-bylined story. Co-authors Raquel Rutledge and Ken Armstrong will talk inspiration and structure; what makes a successful partnership; and how to keep a narrative rolling without sacrificing your investigative findings.

Speakers

Ken Armstrong, Bloomberg

Ken Armstrong now works at Bloomberg. He’s won Pulitzer Prizes for investigative and explanatory reporting and shared in two staff Pulitzers for breaking news. Other awards include a Peabody for radio and the National Magazine Award for feature writing. He co-wrote the story that became the Netflix series, “Unbelievable.” He was the McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton and co-authored the book, “Scoreboard, Baby,” winner of the Edgar Award for nonfiction.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Raquel Rutledge, The Examination

Raquel Rutledge is the investigations editor for The Examination. Previously at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, her investigation into fraud in Wisconsin’s daycare subsidy program won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. In 2022, she led an investigation into electrical fires which was named a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service. She and Ken Armstrong were recognized with a 2023 National Magazine Award for “The Landlord & the Tenant.”

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram

Session materials

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Breaking down breaking news: Days, weeks and months of investigations

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

When your newsroom transforms into breaking news mode, it’s all hands on deck. So how do you use your investigative skills to set your team’s coverage apart? Learn tips to play an essential role the day the big story breaks, and for the weeks and months that follow.

Speakers

Eric Flack, WUSA9

Murrow, Emmy and AP Award-winning Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Flack grew up in Washington, DC, and was drawn to reporting at an early age. He worked on the school paper in high school and college, where Eric was a staff writer for the Daily Tar Heel at the University of North Carolina Chapel-Hill. His investigations have changed policy, exposed government waste and held the powerful accountable in government and law enforcement.

Connect: X, Instagram

Daniela Ibarra, KSAT

Daniela Ibarra is a reporter at KSAT in San Antonio. She returned home after two years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her reporting at KTUL led to a change in state law, exposed public safety issues and held leaders accountable. Daniela began her career at KTXS in Abilene, Texas. She serves as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Society of Professional Journalists. Daniela graduated from the University of North Texas and is the proud daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Jessica McMaster, KSHB-TV, Kansas City, MO

Jessica McMaster is the senior investigative reporter for KSHB in Kansas City, Missouri. Her extensive coverage of a police raid on a Kansas newsroom was recently honored with a national IRE award and recognized as a finalist in another category. Jessica's work often focuses on government accountability and systemic failures. Her reporting has changed state laws, prompted FBI investigations and led to the indictment of a former county legislator.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

FYI ForumPublic records track

FYI Forum: Uncovering secret Canada: How our FOI and transparency project has made public records more accessible

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

Freedom of information laws are a powerful tool used by journalists around the world. But what happens when you use FOIs to investigate the FOI system itself? Join the lead journalists on “Secret Canada,” an 18-month effort at a national Canadian newspaper that tackled a seemingly dry policy issue and turned it into a solutions-oriented, award-winning project that has served as a resource for the entire country. For the investigation, a team collected information on hundreds of thousands of completed FOIs and made them available to the public, wrote extensive guides on how to file requests and built FOI letter generators which readers have used 20,000 times.

This session will explore how the reporters tackled an ambitious (but achievable!) examination of Canada’s broken access system, including how they designed a methodology for a national-scale investigation, time and file management, source development and story planning. Speakers will also talk about how the “Secret Canada” model can be imported to local and regional newsrooms.

Speakers

Tom Cardoso, The Globe and Mail

Tom Cardoso is a Toronto-based investigative journalist with The Globe and Mail, a national newspaper in Canada. His most recent project was “Secret Canada,” an 18-month examination of Canada’s broken freedom of information regime.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Robyn Doolittle, The Globe and Mail

Robyn Doolittle is an award-winning journalist and author with the Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper. Her “Unfounded” investigation, which explored the ways that police handle sexual assault cases, prompted a national overhaul of policy, training and practices around sexual violence. More recently, she has worked on “Secret Canada,” an examination of Canada’s broken freedom of information system.

Connect: X

Session materials

Hands-onData viz trackBeginner

Free, easy data viz

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Need a chart, map or other visualization to make your work stand out? Come learn how to quickly create an attractive, effective data visualization using free tools.

Instructor

Phillip Reese, Sacramento Bee/Sacramento State

Phillip Reese is a data specialist at The Sacramento Bee and an associate professor of journalism at Sacramento State, where he teaches news reporting, data journalism, and data visualization. His journalism has won the George Polk and Worth Bingham awards, and he was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 3: Filtering & pivot tables

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

A look at the awesome power of pivot — and how to use it to analyze your dataset in minutes rather than hours. We'll work up to using a pivot table by first sorting and filtering a dataset, learning how to find story ideas along the way.

This session is good for: Anyone familiar with formulas, sorting and filtering in a spreadsheet program.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Yue Stella Yu, CalMatters

Yue Stella Yu covers campaigns and elections for CalMatters. She is a Mizzou grad who covered local and state politics in Michigan, Tennessee, and Mississippi. She is an avid Google Sheets and SQL user and a campaign finance nerd. Outside of political coverage, Stella investigated the dairy farmworker housing regulations in Michigan, the lack of flood prevention in Waverly, Tennessee, and inconsistencies related to a police shooting in Columbus, Mississippi.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelAI track

How to deal with AI audio deepfakes in election campaigns

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Just as lower-tech cheapfakes – rather than video deepfakes – did greater harm to elections in recent years, simulated voice fakes (using AI voice cloning tools) pose a potentially greater threat than face-swaps and other video fakes in the seismic election year of 2024. They have already affected elections in Slovakia and Nigeria, and tried to deceive Democratic voters in New Hampshire in the US. They are often combined with robocalls – an existing blind spot for investigative reporters – and timed to a few days before voter registration and election deadlines, when there is too little time to refute them. In this panel, hear from disinformation experts on new techniques to detect and trace audio fakes; how to counter politicians’ “It must have been a deepfake” denials about real audio obtained by reporters; and how to minimize the harm the phenomenon poses to audiences.

Speakers

Mina Haq, PEN America

Mina Haq is a consultant with PEN America’s journalism and disinformation program. She spent six years at The Washington Post, where she worked as a curation editor on the apps and homepage team during some of the defining stories of the past decade, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Jan. 6 insurrection. Before that, on The Post's copy desk, she edited breaking news and investigative pieces while training editors on headline-writing and search engine optimization.

Connect: LinkedIn

Dean Jackson, Public Circle, LLC

Dean Jackson is principal of Public Circle, LLC and a specialist in democracy, media and technology. In 2023, he was named an inaugural Tech Policy Press reporting fellow and an affiliate fellow with the Propaganda Research Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. He was previously an investigative analyst with the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol and has ten years of experience in the think tank sector.

Connect: LinkedIn

Rowan Philp, Global Investigative Journalism Network

Rowan Philp is GIJN's senior reporter. He was formerly chief reporter for the Sunday Times and The Witness in South Africa. His award-winning investigations include the revelation of secret and illicit negotiations for South Africa's $70 billion purchase of 8 nuclear reactors from Russia. As a foreign correspondent, he has reported on news, politics, corruption, and conflict from more than two dozen countries around the world.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

CommonsBroadcast track

Open mic: So, you think you've seen it all?

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Join Ted and veterans of the investigative hustle for an honest conversation about surviving today’s newsrooms, staying engaged and a step ahead of the buy-out. No panel, no powerpoint, just your great ideas.

Speaker

Ted Oberg, NBC Washington WRC TV

Ted recently closed out a successful 21-year run at ABC13 in Houston to start a new chapter as an Investigative Reporter at News4 NBC Washington. He's a dad of 3 teenage girls, the husband of a former TV anchor, a slow runner, and a big Michigan fan. He's thrilled to be back at IRE.

Connect: X, Facebook, Instagram

PanelBeat reporting track

Reporting on educator sexual misconduct

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Lessons learned on document collection, how to find sources in closed campus communities and how to assess and make sense of the often cursory investigations districts conduct themselves. We'll cover the ways that schools fail to meet their requirements and steps they take to keep teacher misconduct out of the public view.

Speakers

Matt Drange, Business Insider

Matt Drange is a reporter at Business Insider, previously with The Information, FORBES magazine and The Center for Investigative Reporting. He's spent the past two years investigating educator sexual abuse in K-12 schools across America. In addition to IRE, Drange volunteers with SABEW's First Amendment Committee and SPJ NorCal’s Freedom of Information Committee. He graduated from Columbia University and teaches journalism at Cal Poly Humboldt and Laney College. 

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Billie-Jo Grant, McGrath Training Solutions/Cal Poly State University

Billie-Jo Grant, MEd, PhD, is a nationally recognized researcher, trainer, and expert in school employee sexual misconduct prevention and response and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Education Week, NPR, the Chicago Tribune, the Voice of San Diego and others. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and has provided legislators with evidence to pass state and federal legislation.

Jakob McWhinney, Voice of San Diego

Jakob McWhinney is an investigative reporter at the nonprofit news outlet Voice of San Diego. He reports on education, from teacher misconduct to chronic absenteeism and everything in between.

Connect: X, Instagram, LinkedIn

Marina Villeneuve, Salon

Marina Villeneuve is an investigative journalist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2023, she graduated from Columbia University's Lede Program in data journalism and was a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism National Fellow for a broadcast series she led on sexual abuse in Massachusetts public schools. She worked for six years as a statehouse reporter for The Associated Press in Maine and New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelManaging & Editing track

Revealed! How Knight Foundation is supporting newsrooms this election cycle

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Presented by Scott Klein and YOU!

Knight is announcing some major investments to help newsrooms cover the 2024 election. Come find out more and bring your election ideas for a participatory discussion about how we can all do great work together.

Speaker

Scott Klein, Newspack

Scott is an entrepreneur in residence at Newspack, helping publishers on Wordpress and other platforms do great election coverage by building and adopting innovative tools and by working together. He was previously at ProPublica and at THE CITY. He’s also on the board of Muckrock.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Github

Session materials

PanelTools & Tech track

Spatial investigations and reporting at The New York Times

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Four members of The New York Times graphics department will break down the reporting and storytelling techniques behind their spatial investigations and narratives using 3-D. These pieces have combined traditional digging, meticulous spatial reporting and highly technical 3-D innovation to cover some of the biggest news stories.

Panelists will take you behind the scenes of their recent projects. They will discuss the ins and outs of spatial and open source reporting; how they navigate building, construction and engineering plans; how they overcome reporting roadblocks; and the storyboarding process that allows them to pull the pieces together, both narratively and visually. Their editor will moderate the panel, and offer insights into how these massively collaborative projects are edited.

Speakers

Haeyoun Park, The New York Times

Haeyoun Park is a deputy editor in the graphics department at The New York Times, where she has edited award-winning visual stories. She first joined the department as a graphics editor in 2006, and for a decade, she led the desk’s reporting on national issues. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Connect: X

Helmuth Rosales, The New York Times

Helmuth is a graphics editor at The New York Times, where he works on visual and spatial stories across a variety of subject matter. His toolkit includes 3D modeling, animation, open-source investigation, event reconstruction, and data analysis. He was educated as an architect at The Cooper Union. He joined The New York Times in 2023.

Anjali Singhvi, The New York Times

Anjali Singhvi is a reporter and senior staff editor for spatial investigations at The New York Times. She covers a range of topics and specializes in investigative visual journalism in which she combines traditional reporting techniques with advanced spatial analysis. She is an expert in forensic 3D reconstructions and digital investigations. Ms. Singhvi is a trained architect and holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University in New York.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Jeremy White, The New York Times

Jeremy White is a graphics editor for The New York Times. He contributes to visual stories that span many desks, including international, climate and science. He has taught for many years at Columbia University.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelData analysis track

When data is not available

Time: Thursday, June 20, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

In this session we will discuss how to tackle problems in the absence of data. We'll deep dive on numerous examples provided by the speakers as they explain how they used an array of tools, including surveys used in health-focused stories and questionnaires, to produce a project and how reporters and editors overcame challenges and made these tools more engaging on air. Also, we'll discuss how these are NOT polls and are NOT scientific, but still can lead to major impact because they ask questions no one else is tracking the answers for.

Speakers

Mark Albert, Journalism Consultant

Mark Albert is a Peabody Award-winning master storyteller with a 25-year journalism career distinguished by investigative & political reporting, innovative storytelling techniques, & newsmaking interviews. He's traveled the world for CBS News; created & led the first national investigative unit for Hearst Television; taught journalists in newsrooms in the US, Vietnam, & Pakistan; & launched an online news startup. He’s now a journalism and media consultant.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram, Threads, YouTube, Facebook

Amy DiPierro, EdSource

Amy DiPierro covers California State University —the nation's largest four-year public university system— at EdSource. She previously worked as a data journalist at the Center for Public Integrity. She graduated from Swarthmore College and the master's journalism program at Stanford University, where she was a Knight-Hennessy Scholar.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

John Kelly, CBS News

John Kelly is Vice President of Data Journalism for CBS News and Stations, leading data-driven investigations, enterprise and innovation for the network and 14 local stations from New York to Los Angeles. He's built and led investigative data journalism units at USA Today and ABC News. A champion for collaboration across newsrooms, his teams' stories include winners of Edward R. Murrow Awards, Emmy Awards, and Goldsmith Prize, and finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.

Connect: LinkedIn

Mc Nelly Torres, Center for Public Integrity

Mc Nelly Torres is an award-winning investigative journalist and former editor at the Center for Public Integrity, where she leads a team investigating inequality. Before, Torres worked as an investigative producer for NBC6 in Miami and co-founded FCIR.org. Torres is a product of newspapers including the Sun-Sentinel and the San Antonio Express-News. Torres was the first Latina to be elected to the IRE board of directors. She was a recipient of the Gwen Ifill Award in 2022.

Connect: X

Session materials

Sessions starting at 6 p.m. PT

SpecialNetworking track

Game night! 🧩🀄️🃏

Time: Thursday, June 20, 6 – 8:30 p.m. (2h 30m)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Have some fun with friends old and new at IRE game night! We'll set up tables in Platinum 5 with games provided, or feel free to bring your own. Everyone is welcome.

SpecialNetworking track

Welcome reception

Time: Thursday, June 20, 6 – 7:30 p.m. (1h 30m)
Location: Marquis Center, lower level

Join your fellow IRE conference-goers for fun and fellowship. Light appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available (each attendee will receive one drink ticket). Conference name tags are required to attend the event.

Friday

Sessions starting at 7:30 a.m. PT

SpecialCareer advice track

IRE mentorship program breakfast — invitation only

Time: Friday, June 21, 7:30 – 8:45 a.m. (1h 15m)
Location: Marquis South, lower level

If you signed up for the conference mentor program, come meet your match at this invitation-only breakfast.

Sessions starting at 9 a.m. PT

Hands-onTools & Tech track

Bill tracker: How to keep up on state legislation regarding any beat

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

This session explains how any reporter can search for pending legislation in any state – or across the country – through a new tool developed with journalists in mind. This bill tracker, through BillTrack50, allows journalists to search for bills by topic. The tool integrates machine learning, which allows searches with greater precision, reducing misses resulting from simple keyword searches. Additional paid features allow users to examine trends over the past decade, and be notified when bills on your topic of interest are proposed. Come to this session to learn how to use it, hands-on. See application of the tool by the University of Florida Brechner Freedom of Information Project to track secrecy legislation, and hear from the data experts at Stanford University’s Big Local News on possible applications of this data, along with other civic information search tools they provide for journalists.

Instructors

David Cuillier, University of Florida Brechner FOI Project

David Cuillier is director of the Brechner Freedom of Information Project at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, which has provided research and education in access to government records since 1977. He was a data journalist before earning his doctorate in 2006. He is co-author of “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records,” and has trained more than 11,000 journalists in FOI since 2004.

Connect: X

Cheryl Phillips, Big Local News - Stanford University

Cheryl Phillips has taught data and investigative journalism at Stanford University since 2014. She founded Big Local News, whose staff contributed to two projects that were Pulitzer finalists in 2024. She co-founded the Stanford Open Policing Project. Previously, she worked at The Seattle Times, contributing to Pulitzer-winning coverage in 2009 and 2014. She has worked at USA Today and newspapers in Michigan, Montana, and Texas. She is a former IRE board president.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Eric Sagara, Big Local News

Karen Suhaka, BillTracker50

Karen started her career as a statistical analyst in Denver at a Fortune 500 company, but soon discovered her entrepreneurial streak, founding her first company tracking data in 1995. After a successful exit she started BillTrack50 in 2011 to make legislative information more available to the public, hoping to help people hold their representatives accountable. She's been a member of CoFOIC and an avid advocate for government transparency for over a decade.

Session materials

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: Local crime and corruption investigations

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker

Chuck Goudie, ABC Chicago

Chuck Goudie is the chief investigative reporter at Disney/ABC-owned WLS-TV in Chicago. He reports most often on political corruption, terrorism, organized crime, disorganized crime, drug cartels, and corporate spying.

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Sources - How to get em, how to keep em

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Whistleblowers, disgruntled former employees, a fed-up spouse ... they can all be valuable on background or on the record. So how do you introduce yourself to them? Get them to trust you? Get them to stay in communication? Best practices for finding and keeping sources, including making agreements, working with your management and legal team on anonymous sourcing and keeping those sources loyal to you for years after the story airs.

Speakers

Scottie Hunter, WAFB

Scottie Hunter is the co-anchor of 9News at Five and serves as the lead investigative reporter at WAFB in Baton Rouge, LA. Most recently, he exposed alleged police misconduct at the Brave Cave, a secretive facility where officers are accused of beating and strip-searching certain people in their custody in an off-the-books manner. He, his wife Jasmine, his son Jason and dog Bear enjoy calling Baton Rouge home.

Connect: Facebook, LinkedIn

Kerry Kavanaugh, WFXT-TV

Kerry has been an investigative reporter and anchor in Boston for the past 10 years. Prior to that she spent time working in Atlanta, Tampa, Des Moines and Bozeman. Kerry has received multiple Murrow and Emmy awards for her work that has led to both changes in policies and state laws. She is happy to help any journalist who needs an ear when pushing a story forward, working through a script or getting around a roadblock.

Connect: LinkedIn, Instagram, X

Ross Palombo, CBS Los Angeles

Ross Palombo is an Anchor/ Senior Reporter at CBS Los Angeles. He previously covered the White House during the Trump administration as a Washington, DC, Bureau Chief. Before that, Palombo was a Political Analyst, Chief Investigative Reporter, and evening Anchor at KTVU in San Francisco. Palombo first gained national attention with his investigative reporting in Miami, Florida. He also anchored the country's first national LGBTQ+ newscast for CBS News.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelEducators track

Developing curriculum for the next generation of journalists

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

While we often hear that youth is wasted on the young, educators know that it's a two-way street in how we can learn from who we teach. We'll discuss what are our non-negotatibles in journalism education and where perhaps we should reframe our thinking in order to prepare the next generation of journalists to do meaningul work with impact and cope with the tumult of the newsroom industry.

Speakers

Marquita Smith, University of Mississippi

Derek Willis, University of Maryland

Derek Willis teaches data journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Previously he has worked at ProPublica, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other news organizations. He runs OpenElections.

Connect: Github

Session materials

PanelStory ideas track

Engagement experiments for investigations

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

If you write it, they will come: this has never been true. When news avoidance and mistrust is rampant, it’s more important than ever before to make sure that the people who are impacted by the harms we investigate can understand our findings in a way that is accessible and clear. Learn creative engagement and distribution strategies to make sure your work finds its readers.

Speakers

Owen Berg, NYU Studio 20/THE CITY

Owen Berg is a journalist and designer based in New York City. He is currently an audience engagement intern at Chalkbeat. He holds a master's degree from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, where he studied audience engagement, solutions journalism, and news product. He has worked at NBC News, Highsnobiety, Cincinnati Magazine, and The Miami Student.

Connect: LinkedIn, X

Darla Cameron, The Texas Tribune

Darla Cameron is the interim chief product officer at The Texas Tribune. She guides product development and management, engineering and design, working closely across the organization to deliver the Tribune’s journalism in fresh and innovative ways that build trust with more Texans. Darla was previously the managing editor for visual journalism, overseeing the work of the photo, multimedia and data visuals teams. She serves on the board of IRE.

Connect: X

Sahana Jayaraman, The Arizona Republic

Sahana Jayaraman is an award-winning investigative data reporter at The Arizona Republic. She mostly works in R and Python.

Connect: X

Caitlin McGlade, Arizona Republic

Caitlin is an award-winning investigative reporter at the Arizona Republic and a data professor at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Her most recent series exposing widespread violence in assisted living facilities prompted a new law that created tougher assisted living standards and also a state takeover of a troubled facility.

Connect: X

María Méndez, The Texas Tribune

María Méndez is a service and engagement reporter for The Texas Tribune. As part of the Tribune's audience team, she manages callouts, writes explainers and guides and works on efforts to help Texans navigate politics and public policy. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and previously reported on public education at the Austin American-Statesman, border and business issues at Texas Public Radio and politics and breaking news at The Dallas Morning News.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Andrew Pantazi, The Tributary

Andrew Pantazi is the editor of The Tributary, a nonprofit investigative newsroom based in Jacksonville, Florida. He previously worked at The Florida Times-Union and as a union organizer with the NewsGuild-CWA.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Ethics of reporting in Indigenous communities

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Learn how to build respectful, reciprocal relationships with Indigenous communities when researching and sharing their stories, and avoiding extractive journalism.

Speakers

Mary Hudetz, ProPublica

Mary Hudetz is a ProPublica reporter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She writes about Native American communities and is a past president of the Indigenous Journalists Association.

Connect: X, Instagram

Karyn Pugliese, Canadaland

Karyn Pugliese is an award-winning journalist, a citizen of the Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, a visiting professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, a panellist for CBC's political show, a board member of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the editor-in-chief of Canadaland. Formerly, Karyn worked as the managing editor of CBC's investigative unit and the news director for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelStory ideas track

How to turn your investigation into beautiful audio narrative

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

We'll teach reporters how to turn their print into audio storytelling. Fundamentals of longform audio. Finding sources, gaining their buy-in, creating a narrative arc, identifying soundbites and putting it all together.

Speakers

Shannon Heffernan, WBEZ Radio, Chicago, IL

Mike Hixenbaugh, NBC News

Mike Hixenbaugh is a senior investigative reporter for NBC News and author of "They Came for the Schools: One Town’s Fight Over Race and Identity, and the New War for America’s Classrooms." His reporting in recent years on the battles over race, gender, and sexuality in public schools won a Peabody Award and was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Connect: X

Julieta Martinelli, Futuro Media

Julieta is an award-winning Senior Producer at Futuro Media where she’s led reporting for Latino USA, Studios and the investigative unit. She most recently co-produced Suave, awarded a Pulitzer Prize in audio reporting & the International Documentary Association award in audio documentary. She's reported on human rights, justice and immigration and is most proud of the work which helped lead to the release of two men from prison, one of which was wrongfully convicted.

Connect: X, Instagram

Sitara Nieves, The Poynter Institute

Sitara Nieves is the VP of Teaching and Organizational Strategy at Poynter. Nieves is an award-winning journalist who has worked at a range of newsrooms, including Marketplace, where she managed the investigative podcast The Uncertain Hour, WNYC and The Economist. She served on the Pulitzer Prize jury in Audio Reporting in 2022 and 2023. She is certified as a workplace mediator and as a leadership and performance coach, and is a certified trainer of conflict resolution.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Interviewing your data with spreadsheets - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to use Google Sheets, a simple but powerful spreadsheet application, to begin analyzing data for stories. We'll start from the beginning with basic formulas and work our way up to summarizing information using pivot tables and more. How do you think about data analysis as a journalist? How do you find the story within the columns and rows?

You'll need to bring a laptop and have a free Google account for this class.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Instructor

Adam Rhodes, IRE

PanelManaging & Editing track

Management track: You’ve merged, now what? Making newsroom mergers work

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Description coming soon.

Speakers

Monika Bauerlein, Mother Jones

Neil Chase, CalMatters

Neil Chase is the chief executive officer of CalMatters. He was formerly executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times, where his team won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Coverage. He's a former editor at The San Francisco Examiner, The Arizona Republic, CBS MarketWatch, and The New York Times and was an assistant professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Alden Loury, Chicago Public Media/WBEZ

Alden Loury is the data projects editor at WBEZ, Chicago's NPR member station, and leads a five-person team of data journalists. Documenting segregation and racial inequality in housing, education, employment, the criminal justice system, economic development and politics have been a focus of his work for nearly 25 years in a variety of roles including reporter, editor, publisher, columnist, research director and policy analyst.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Robert Rosenthal, The Center for Investigative Reporting

Robert J. Rosenthal started his career at The New York Times and was an editorial assistant on The Pentagon Papers. He was a reporter at The Boston Globe and The Philadelphia Inquirer. At the Inquirer, he was a foreign correspondent and became the Inquirer's editor in 1998. He was also the Managing Editor of The San Francisco Chronicle. He was Executive Director of The Center for Investigative Reporting for nearly ten years and is currently its CEO emeritus.

Pre-registration - Master ClassReporting and writing strategies track

Master Class: Outlining and structure: The writer's missing manual - pre-registered attendees only - SOLD OUT

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Grand Ballroom B, lobby level

Outlining might be the single best thing you can do to make you a better, faster writer. This isn't the roman numeral outlining your middle school teacher taught you. We'll take a story from the ground up, showing how early considerations about structure and framing develop into a draft.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Speaker

Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times

Matt Apuzzo is the international investigations editor for the New York Times, based in London. Over a decade of reporting in Washington and overseas, he was part of teams that won Pulitzer Prizes for investigative, national and public service journalism.

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking: Freelancers

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

Mix and mingle, meet friends old and new, and build your professional community in this fun and informal networking session.

This session is for people who work as freelancers.

Speakers

Florangela Davila, Independent Journalist

Florangela Davila is an award-winning reporter and editor who has led two different public media newsrooms in Seattle. She is the former news director at NPR-affiliate KNKX where her team earned a national Murrow for a podcast about the police killing of Manny Ellis and a PMJA award for an investigation into the abusive culture in youth soccer.

Connect: LinkedIn

Kristin Hussey, Independent journalist

One-on-oneCareer advice track

One-on-one with Barry Nash & Co. (Friday)

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (7h)
Location: Gold Key 3, lobby level

Barry Nash and his team return to IRE to provide personalized coaching sessions. If you have questions about any aspect of your delivery — your appearance, how you use your voice, how you can perform most effectively in the field or in the studio — this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Barry has been working with talent at all levels of experience and ability for over 30 years.

Please note: Participants should bring recent footage on a flash drive, webpage/online link, or storage drive (Google or Dropbox).

Click here to sign up

PanelElections track

Politicization of children and families: Enforcement and consequences of anti-trans policies (MASKS REQUIRED)

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

All those attending this panel must be masked upon speaker request.

Schools are the new battleground in the culture wars — with state and national organizations, teachers’ unions, parents and students clashing over curricula, gender, sports, bathrooms and more. What are the connections behind the multiple efforts to regulate what happens in the classroom, and what’s the endgame? Join the panel to discuss how children and families have become the focal point in politics and the consequences of anti-trans policies on them.

This session was planned in collaboration with TJA. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Tat Bellamy-Walker, The Seattle Times

Tat Bellamy-Walker is a communities reporter at the Seattle Times. Their work focuses on social justice, race, economics, and LGBTQIA+ issues in the Pacific Northwest.

Connect: X, Linkedln

Taylor Lorenz, The Washington Post

Taylor Lorenz is a technology columnist at The Washington Post and host of the Power User podcast on Vox media, a weekly tech and online culture show. She covers social media, the content creator industry, and online radicalization. She has written for the New York Times, New York Magazine, and more.

Cora Neas, KXAN

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis track

Scraping license and violations data with browser automation tools

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

License data, lists of violations, and other high-value information is often locked behind hard-to-scrape pages, especially for state and local governments. In this session we'll see how browser automation tools can interact with web pages in ways traditional scrapers can't! You'll learn to automate the process of:

- Filling out form fields

- Clicking next, search, or login buttons

- Making searches for every row in your spreadsheet

- Download lists, tables and documents

- Breaking CAPTCHAs

- Taking screenshots

While we'll specifically be looking at state-level license and violations data, this is a great skill for anyone performing web-based investigations.

This session is good for: Even if you don't have Python skills, scraping is an accessible entryway into learning to code!

Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jonathan Soma, Columbia University

Jonathan Soma is Knight Chair in Data Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, where he directs the Data Journalism MS and the summer-intensive Lede Program. He regularly publishes tutorials on everything from basic Python and analysis to ai2html and machine learning. Unfortunately, he cannot stop talking about AI at the moment.

Connect: X, GitHub

PanelBeat reporting track

The big con: How to recognize, investigate and expose financial fraud

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Marquis Northeast, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Sometimes, the biggest stories are hiding in plain sight. These reporters dove into big news stories—the crypto bubble, the Covid pandemic, a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governors—and returned with epic stories of scandal and fraud using common-sense skepticism, thorough sourcing and creative storytelling. Tips on how to talk to anyone, even if they might be up to no good, and how to build compelling characters, scenes and narratives

Speakers

Zeke Faux, Bloomberg News

Zeke Faux is an investigative reporter for Bloomberg News, and the author of "Number Go Up: Inside Crypto's Wild Rise and Staggering Fall." He's a former National Fellow at New America and a winner of the Gerald Loeb award and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel award. He's also a National Magazine Award finalist. His work has also appeared in New York Magazine, and the anthologies The Year's Best Sportswriting and The Best Business Writing.

Connect: X

Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times

Shawn McIntosh, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Shawn McIntosh is head of Standards and Practices and also oversees investigative reporting at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She's an IRE veteran who credits the organization with a massive role in shaping her career success.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

The stories you're missing in your higher education coverage

Time: Friday, June 21, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Many newsrooms cover higher education by focusing on the most elite students and institutions, overlooking the vast majority of students who attend state schools and community colleges. This panel will discuss how higher education reporters and editors can do a better job of helping Americans understand what higher education truly looks like for most Americans. We will discuss how we've found and reported on stories on diverse communities, including on non-traditional students who now represent the majority of undergraduates in the U.S. and include older students, students with kids, students who work full-time and formerly incarcerated students.

This session is sponsored by the Lumina Foundation. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Michael Burke, EdSource

Michael Burke is a higher education reporter for EdSource covering California’s public colleges and universities. He has covered major stories, including enrollment declines at community colleges, the elimination of standardized tests in university admissions, efforts to improve California’s community college transfer system and more. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2018, where he studied journalism and political science. He lives in Los Angeles.

Adam Echelman, CalMatters

Adam Echelman covers community colleges for CalMatters through a partnership with Open Campus. Before CalMatters, he worked as an equity reporter at the Modesto Bee, where his coverage received a California News Publishers Association award. For three years, he served as the executive director of Libraries Without Borders, a nonprofit organization that helps expand access to information. He’s a graduate of Yale University and is fluent in Spanish and French.

Connect: X

Lisa Kurian Philip, WBEZ and Open Campus Media

As higher education reporter for WBEZ Chicago and Open Campus Media, Lisa Kurian Philip tells stories about who has access to college -- and who doesn't -- and how race and class figure into the equation. Before getting into journalism and public radio, Lisa had a rewarding and sometimes strange career in classical music and music education. She plays the viola.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Cristina Silva, The Boston Globe

Session materials

Sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. PT

PanelData analysis track

A world of possibilities: Lassoing satellite data for global and local investigations

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Journalists have used satellite data to map flooding, illegal deforestation, methane emissions, high-risk zones for future epidemics and much more. We’ll cover accessing and analyzing satellite data with platforms like Google Earth Engine and Global Forest Watch to produce investigations that break new ground with help from the sky.

Speakers

Isabela Barriga, World Resources Institute, Global Forest Watch

Isabela is a Community Engagement Manager for Global Forest Watch (GFW) at the World Resources Institute. She works across GFW to strengthen usership and the impact of GFW solutions by assessing and addressing the needs of GFW’s global user community. This includes managing virtual engagement opportunities, developing training resources, cultivating partnerships, building an online user community, and capturing and writing user stories.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Carl Churchill, The Wall Street Journal

Carl Churchill is a graphics reporter with The Wall Street Journal. He primarily covers issues related to climate, ecology, and U.S. news. He joined the Journal after working for Woodwell Climate Research Center, a climate science organization based in Massachusetts. While there, he received recognition for his graphics work on Amazon deforestation and Arctic climate change. He has a master's in GIS from Arizona State University.

Connect: LinkedIn

Deborah Nelson, University of Maryland

Session materials

Hands-onSecurity trackBeginner

AI 101: Coaching ChatGPT to help you with your coding and data tasks

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

ChatGPT, widely misunderstood and in some cases misused, can be a powerful tool to improve efficiency in our day-to-day work. Give ChatGPT a few rows of publicly available data and ask it to write a data dictionary. We'll use ChatGPT to help write a public records request for us, have it help us make sense of data and we'll even use it to write a Python script to reshape unruly Excel data. The best part? You don't need to know Python to write this code. This session is good for everyone.

Instructor

Charles Minshew, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Charles Minshew is the digital storytelling editor (data and graphics) at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Professionally, he's a journalist working at the intersection of data and graphics and finding new, innovative storytelling tools. In his personal life, he listens to just enough (not too much) Taylor Swift (OK, it might be too much) and currently has 37 of 50 states in his spreadsheet of places he's visited.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

PanelPublic records track

Accessing courts in high-profile cases

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Whether covering a criminal trial or civil dispute, journalists reporting on high-profile cases have found themselves barred from accessing court records and proceedings that are essential to providing the public with in-depth information about how the judicial system is functioning. This session will discuss the types of information and proceedings that courts must make publicly available, and share lessons learned from recent instances where journalists and news organizations have successfully challenged undue efforts to limit access in important cases at both the state and federal level.

This session is sponsored by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Mike Balsamo, The Associated Press

Mike Balsamo is the national law enforcement editor for The Associated Press, overseeing a team covering the U.S. criminal justice system and leads AP’s coverage of the criminal cases involving former President Donald Trump. He previously covered the Justice Dept. and spearheaded a multiyear investigation into the federal prison system. Balsamo is a two-time winner of awards from the White House Correspondents’ Association and is vice president of the National Press Club

Connect: X

Arthur Kane, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Art Kane is investigations editor at the Review-Journal. He has been honored with two duPont-Columbia awards, a Peabody and named outstanding Nevada journalist in 2020 & 2022. His stories resulted in indictments and removal of incompetent and corrupt officials He is the author of "The Last Story" about the murder of his RJ colleague published in April by WildBlue Press.

Connect: X

Robert Legare, CBS NEWS

Robert Legare is a CBS News multiplatform reporter and producer covering the Justice Department, federal courts and investigations. He has covered Justice Department policies and law enforcement initiatives, several special counsel investigations and the sprawling probe into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross, he worked as an associate producer for the "CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell."

Connect: X

Katie Townsend, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Authenticity in investigations: Covering your own communities

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Racial/ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ persons, women... journalists who are members of these groups and others can enrich their stories with their experiences, but they can often also face criticism for their closeness to their subjects. When the story is investigative, the need for objectivity and transparency in reporting grows. Find out how a group of journalists covers its own community and works to ensure trust among its audience - tactics that may work for you or your newsroom, too.

Speakers

Silvia Foster-Frau, The Washington Post

Silvia Foster-Frau is a national investigative reporter for The Washington Post who writes about how local, state and federal governments are serving this country’s diversifying population. She is also Vice President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists – DC Chapter. This year, she and her colleagues won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on AR-15 style rifles. Before joining the Post, she was the immigration reporter for the San Antonio Express-News.

Connect: X, Linkedin, Instagram

Josh Hinkle, KXAN

Josh Hinkle is KXAN’s director of investigations and innovation, leading the station’s duPont and IRE Award-winning investigative team on multiple platforms. He also leads KXAN’s political coverage as executive producer and host of “State of Texas,” a weekly statewide program focused on the Texas Legislature and elections. In 2021, he was elected to the IRE Board of Directors and currently serves as its vice president.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Barbara Rodriguez, The 19th

Barbara Rodriguez is the state politics and voting reporter at The 19th, an independent nonprofit newsroom that writes about gender, politics and policy. She previously covered politics and health care at the Des Moines Register. Before that, she was the Iowa statehouse reporter for The Associated Press. Barbara recently finished a two-year term on the IRE Board of Directors.

Connect: LinkedIn

Kat Stafford, Reuters

Kat Stafford is the Global Race and Justice Editor. She is an award-winning journalist, whose work has centered on covering and investigating how structural racism has fueled inequity across America. She is the former vice president of IRE's Board of Directors.

Connect: X

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: On-your-side consumer investigations

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker

Kurtis Ming, CBS News Sacramento

A consumer Investigative reporter and anchor for 25 years, Ming has worked for Sacramento's KOVR-TV since 2003 creating the Call Kurtis consumer franchise. His investigations have led to arrests, a doctor losing his license, changes to state law and helped put millions back into viewers pockets. He anchors the station's 4 and 5:30pm newscasts.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: The 10 most important lessons I've learned

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Brutally honest talk from three TV veterans about the mistakes they've made, the questions they've missed, and the trust they’ve misplaced in 60+ years of combined reporting. Come join the conversation as they open up about the important lessons they've learned the hard way.

Speakers

Cindy Galli, ABC News

Cindy Galli is Executive Producer of ABC News’ Investigative Unit, leading a team of award-winning reporters and producers who investigate government fraud, corporate corruption, racial injustice and consumer and environmental issues. She led the network’s Uvalde:365 commitment to remain in and cover the community after a mass shooting. Her team’s recent recognitions include a duPont-Columbia baton and three national Murrow awards. Cindy also oversees collaborative projects between ABC News and local stations and affiliates.

Connect: X

Lori Jane Gliha, Scripps News

Lori Jane Gliha is a national investigative reporter for Scripps News. She specializes in smart, ethical journalism and has been a finalist for a duPont-Columbia Award and the IRE competition. She spent years uncovering critical details in the death of Elijah McClain, who was forcibly detained by police and injected – by paramedics -with ketamine. Her recent original reporting examines the impact of the fentanyl crisis on babies and young children.

Connect: X, Facebook, Instagram

Rick Yarborough, NBC Washington

Rick Yarborough is Senior Investigative Producer at NBC Washington where he launched the NEWS4 I-Team in 2011. His work has been recognized with multiple national awards, including a Peabody, duPont-Columbia University, Gerald Loeb Award, Scripps Howard Foundation, National Headliners, National Press Club & Fourth Estate Award, along with many regional Emmys and Murrows. He also leads the OUT DC Employee Resource Group for LGBTQ+ and Ally employees.

Connect: X

Hands-onData analysis track

Data analysis with Python

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

In this session, you'll learn how to analyze data using the popular Python data analysis library pandas. You'll learn about the benefits of scripting your data projects and enough syntax to load, sort, filter and group a data set.

This class is good for: People who are comfortable working with data in spreadsheets or SQL and want to make the leap to programming.

Instructor

Eli Murray, The New York Times

Eli Murray is a graphics editor at The New York Times where he uses code to scrape records, crunch numbers, and visualize complex topics. Prior to joining NYT, Eli worked as an investigative data reporter at The Tampa Bay Times where we he was on the team that won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting and the IRE Medal among other honors.

Session materials

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

Finding fresh ways to write about guns and other tough topics

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Tackling a topic that feels like it has been covered to death? And yet you have to do it; the subject is just that important. We’ll offer some ideas to help you discover that fresh approach, delving into an innovative new project on firearms and other work.

Speakers

John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Marquette University

John Diedrich is an investigative reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Through an O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University, Diedrich examined gun deaths in Wisconsin, reframing the issue in deep reporting with gun owners. Earlier work revealed electrical fire risk and dangers in factories, MMA and hospitals. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, he also received a George Polk and Gerald Loeb, among other awards.

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, Facebook

Mollie Muchna, Trusting News

Mollie Muchna is a project manager at Trusting News. Most of her journalism career has been spent working in audience and engagement journalism in legacy newsrooms across the Southwest. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Journalism.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Tina Rosenberg, Solutions Journalism Network

Tina Rosenberg is co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network. At the New York Times she wrote editorials, Sunday magazine articles and the Fixes column. She is the author of hundreds of magazine articles and three books: Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America, The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism, and Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World. The Haunted Land won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Holding your public officials accountable

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Marquis Northeast, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

We’ll show you how you set up your investigation to focus on accountability — from what tips to prioritize to how to build a case and strategize the interview with public officials. We won’t stop there. We often hear, what happens after the story is published? We’ll share tips and tricks on what worked for us and how it might be useful to you, regardless of where you live.

Speakers

Alejandra Cancino, Injustice Watch

Alejandra Cancino is a senior reporter at Injustice Watch, a Chicago-based nonprofit newsroom investigating the Cook County court system. Her award-winning work focuses on the intersection of government and business and combines data with personal stories to expose how people are affected by systemic failures. In 2022, she spent a year as an editor training emerging journalists. Earlier in her career, she covered labor as a business reporter at the Chicago Tribune.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hanisha Harjani, The Fuller Project

Hanisha Harjani is a reporter with The Fuller Project where they cover tech, Silicon Valley and more through a gender lens. They are an award-winning audio journalist who has written and produced stories for several outlets, including NPR, The Guardian, Yale Climate Connections, KALW, and The Oaklandside. Before they were a reporter, they were a science educator in museum and classroom settings, and they are super passionate about learning and sharing information.

Connect: LinkedIn

George Joseph, The Guardian US

George Joseph is an investigative reporter for The Guardian US. He has been the lead reporter on a months-long reporting collaboration with The City and Documented, which has uncovered evidence of “straw donor” schemes that channeled illegal donations into the election campaigns of New York City Mayor Eric Adams. His past reporting on police misconduct in Mount Vernon, New York, led to the disbandment of 26 criminal convictions.

Connect: X

Lauren McGaughy, The Texas Newsroom

Lauren McGaughy is an investigative reporter and editor for The Texas Newsroom, a collaboration of NPR stations in Texas. She focuses on criminal justice, governmental ethics and LGBTQ issues. In 2020, the Headliners Foundation honored her work on how police use hypnosis to investigate crimes. Lauren previously worked for The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and New Orleans Times-Picayune. She loves cats, cemeteries and comic books. Ask about her wig collection!

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook

Pre-registration - Master ClassBroadcast track

Master class: Writing for broadcast TV - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (2h 15m)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

A deep dive into the art of broadcast storytelling. We’ll discuss story structure, character introduction and development, building to reveals, writing to the edges of video, maximizing emotion, the power of silence and transitions from track to sound bites and a whole lot more.

With special video guest appearances by several of the broadcast industry’s writing gurus; Boyd Huppert, Bob Dotson, Steve Osunsami, Al Tompkins and Steve Eckert.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $30 to participate.

Speakers

A.J. Lagoe, KARE- TV

A.J. Lagoe is an investigative reporter for KARE 11 in Minneapolis. His reporting routinely leads to criminal convictions, legislative hearings, and has resulted in numerous new federal and state laws. A.J. is a two-time IRE Award winner and also the recipient of many of journalism’s other highest honors including the George Polk, along with multiple Peabody and duPont Columbia awards.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Chris Vanderveen, KUSA-TV

Chris Vanderveen is the Director of Special Projects at Denver’s KUSA-TV. He is a recent recipient of both the Peabody and duPont-Columbia Awards. His investigations have changed both federal and state laws.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelCareer advice track

Media lawyer Q&A

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

Does your investigation involve complex legal questions and you're unsure how to proceed? Bring your lunch and your questions for a personal discussion with some prominent media law experts that will be presenting throughout the conference.

This session is sponsored by the TEGNA Foundation. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Lisa Armstrong, UC Berkeley

Lisa Armstrong is an award-winning journalist with credits in The Intercept, The New Yorker, and other outlets. She is currently reporting on incarceration and has written about juvenile life without parole and COVID-19 in prisons. She also produced a documentary for CBS News about how poor mental health care provided by for-profit companies led to an increase in suicides in state prisons. Armstrong is a professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Connect: LinkedIn

Sam F. Cate-Gumpert, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Adam Marshall, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Matt Topic, Loevy & Loevy

Matt Topic leads the Media and Intellectual Property practices at Loevy & Loevy. He has represented journalists in hundreds of state and federal open records lawsuits, and represents news organizations in copyright lawsuits against the makers of ChatGPT. Matt has also served as the outside general counsel to a non-profit newsroom for over 10 years. Before joining Loevy & Loevy, Matt was a partner at the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Safer sidelines for athletes in your state

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

When an athlete dies, we tend to cover it as a three-part series: the tragedy, the vigil, and then later, the cause of death. But what if an athlete collapsing is more than a tragedy? What if it's a breakdown of a system that's been refined by sports medicine experts since the death of a NFL player in 2001? And how can that system be fixed? We'll show you how to dig into those questions in your state.

Speakers

Rob Byer, The Courier Journal

Rob Byers has decades of experience in reporting, editing and project planning. The Amity, Pa., native rose from intern to executive editor while at the Charleston Gazette in West Virginia. He was an editor on the Gazette's first-ever Pulitzer Prize (investigative reporting) in 2017. After joining The Courier Journal in Louisville, Ky., in 2018, Byers was lead editor on a quick-turn investigation that won the Pulitzer for breaking news in 2020.

Connect: X, Facebook, LinkedIn

Kirsten Farrell, Los Angeles Unified School District

Kirsten Farrell is a dedicated advocate for student-athlete well-being and the integration of athletic trainers in school programs. With over two decades of experience, she serves as the Athletic Training Coordinator for LAUSD, spearheading initiatives to enhance student-athlete safety. A former sports medicine teacher at Venice High School, Kirsten has been honored as California Teacher of the Year in 2018 and an Outstanding Teacher in America in 2021.

Connect: LinkedIn

Stephanie Kuzydym, The Courier Journal

Stephanie Kuzydym is an investigative journalist for The Courier Journal. For the last decade, her reporting largely focused on health and safety of athletes, including “Safer Sidelines,” which uncovered the many ways high schools, athletic associations and lawmakers have failed to prepare for the worst-case scenario – sudden death in sports. Her work received awards from the Online News Association, the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Kentucky Press Association.

Connect: X, LinedIn, Facebook

Maya Miller, ProPublica

Maya Miller is an engagement reporter at ProPublica working on community-sourced investigations.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

Unsung documents

Time: Friday, June 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Veteran investigative reporters reprise a classic panel and list obscure but powerful documents that anyone can use to turbocharge a project or bulk-up daily beat coverage. They also provide practical guidelines for unearthing, scrutinizing, managing and cross-referencing routine documents to unleash their full investigative power.

Speakers

James Grimaldi, The Wall Street Journal

James won the 2023 Pulitzer for investigative reporting after he and a WSJ team exposed senior federal officials investing in companies they regulated. That probe followed an award-winning series he initiated a year earlier, exposing ethical lapses by more than 150 federal judges. James has won dozens of other journalism prizes, including sharing the investigative-reporting Pulitzer with two co-writers in 2006. He serves on the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Cheryl W. Thompson, NPR

Cheryl W. Thompson is an investigative correspondent and senior editor of investigations at NPR. Before joining NPR in 2019, she spent 22 years as an investigative and beat reporter for The Washington Post, writing about guns, police and corrupt politicians. She has won myriad awards, including three shared Pulitzers; an Emmy; and five National Headliner, five NABJ and two IRE awards. In 2018, Cheryl was elected IRE’s first Black president and served three terms.

Connect: X

Session materials

Sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. PT

PanelInternational track

10 international financial crimes journalists should understand

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

International illicit financial flows affect so many areas of life from crime to the democratic process. This session will lay out the top financial crimes that you should know about — and how to investigate them. Learn how bad actors hide these transactions in plain site.

Speakers

Martha Mendoza, Associated Press

A two-time Pulitzer Prize and Emmy winner, Martha Mendoza’s reports have prompted Congressional hearings and new legislation, Pentagon investigations and White House responses. She was part of a team whose investigations into slavery in the Thai seafood sector have led to the freedom of more than 2,000 men.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook

Drew Sullivan, OCCRP

Drew Sullivan is a co-founder & the publisher of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). Under his direction, OCCRP has won numerous awards, including the European Press Prize. He is an executive producer of the award-winning film, The Killing of a Journalist. Drew also created Reporters Shield, a membership program for media outlets that helps defend investigative journalism against SLAPPs & other legal harassment.

Session materials

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Anatomy of an investigation

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

From pitch to air, how an initial and maybe obscure tip led to successful investigative stories. Challenges, work arounds, solutions, successes – plus collaborations, partnerships, team projects and more! We pick apart compelling content to find out how they got the end result.

Speakers

Jennifer Cobb, KHOU

Jennifer Cobb is the Executive Producer of Investigations at KHOU. During her career, she’s spearheaded impactful stories that have exposed consumer fraud, government waste and wrongdoing. Her work has been recognized with numerous national awards including a duPont, IRE Medal and IRE Award. Prior to Houston, she led investigative and special projects teams in Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Scott Friedman, KXAS-TV, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

Eva Parks, NBC 5/KXAS-TV

Eva Parks is the resident watchdog for KXAS-TV’s award-winning team covering big government, fraud, education and exposing safety issues in North Texas and beyond. While data and open records are her jam, Parks loves breaking news and producing long-form stories that matters. Parks has been honored with multiple national awards but her greatest honor is exposing the truth and advocating for those who may not have a voice.

Connect: LinkedIn

Jeremy Rogalski, KHOU-TV, Houston

Investigative Reporter Jeremy Rogalski is a three-time recipient of the IRE award and duPont Columbia University award, the broadcast recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. In his 23-year career at KHOU-TV in Houston, TX, Jeremy’s exclusive reports have changed policy, sparked criminal prosecutions and helped countless Texans along the way. He’s a native Chicagoan and die-hard Cubs fan, who somehow convinced his lovely wife to name their first child Nicholas Wrigley Rogalski.

Connect: X, Facebook, LinkedIn

PanelDeep dive track

Deep Dive: How to dig on deadline

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

From the collapse of a condo building in Florida to the mass shooting in Uvalde to the wildfires that killed over a hundred people in Hawaii, Mike Baker has consistently found unique investigative angles on major national stories. Across the newsroom on the tech team, Ryan Mac’s relentless sourcing has enabled him to break news and pull back the curtain on key figures in the industry, from Elon Musk to Peter Thiel.

The two reporters will interview each other about how they find stories, develop sources, stay organized, and keep longer-term stories afloat while tending to more urgent reporting.

Speakers

Mike Baker, The New York Times

Ryan Mac, The New York Times

FYI ForumCareer advice track

FYI Forum: The New York Times Local Investigations Fellowship

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

Are you a local beat reporter or freelancer with a burning investigative story idea? The New York Times Local Investigations Fellowship is accepting applications for its one-year fellowship program aimed at developing the next generation of investigative journalists.

Join Dean Baquet, the program's executive editor, and other members of the editing staff to learn more about the program and tips for how to do accountability reporting at the local level. Editors will also answer questions about the program, which recruits local journalists for one year to report local investigations in their communities.

Visit the fellowship’s website for program requirements and details about how to apply.

https://www.nytco.com/careers/local-investigations-fellowship/

This session is sponsored by The New York Times. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Dean Baquet, The New York Times

Dean Baquet leads a local investigative NYT fellowship. He served as Executive Editor of The New York Times from May 2014 until June 2022. Mr. Baquet served in the highest-ranked position in The NYT's newsroom and oversaw its news report in all its various forms.

Chris Davis, New York Times

Chris Davis is a deputy investigations editor working with the New York Times Local Investigative Reporting fellowship program. He has led Pulitzer Prize winning investigative teams at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and Tampa Bay Times and spent a number of years overseeing investigative work at USA TODAY and Gannett newspapers across the country.

Kathleen McGrory, The New York Times

Kathleen McGrory is an investigations editor with the New York Times's Local Investigations Fellowship. She was previously a reporter on ProPublica's national staff. McGrory began her career at the Miami Herald and was later an investigative reporter and editor at the Tampa Bay Times, where she won the Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting. She teaches at the University of Florida and holds degrees from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism and Hamilton College.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Sona Patel, The New York Times

Sona Patel is the Program and Editorial Director for The New York Times’s Local Investigations Fellowship, where she oversees recruiting and newsroom partnerships for the program. She also edits local investigations. She started her career as a reporter for The Tribune (San Luis Obispo) and later pivoted to audience. Sona was the first Social Media editor for The Seattle Times and was part of the team that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelStory ideas track

Finding the right solutions angle for your investigation

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Doing an investigation and wondering about impact? Add a solutions component to take away the excuses of people behaving badly. This panel/workshop will feature journalists who have strengthened their investigations through solutions journalism. We'll then break into small groups so participants can discuss their own ideas and where to find the right solutions angle.

Speakers

John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Marquette University

John Diedrich is an investigative reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Through an O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University, Diedrich examined gun deaths in Wisconsin, reframing the issue in deep reporting with gun owners. Earlier work revealed electrical fire risk and dangers in factories, MMA and hospitals. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, he also received a George Polk and Gerald Loeb, among other awards.

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, Facebook

Tina Rosenberg, Solutions Journalism Network

Tina Rosenberg is co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network. At the New York Times she wrote editorials, Sunday magazine articles and the Fixes column. She is the author of hundreds of magazine articles and three books: Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America, The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism, and Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World. The Haunted Land won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

PanelGender & reproductive rights track

Gender & reproductive rights track: The gender-targeted disinformation machine

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

In this age of massive disinformation, repro/gender issues have been a particularly ripe area for exploitation. For this panel, we look at how disinformation has been weaponized in the battles over issues such as abortion, birth control and trans rights, and how those efforts have often targeted women and people of color. We will discuss how journalists can spot and contextualize disinformation online and IRL and offer practical tips on how to trace the sources of disinformation; how to access spaces, such as social media groups, where disinformation is disseminated; and how to navigate the ethics of reporting on individuals and organizations that prefer to remain in the dark.

Speakers

Kiera Butler, Mother Jones

Kiera Butler is a senior editor and reporter at Mother Jones, where she covers disinformation in health, politics, and education.

Connect: X, Threads

Shawna Chen, Axios

Shawna Chen is a reporter at Axios whose work focuses on race and justice. Her coverage has highlighted issues of medical distrust, voting patterns among communities of color and the impact of abortion restrictions on Black and Indigenous people. She currently co-authors the Axios SF newsletter and edits The Yappie, a volunteer-run outlet that tracks AAPI politics.

Connect: X

Gina Chua, Semafor

Gina Chua is Executive Editor at Semafor. She was previously Executive Editor at Reuters, Editor-in-Chief of the South China Morning Post and The Asian Wall Street Journal; a Deputy Managing Editor at The Wall Street Journal; a correspondent in Singapore, Manila and Hanoi; and a television and radio journalist in Singapore. She graduated with a BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a MS from Columbia University. Gina transitioned in late 2020.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Amy Littlefield, The Nation

Amy Littlefield is the abortion access correspondent for The Nation and a freelance journalist who has covered reproductive health care for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The New Republic, Columbia Journalism Review, and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. She is at work on a book about the anti-abortion movement and what we can learn from its ascendance.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Bluesky

Nina Martin, Center for Investigative Reporting/Reveal/Mother Jones

Nina Martin is an award-winning reporter and editor who focuses on issues at the intersection of gender, health, and race. Her reporting on maternal health/mortality has had a sweeping impact at the federal, state, and hospital levels.

PanelTools & Tech track

Investigating scams

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Scammers' schemes evolve rapidly, and it can be hard to keep up with their tactics. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can help.

In this demo, reporters will:

-Learn insider tips on how to use BBB's Scam Tracker tool

-Discover how to mine the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel data for information gems

-Explore case studies demonstrating the use of BBB's resources and tools

After this hourlong demo, any intrepid reporter interested in uncovering fraud will be equipped with the tools to tackle a variety of systemic scams.

Speaker

Brian Edwards, Better Business Bureau

Hands-onResearch trackIntermediate

OSINT visual investigations

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

A practical primer for open-source intelligence reporting and visual investigations. Learn the basics of geolocation and chronolocation, tracking ships and planes, and how to break news with satellite imagery.

Instructor

Michael Biesecker, The Associated Press

Michael Biesecker is a global investigative reporter for The Associated Press. Biesecker’s work tracking potential war crimes in Ukraine was recognized with the 2022 IRE Gold Medal, as well as the top award for investigative reporting from the Overseas Press Club of America. He was a contributor to the AP team that won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Biesecker also teaches investigative and environmental reporting at Georgetown University.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

CommonsBroadcast track

Open mic: News directors and manager discussion

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Description coming soon.

Speaker

Kim Saxon, WANF-TV, Atlanta, GA

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Using OpenRefine, a power tool for cleaning data

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Learn how to use OpenRefine, a powerful tool for quickly cleaning up dirty data. You'll learn about faceting, simple clustering, applying common data transformations and more.

This session is good for people with basic experience working with data.

Instructor

Matt Carroll, Northeastern University

Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University. Previously, he worked for 26 years at the Boston Globe, specializing in data storytelling. He was a member of the Spotlight team, when it won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its coverage of the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal. That story was turned into the movie “Spotlight.”

Connect: X

PanelBeat reporting track

Using data and docs to investigate the gun industry

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Marquis Northeast, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Despite a round of bad publicity with mass shootings and investigations into fraud and corruption, the gun lobby and industry still has a stronghold on many lawmakers' decisions and remains a polarizing force in society. They always say look for the smoking gun and that's often where the data and docs lead us as investigative journalists.

Speakers

Eric Fan, Bloomberg News

Eric Fan is an investigative data journalist at Bloomberg News, where his work investigating US gun exports was a 2024 Pulitzer finalist and winner of IRE's Tom Renner Award. He previously reported for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Columbia University's Brown Institute for Media Innovation.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Cheryl Phillips, Big Local News - Stanford University

Cheryl Phillips has taught data and investigative journalism at Stanford University since 2014. She founded Big Local News, whose staff contributed to two projects that were Pulitzer finalists in 2024. She co-founded the Stanford Open Policing Project. Previously, she worked at The Seattle Times, contributing to Pulitzer-winning coverage in 2009 and 2014. She has worked at USA Today and newspapers in Michigan, Montana, and Texas. She is a former IRE board president.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Alain Stephens, The Trace

PanelCareer advice track

What to do when you become the subject

Time: Friday, June 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

All those attending this panel must be masked upon speaker request.

Increasingly, the subjects of stories are not just denying wrongdoing. They are attacking journalists -- launching PR campaigns to lie about them, putting up billboards to belittle them and even opening criminal investigations into their work. On this panel, reporters who have been through the wringer will discuss how to handle it with grace, and how to know when to make it part of the story.

Speakers

Jeremy Jojola, KUSA-TV

Jeremy Jojola is a journalist with 25 years of television news reporting experience. He currently works in the investigative unit at KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado. Jojola was honored with the IRE Don Bolles Medal for his reporting on extremist groups in 2020. Over his career, Jojola has embraced emerging technologies, from using a cell phone to go live in 2009 to using artificial intelligence today as a tool to organize and contextualize data.

Connect: Threads

Katherine Long, Business Insider

Katherine Long is a Business Insider's national desk reporter, focused on quick-turn investigations. Previously, she reported on Amazon for Business Insider and The Seattle Times.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Taylor Lorenz, The Washington Post

Taylor Lorenz is a technology columnist at The Washington Post and host of the Power User podcast on Vox media, a weekly tech and online culture show. She covers social media, the content creator industry, and online radicalization. She has written for the New York Times, New York Magazine, and more.

Stephanie Sugars, U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Stephanie Sugars is the senior reporter for the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, documenting press freedom violations across the U.S. A graduate of NYU's GloJo program in journalism and international relations, her work focuses on human rights, politics and targeted violence. She has previously worked at the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Post-Conflict Research Center, and her reporting has appeared in Al Jazeera, Columbia Journalism Review and Balkan Diskurs.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 2:30 p.m. PT

PanelFreelance track

Breaking into freelancing

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Marquis Northeast, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Freelancers share their secrets about how to connect with news organizations, how to know your worth, and how to make sure that the check is really "in the mail."

Speakers

Rebecca Aguilar, Independent Journalist

Rebecca Aguilar is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning reporter with over 40 years in journalism, including 28 years in television news. In 2021, she became the first Latina and woman of color elected President of the Society of Professional Journalists in its 112-year history. In 2022, she was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame. Aguilar is the founder of Latinas in Journalism and the #CallingAllJournalists Initiative.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok

Florangela Davila, Independent Journalist

Florangela Davila is an award-winning reporter and editor who has led two different public media newsrooms in Seattle. She is the former news director at NPR-affiliate KNKX where her team earned a national Murrow for a podcast about the police killing of Manny Ellis and a PMJA award for an investigation into the abusive culture in youth soccer.

Connect: LinkedIn

Andrea Gutierrez, Independent Journalist

Andrea Gutierrez (she/her) is an independent journalist in Los Angeles. Drawn to stories at the margins of culture, she previously worked at NPR, where she was part of the teams who made TED Radio Hour, It's Been a Minute, and Planet Money, and her reporting has aired across the network. In 2023, Andrea reported from Berlin as an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. In a previous life, she advised and mentored students at public universities throughout California.

Connect: LinkedIn, Bluesky, X

Helen Li, Independent journalist

Helen Li is a freelance journalist from Richmond, Virginia, currently based in Los Angeles. After graduating, she taught English in China and Nepal for two years before pivoting to freelance journalism and fact-checking. Her words have appeared in Teen Vogue, Rest of World, Wired, Prism Reports, and Semafor. She was a 2022-23 fellow for the Los Angeles Times, where she worked for the podcast, business editorial, and newsletter teams.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: Anything goes!

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker

Bigad Shaban, NBC Bay Area

Bigad Shaban is the Senior Investigative Reporter for NBC Bay Area. His stories have spurred government hearings, changed laws, and captured the attention of the White House. Bigad has received the most prestigious honors in broadcast news, including the Peabody, duPont, Murrow, and 18 Emmy awards. His docuseries 'Saving San Francisco' is currently steaming on Peacock.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Everything you need to know to start collaborating right now

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

These experienced collaborators will share their paths to proven results, models that you can build on your own, and answer key questions:

Who can I partner with? Where do I start? What are challenges? When should I pivot? Why should I partner now? How do I execute?

Speakers

Jodie Fleischer, Cox Media Group

As managing editor of investigative content for Cox Media Group, Jodie manages national collaborations and investigations for eight local TV stations. She spent 20 years as an investigative reporter at NBC4 Washington, WSB-TV Atlanta and WFTV Orlando. She’s earned some of journalism’s top honors including an IRE Award, a duPont Award and a Goldsmith Special Citation, and she was a 2024 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Public Service. She has served on IRE’s Board of Directors since 2019.

Connect: X

Tonya Simpson, ABC News

Tonya Simpson is a duPont, Emmy, and Murrow Award-winning journalist with over ten years of experience. She began her career producing local newscasts and has worked in markets across several states. Since joining ABC News, Tonya has produced several prime-time specials, documentaries, and podcasts, including Trashed: The Secret Life of Plastic Bags; The Shot: Race for the Vaccine; Tulsa's Buried Truth; and Uvalde 365 Presents: Crisis of Command.

Connect: X

Julie Watts, CBS News California Investigates

Julie Watts is a national-award-winning investigative correspondent for CBS News, covering California. Her investigations, Capitol accountability reports, and solutions-oriented journalism air weekly on CBS stations across California.

Connect: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, X

Session materials

PanelDeep dive track

Deep Dive: Vetting story ideas

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

A reporter brings in a promising idea. How do you assess what it’s going to take to land the story in the most explosive and compelling form possible? And how do you build in checkpoints to know when things are going off the rails? Three veteran editors will interrogate each other's approaches and share concrete tips any journalist — whether you’re a reporter or manager — can use to hone their own story ideas.

Speakers

Dean Baquet, The New York Times

Dean Baquet leads a local investigative NYT fellowship. He served as Executive Editor of The New York Times from May 2014 until June 2022. Mr. Baquet served in the highest-ranked position in The NYT's newsroom and oversaw its news report in all its various forms.

Mark Katches, Tampa Bay Times

Mark Katches is editor of the Tampa Bay Times. Since joining the Times in 2018, the newsroom has won the Pulitzer Prize twice and been a finalist once. Before that, he edited or oversaw three other Pulitzer winning projects and five finalists. He’s a former IRE board member who led the organization’s mentorship program for several years.

Ron Nixon, The Associated Press

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Using string functions to manipulate data

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

Maybe you converted a PDF or imported a table into a spreadsheet -- or maybe an agency gave you a poorly formatted file. You can use string functions to reformat your data and get your spreadsheets working for you.

This session is good for: Anyone comfortable with using formulas and functions in Google Sheets.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Janelle O'Dea, Illinois Answers Project

Janelle O'Dea uses data to dig in and assist local reporters with their investigations. She spent 5 years at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as a data reporter before moving on to the Center for Public Integrity. Laid off as of May 1, she’s freelance consulting the rest of the project she was working on for the Center before finding her next gig.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

FYI ForumBeat reporting track

How do you cover crime? And why do we do it?

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

As the U.S. confronts critical questions about policing and justice, join The Associated Press for an essential dialogue about the evolving journalism landscape and learn about brand new updates to AP’s criminal justice coverage guidance designed to enhance the fairness, accuracy, and sensitivity of crime and law enforcement coverage.

Join AP editors for a revealing conversation on the challenges and responsibilities of reporting on crime and how these changes could help redefine your newsroom’s approach to crime reporting. Learn how to effectively illuminate the lives impacted by violence, ensure accountability in law enforcement, and adopt best practices that emphasize ethical reporting. We'll delve into guidance from the 2024 AP Stylebook on critical aspects of reporting such as language choices, the implications of using mug shots, building reliable sources, and handling graphic content responsibly. We'll also spotlight the latest AP Stylebook guidance examining common law enforcement terminologies. Equip yourself with the tools to produce reporting that not only informs and holds the powerful to account but respects and uplifts, ensuring every story is told with accuracy and empathy.

Speakers

Mike Balsamo, The Associated Press

Mike Balsamo is the national law enforcement editor for The Associated Press, overseeing a team covering the U.S. criminal justice system and leads AP’s coverage of the criminal cases involving former President Donald Trump. He previously covered the Justice Dept. and spearheaded a multiyear investigation into the federal prison system. Balsamo is a two-time winner of awards from the White House Correspondents’ Association and is vice president of the National Press Club

Connect: X

Jill Bleed, The Associated Press

Jill Bleed is the national assignment manager at The Associated Press. In that role, she works with journalists in all formats throughout the U.S. to cover the top stories of the day. She also trains staff on how to report from afar during major breaking news. Prior to her current role, she worked as a breaking news reporter for nearly 20 years with extensive experience covering natural disasters, courts and crime, the death penalty, and elections.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

How to connect and earn trust with communities we've failed

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

What can it look like for newsrooms to make a real commitment to build trust with and reach everyone in their communities? To provide coverage of them that is more nuanced and more reflective – and more inclusive? In this session, you’ll learn research-based strategies and hear best practices from journalists at ABC10 and The 19th* who are working to reach audiences that have been historically underserved and ignored by media — and are building trust while doing it. You’ll hear about the work of ABC10’s Race and Culture team, as well as how The 19th* lives out its mission of providing news centered around the experience of women and LGBTQ+ communities, which is highlighted in the feature-length documentary “Breaking the News”. This honest conversation will explore how transparency, humility and inclusion in journalism has the power to reshape our relationship with our communities.

Speakers

Gonzalo Magana, ABC10

Gonzalo Magaña is an award-winning journalist and the Director of Special Projects and Audience Engagement at ABC10, TEGNA’s ABC affiliate in Sacramento, CA. In 2017, Gonzalo created the ABC10 Originals team, specializing in long-form and investigative reporting. In 2021, he launched and oversees the Race and Culture Content Team, dedicated to reporting with and about diverse communities. Prior to joining TEGNA, Gonzalo spent 12 years working in Spanish broadcast news.

Connect: X

Mollie Muchna, Trusting News

Mollie Muchna is a project manager at Trusting News. Most of her journalism career has been spent working in audience and engagement journalism in legacy newsrooms across the Southwest. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Journalism.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Sabrina Sanchez, ABC10

Sabrina Teresa Sanchez is the Engagement and Special Projects Producer at ABC10 (KXTV) in Sacramento where she works on long-form projects and investigations focusing on race, culture and accountability. She specializes in audience engagement including text messaging, crowdsourcing, and community outreach.

Connect: LinkedIn

Kate Sosin, The 19th

Kate Sosin is an LGBTQ+ reporter at The 19th. Their work has appeared in lots of places, and you are also awesome.

PanelClimate track

Investigating toxic chemicals

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Toxic chemicals are all around us. Journalists are routinely having to report on them. From water laced with forever chemicals to polluting industry contaminating the air with carcinogens, environmental and public health reporters are often encountering toxics stories. This session will be a primer on how to responsibly report on toxic chemicals. We’ll talk about the pitfalls of industry-reported data, how to navigate murky state and federal exposure standards, and ways to effectively communicate risk.

Speakers

Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times

Tony Briscoe is an environmental reporter with the Los Angeles Times. His coverage focuses on the intersection of air quality and environmental health. Prior to joining The Times, Briscoe was an investigative reporter for ProPublica in Chicago and an environmental beat reporter at the Chicago Tribune. A graduate of Michigan State University, he began his career as a breaking news reporter at the Detroit News.

Connect: X

Lily Jamali, Marketplace

Lily Jamali is a senior reporter at APM's Marketplace, where she hosts the public radio show Marketplace Tech. Before Marketplace, she co-hosted KQED's The California Report. Her NPR/California Newsroom investigation into the aftermath of Pacific Gas & Electric's 2019-2020 bankruptcy was a finalist for the IRE and Scripps Howard Awards. Lily chaired this year's IRE Contest Committee. She's currently writing a book about bankruptcy for Simon & Schuster.

Connect: X

Maya Miller, ProPublica

Maya Miller is an engagement reporter at ProPublica working on community-sourced investigations.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Naveena Sadasivam, Grist

Naveena Sadasivam is an investigative journalist at Grist covering the oil and gas industry and climate change. She previously worked at the Texas Observer, Inside Climate News, and ProPublica and has won accolades from the Society of Environmental Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists, and Online News Association, among others. She is based in Oakland, California.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelElections track

Legal resources for reporters covering campaigns and elections

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

For reporters preparing to cover elections at all levels in 2024, this session will provide a primer on journalists’ newsgathering rights, particularly at polling places and conventions; how public records laws govern access to election-related information; and the kinds of free legal support available for election coverage. Participants will come away with a better understanding of their rights, and practical tips and legal resources — from online guides to emergency hotlines — they can turn to if they have questions or encounter issues.

Speakers

Adam Marshall, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Laura Nelson, Los Angeles Times

Laura J. Nelson is a reporter at the Los Angeles Times covering politics and campaign finance. She was on the team that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news and the team that was named a 2020 Pulitzer finalist for breaking news. She is a volunteer board member and instructor at the California Scholastic Press Association, a workshop for high school journalists founded in 1951.

Connect: LinkedIn

Matt Topic, Loevy & Loevy

Matt Topic leads the Media and Intellectual Property practices at Loevy & Loevy. He has represented journalists in hundreds of state and federal open records lawsuits, and represents news organizations in copyright lawsuits against the makers of ChatGPT. Matt has also served as the outside general counsel to a non-profit newsroom for over 10 years. Before joining Loevy & Loevy, Matt was a partner at the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Carter Walker, Votebeat

Carter is an investigative reporter in Pennsylvania covering voting and election administration for Votebeat. He has covered the state’s convoluted election code, election misinformation, and failures in election administration. His work was awarded the 2024 Pacesetter Award from the Election Verification Network. Prior to coming to Votebeat he covered extremism, misinformation and local politics for LancasterOnline, and was a finalist for the 2023 Livingston Award.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelGender & reproductive rights track

Lightning talks: Trans stories edition

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Issues affecting trans communities are cropping up on every beat. What reporting and editing tools will help you learn more about doing fair, accurate, and hard-hitting journalism on these topics? Who's already doing stellar journalism on trans communities? How do you fact check misinformation about trans communities? Join experts on trans coverage for quick talks on helpful tools, case studies of tricky editorial issues, and showcases of stellar coverage of trans communities.

This session was planned in collaboration with TJA. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Gina Chua, Semafor

Gina Chua is Executive Editor at Semafor. She was previously Executive Editor at Reuters, Editor-in-Chief of the South China Morning Post and The Asian Wall Street Journal; a Deputy Managing Editor at The Wall Street Journal; a correspondent in Singapore, Manila and Hanoi; and a television and radio journalist in Singapore. She graduated with a BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago and a MS from Columbia University. Gina transitioned in late 2020.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Drew Costley, Verite News

Jireh Deng, The Los Angeles Times

Ileana Garnand, LoneStarLive.com (Advance Local Media)

Izz LaMagdeleine, Snopes

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is the production editor/web producer for Snopes. They previously worked in audience engagement at publications like CalMatters, The Texas Tribune, and PolitiFact. Their explainer on gender-affirming care was a finalist for the Institute of Nonprofit News award as part of the Tribune’s package “Gender Affirming Care in Texas.” It was also cited as a source on Wikipedia.

Graph Massara, HuffPost

Graph is a board member for the Trans Journalists Association and the editor of TJA’s stylebook. By day, he’s also a copy editor for HuffPost. He was previously a fact-checker for The Associated Press, where he helped contribute to AP Stylebook entries on LGBTQ+ topics, and before that was an editor at Politico.

Connect: X

Vivian McCall, The Stranger

Nasir Montalvo, Kansas City Defender

Pre-registration - Master ClassReporting and writing strategies track

Master Class: Reporting and writing for scene - pre-registered attendees only - SOLD OUT

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 6 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Grand Ballroom B, lobby level

⚠️ This class is sold out.

When it comes to crafting scenes, we can learn a lot from people who write fiction and screenplays. But our challenges begin long before the writing. Our scenes have to be true not just emotionally, but factually. This class will look at ways to gather dialogue, the telling detail and other threads that we can then weave into a scene people will remember (all, of course, without sacrificing the element of accountability — because, that’s what we do). We’ll chat about Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing and talk shop with Ava Kofman about two of her New Yorker stories.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Speaker

Ken Armstrong, Bloomberg

Ken Armstrong now works at Bloomberg. He’s won Pulitzer Prizes for investigative and explanatory reporting and shared in two staff Pulitzers for breaking news. Other awards include a Peabody for radio and the National Magazine Award for feature writing. He co-wrote the story that became the Netflix series, “Unbelievable.” He was the McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton and co-authored the book, “Scoreboard, Baby,” winner of the Edgar Award for nonfiction.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking: International journalists

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Mix and mingle, meet friends old and new, and build your professional community in this fun and informal networking session.

This session is for people who work outside of the U.S.

Speakers

Hyuntaek (Tag) Lee, The Chosunilbo Daily

Micah Luxen, Independent Journalist

Micah Luxen is an international journalist who has worked since 2014 for BBC News and is now freelance,

Session materials

One-on-oneCareer advice track

One-on-one with Shawn Giangeruso (Friday)

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: San Diego, lower level

CNN invites journalists of color and those who identify as being from marginalized backgrounds to sign up to meet on-on-one with Shawn Giangeruso, Vice President of Talent Recruitment and Development, to review and discuss their on-air performance and presentation. One-on-ones will be scheduled for 30 minutes and attendees of various years of experience are welcome to sign up.

Click here to sign up

This session is sponsored by CNN. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speaker

Shawn Giangeruso, CNN

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 1: Intro to R and RStudio

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Jump into data analysis with R, the powerful open-source programming language. In this class we’ll cover R fundamentals and learn our way around the RStudio interface for using R.

This session is good for: People with a basic understanding of data analysis who are ready to go beyond spreadsheets. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Ryan Thornburg, UNC Chapel Hill

Session materials

Hands-onElections track

Using public records to investigate political candidates for the 2024 election

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

We’ll demonstrate various strategies, databases, and skills that can be used to investigate political candidates, both incumbents and newcomers, in the 2024 election, from local races all the way up to the presidential campaign. This session will include instruction on basic FOIA requests, campaign finance, essential investigative research tools, and analysis of public records.

Instructors

Kelly Kauffman, MuckRock

Kelly Kauffman is MuckRock’s engagement journalist, focusing on newsletters, community callouts and reporting that is supported by public involvement. Previously, she worked at the campaign finance organization OpenSecrets as their outreach and digital media manager, where she helped shed light on the role of money in U.S. politics.

Connect: X

Brandi Swicegood, Sunlight Search

Brandi is a veteran investigative journalist. She spent nearly two decades reporting and editing stories about issues ranging from politics and immigration to criminal justice and the environment. She has worked for publications including The Texas Tribune, where she was a founding staffer, The Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News and USA Today.

Session materials

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Using your newsroom union to protect your journalism

Time: Friday, June 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Journalists have united increasingly in recent years to start unions coast to coast. Learn about legal rights, contractual protections and organizing goals that can better protect your journalism and your editorial integrity as more newsrooms merge, cut jobs and reduce accountability reporting.

This session is sponsored by the Media Guild of the West. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Yvette Cabrera, The Center for Public Integrity

Yvette Cabrera is a senior reporter at the investigative news nonprofit, the Center for Public Integrity, where she covers social and economic inequalities with a focus on environmental justice issues. She serves as president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and is a founding member of The Uproot Project, a network for environmental journalists of color.

Connect: X, Instagram

Matt Pearce, Media Guild of the West

Matt Pearce is president of Media Guild of the West, a local union of The NewsGuild-CWA that represents journalists across a dozen newsrooms in Southern California, Arizona and Texas. He was a longtime reporter for the Los Angeles Times and a graduate of the University of Missouri. He lives in Los Angeles.

Connect: X, Substack, LinkedIn, Instagram

Jason Ruiz, Long Beach Post/Long Beach Watchdog

Jason Ruiz is a city hall reporter for the Long Beach Post who has been on strike since late-March 2024. He’s worked in journalism for 12 years and his work can currently be found at the Long Beach Watchdog.

Connect: X

Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times

Colleen Shalby is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She currently covers transportation, focusing on airports, ports, and high-speed rail. She has also spent the past two years investigating the California State University system's handling of sexual misconduct cases and officials' failure to protect students and employees. Colleen is also secretary for the Media Guild of the West.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

Sessions starting at 3:45 p.m. PT

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: From boring to blockbuster: Tricks and tools to make your investigative stories sing

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Bring your investigation to life! Creative visuals, graphics, aftereffects, unique interview framing and more. Join this group of storytellers who will show how they translate their reporting to impactful stories that keep viewers glued, no matter the length or subject matter.

Speakers

Brendan Keefe, Atlanta News First - Gray Television

Brendan Keefe is Chief Investigator for Atlanta News First Investigates and InvestigateTV. He’s one of the most-decorated investigative reporters in the nation. Brendan’s investigations have earned the George Foster Peabody Award, the DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton, six National Edward R. Murrow Awards, a National Emmy, an IRE Award, and more than 125 regional Emmys.

Connect: X

Beth Peak, KCTV

Beth is a special projects producer, photojournalist, and craft editor for KCTV in Kansas City. Her MMJ work has earned her national awards and her investigative work has been recognized in multiple markets our the country. She credits IRE for her data skills and takes pride in making the most visually poor stories pop on screen.

Cristin Severance, WRAL

Cristin Severance produces investigative documentaries at WRAL and leads the only unit of its kind in local news. Cristin successfully transitioned her career from MMJ to consumer reporter, to investigative reporter to documentarian. She's worked at stations across the country including Dallas, San Diego, Cleveland, and Portland. Her documentaries on gun violence and maternal mortality rates have won 18 Regional Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards and changed state laws.

Connect: X, Instagram, LinkedIn

FYI ForumEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Do traditional methods of reporting and writing serve marginalized communities?

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

Join this candid conversation to discuss the future of the industry and whether the foundation laid by largely male, white cisgendered forefathers feels shaky and inauthentic - especially when attempting to apply the rules of storytelling for communities who have historically been left out of the equation and the conversation.

Speaker

Auditi Guha, VTDigger

Auditi Guha is northwest and equity reporter at VTDigger. She began her career at a national daily in India before moving to Boston for a master’s in journalism. She has worked at several newsrooms from Boston to D.C. and won multiple awards. She was one of 30 fellows for the Poynter Institute’s Leadership Academy for Women in Media in 2023, is a founding member of the Boston chapter of the South Asian Journalists Association and a mentor with Report For America.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Don't get played: How to investigate gambling

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Marquis Northeast, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Nationally, we're seeing more legalization of sports gambling and begs the question on the impact that’s having on regulators and athletes. Maybe it’s a widOn a more global scale, we are seeing a general uptick as well on gambling in the gaming industry. What are the data and docs we can pull to better understand these trends and why states such as California still aren't ready to roll the dice.

Speakers

Kathy Best, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

Kathy Best is the inaugural director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland. She previously was the executive editor of The Seattle Times and a top editor in newsrooms from coast to coast. Students in the Howard Center produce national investigations, often working with other universities or professional partners. They won an IRE medal in 2021 for “Printing Hate.’’

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Adam Candee, Legal Sports Report

Adam Candee is editor in chief of Legal Sports Report, the industry-standard publication covering US sports betting business news. He previously worked as metro editor at the Las Vegas Sun, web editor at KLAS-TV, and government reporter at the Arizona Daily Sun. Adam’s team at KLAS earned a Murrow Award in 2013. He received awards for investigative reporting and breaking news from the AP, APSE and Arizona Press Club over two decades in journalism.

Connect: LinkedIn

Gus Garcia-Roberts, The Washington Post

Gus Garcia-Roberts is an investigative reporter in the sports department at The Washington Post. He has previously worked at Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Newsday, among others. He is the author of two non-fiction books, most recently, "Jimmy the King: Murder, Vice, and the Reign of a Dirty Cop." He lives in Los Angeles.

Connect: X

Paula Lavigne, ESPN

Paula Lavigne is an investigative reporter for ESPN.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onBeat reporting track

Finding the story: Crime stats

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Data about crime from local, state and federal sources is a rich source to mine for stories and enrich investigations. We'll discuss the main data sources and demonstrate an example of how to use them to find a story.

Instructors

Ted Gest, Crime and Justice News

Ted Gest is president of Criminal Justice Journalists and editor of its daily newsletter, Crime & Justice News. He formerly was a reporter and editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and U.S. News & World Report. Gest is an editor of the IRE beat book, Understanding Crime and Justice Statistics, which is will soon be publishing its fourth edition. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Connect: NCJA

Daniel Lathrop, Scripps News

Daniel Lathrop works on the Pennsylvania Avenue team at Scripps News where he focuses on criminal justice stories involving national politics. He is co-author of IRE's beat book "Crime and Justice Statistics: A Reporter's Guide". He is part of Scripps' Journalism Journey Initiative.

Connect: Github, X, LinkedIn

PanelPublic records track

Go FOIA yourself

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

The tactic of submitting records requests about yourself. This can sometimes yield new information that a public relations person provided, or can cause a public relations person to provide information that they had been declining to provide. It also shows who they may be turning to for advice or outside help on your story. I have done this several times, with great results as well as little to no results.

This session is sponsored by TEGNA Foundation. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times

Keri Blakinger is a Los Angeles Times reporter covering the Sheriff's Department and county jails. Previously, she covered prisons for The Marshall Project and criminal justice for the Houston Chronicle. She is a two-time Pulitzer finalist and the author of Corrections in Ink.

Connect: TikTok, X, Instagram, Threads

Tyler Kingkade, NBC NEWS

Tyler Kingkade is a national reporter at NBC News, based in Los Angeles. He writes about abuse in treatment facilities, culture wars and extremism, and conflicts in city governments.

Connect: X, Threads

Jason Leopold, Bloomberg News

Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for Bloomberg News. He received the 2023 Gerald Loeb Award for investigative reporting and the 2022 George Polk Award for health reporting, and he has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. In 2016, Leopold was awarded the IRE FOI award and was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame by the Freedom Forum Institute and the Newseum.

Connect: LinkedIn, X

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Importing and data prep

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

Don't give up if your data isn't presented in a neat spreadsheet. This session will teach you how to get data into a spreadsheet and prepare it for analysis. We will look at how to import text files, deal with data in a PDF, and get a table on a web page into a spreadsheet.

This session is good for: Anyone comfortable working in Google Sheets.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Agustin Armendariz, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Augie is the Senior Data Reporter at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Connect: X

PanelEquity, inclusion and accessibility track

Investigating hate crimes and bias incidents

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Anti-Black and anti-Jewish hate crimes were the most commonly reported type of bias, according to FBI data in 2022. Within the country’s 10 largest cities, the number of reported hate crimes rose even more – 22% from 2021 to 2022, making last year the second consecutive year they hit a record high. While the number of hate crime incidents is up by 7% from 2021, the spike in incidents is partially due to more law enforcement agencies reporting their data. How do we report on this data without inflamming hateful rhetoric? We will discuss how to identify it and report on it more thoughtfully and accurately to not be manipulated by special interest groups; political party partisanship and avoiding harmful tropes.

Speakers

Rachel Glickhouse, Grist

Rachel Glickhouse is the director of editorial partnerships at Grist and an advisor to the Democracy Day project. She has worked at the News Revenue Hub, the COVID Tracking Project, ProPublica and Univision, and she has taught at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and the New School.

Connect: X, Bluesky

Jonah Kaplan, CBS News & Stations

Jonah Kaplan is WCCO/CBS News Minnesota's award-winning Investigative Reporter, and over his 15-year career has been lauded for his ability to get the big story and big interview. His investigative and in-depth reporting often digs into high-impact issues in politics, public safety and foreign affairs. A graduate of Boston University, Jonah is a proud son of two rabbis and a #girldad to three daughters.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook

Adam Rhodes, IRE

Kat Stafford, Reuters

Kat Stafford is the Global Race and Justice Editor. She is an award-winning journalist, whose work has centered on covering and investigating how structural racism has fueled inequity across America. She is the former vice president of IRE's Board of Directors.

Connect: X

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating trash

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

When you put plastic wrappers, old batteries or used clothes into a recycling bin, how do you know if it actually gets recycled or is dumped thousands of miles away? As global plastic consumption continues to soar and the shift to clean energy creates new waste streams, more garbage meant for recycling is being exported to countries that are ill-equipped to handle the rich world’s trash.

Investigative journalists are applying innovative reporting techniques to shed light on the opaque global market in waste. The panel will discuss how data analysis, remote sensing and ship, container and GPS tracking has been used in recent investigations into waste dumping, from US trash shipped to Mexico to Canadian packaging dumped in Myanmar.

Speakers

Charlotte Alfred, Lighthouse Reports

Charlotte is senior editor at investigative newsroom Lighthouse Reports, developing cross-border projects that combine OSINT, data journalism and money trails tools. She focuses on investigations in countries affected by conflict, in partnership with local and exiled journalists. Previously based in the Middle East, she has worked in news, features and documentary, reporting on migration, misinformation and conflict.

Connect: LinkedIn

Susanne Rust, The Los Angeles Times

Susanne Rust is an award winning investigative reporter specializing in environmental issues.

Connect: X

Evan Simon, ABC News

Evan Simon is an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker based in New York's Hudson Valley. He is a duPont-Columbia Award winner, a two-time National Emmy Award winner, a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and an Overseas Press Club Award winner. His multimedia work has appeared in ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, PBS Thirteen, WNYC and Audubon Magazine.

Connect: Website, LinkedIn

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking: Journalists of color

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Mix and mingle, meet friends old and new, and build your professional community in this fun and informal networking session. This session is for journalists of color.This session is sponsored by ProPublica. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Drew Costley, Verite News

Angelica Serrano-Roman, Centro de Periodismo Investigativo de Puerto Rico

Session materials

CommonsBroadcast track

Open mic: Ethical dilemmas - What would you do?

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Need help with a thorny ethical dilemma? Trying to dissect blowback from a story where the audience/sources questioned your actions? Got good examples of stories that raise ethical questions? Join us for an open mic talking frankly about how to navigate the gray areas of journalism! We’ll hit everything from who and what gets shown on camera & what doesn’t....to toeing the line between advocacy and agenda. Take on the role of John Quiñones for an hour and tell us WHAT WOULD YOU DO???

Speaker

Joce Sterman, InvestigateTV/Gray Television

Joce Sterman is a national investigative reporter with InvestigateTV and Gray Television. She's a National Headliner, Murrow and Emmy award-winning investigative journalist with two decades of experience. Before she began tackling national investigations eight years ago, Joce worked for ABC7 in DC, ABC2 in Baltimore, and FOX43 in Harrisburg. Her work has resulted in Congressional investigations and federal legislation. She is a proud Penn State graduate.

Connect: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, TikTok

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 2: Data analysis and plotting

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

We'll use the tidyverse packages dplyr and ggplot2, learning how to sort, filter, group, summarize, join, and visualize to identify trends in your data. If you want to combine SQL-like analysis and charting in a single pipeline, this session is for you.

This session is good for: People who have worked with data operations in SQL or Excel and would like to do the same in R. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Lucia Walinchus, NBC-Owned stations

Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist and attorney. She is currently the data editor for NBC-owned stations. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and was a contracted freelancer for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Walinchus has a degree in journalism from American University and a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn, Mastadon

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Reporting tips and tools for covering immigration in your community

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

In this panel, speakers will demonstrate how to ethically report on immigration in your communities. You'll also hear from speakers about databases you can use for valuable stats on legal and undocumented immigration.

Speakers

Jasmine Aguilera, El Tímpano

Jasmine Aguilera is a Senior Reporter and Editor at El Tímpano, a Bay Area nonprofit newsroom that covers the region’s Latino and Mayan immigrant communities. She is also a StoryReach U.S. Fellow at the Pulitzer Center and a Health Journalism Fellow with the Journalism and Women Symposium. Prior to that, she covered immigration and Congress for TIME Magazine. She is originally from El Paso, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Lomi Kriel, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune

Lomi Kriel is a reporter with ProPublica & the Texas Tribune. The reporting she lead on Uvalde was a Pulitzer Prize- finalist in explanatory reporting this year, and won the University of Florida’s Collier Award and the National Magazine award. She was previously an immigration reporter at the Houston Chronicle, where she received the 2019 George Polk Award for national reporting.

Connect: X

Elliot Spagat, The Associated Press

Elliot Spagat oversees immigration coverage for The Associated Press, a beat that is global in scope but focused on the United States. He has been based in San Diego since joining the AP in 2003 and assumed his current role in 2018. He reports often while working with journalists across platforms around the world to shape coverage. He is a 2023 recipient of the Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Award, the AP’s highest internal honor.

Ben Wermund, Houston Chronicle

Benjamin Wermund is a senior political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. He covers Gov. Greg Abbott and how he shapes politics and policy on the state and national level, including through Texas's unprecedented border security initiative, Operation Lone Star.

Connect: X

PanelManaging & Editing track

Sharing skillsets of leading investigative editors: A new partnership from the Cronkite School and IRE

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Join the team from the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as they preview a new professional investigative editing certificate program they’re developing for working journalists who would like to move into investigative editing or those who just want to sharpen their investigative skills.

Speakers

Maud Beelman, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

Maud Beelman is the founding director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and now serves as its part-time collaborations editor. She was also the founding director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the U.S. Investigations Editor for The Associated Press and a deputy managing editor at the Dallas Morning News.

Connect: LinkedIn

Mark Greenblatt, Arizona State University/Howard Center for Investigative Reporting

Mark Rochester, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Mark J. Rochester is Executive Editor at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Previously, he was Senior News Director for Investigations at The Detroit Free Press. He has held senior management positions at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Associated Press in San Francisco, The Denver Post, Newsday and The Indianapolis Star. An Indianapolis native, he has served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes and been a board member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, Inc.

Connect: X

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

What the Real Housewives can teach you about investigative journalism

Time: Friday, June 21, 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

What can we learn about investigative reporting from the Real Housewives franchise? Plenty. Preparing for accountability interviews, recognizing and dismantling bias in storytelling/narrative perspective — and how to bring the receipts. Get ready for the reunion!

Speakers

Cary Aspinwall, The Marshall Project

Ko Bragg, The Markup

Marissa Evans,

Sessions starting at 5 p.m. PT

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: Spanish-language investigations

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speakers

Gonzalo Magana, ABC10

Gonzalo Magaña is an award-winning journalist and the Director of Special Projects and Audience Engagement at ABC10, TEGNA’s ABC affiliate in Sacramento, CA. In 2017, Gonzalo created the ABC10 Originals team, specializing in long-form and investigative reporting. In 2021, he launched and oversees the Race and Culture Content Team, dedicated to reporting with and about diverse communities. Prior to joining TEGNA, Gonzalo spent 12 years working in Spanish broadcast news.

Connect: X

Myriam Masihy, WSCV-TV, Miami, FL

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Wrangling the big story

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Storyboarding, organizing the elements, writing, dividing it for different platforms, social media, rolling it all out … whew. This panel will give you strategies and tools for keeping it all straight.

Speakers

Greg Fox, WESH-TV 2 NBC (Hearst)

Greg Fox has been a journalist since 1982, working at WESH-TV Orlando (Hearst) since May 1987. He is the Investigative & Political reporter. He also worked at WYOU-TV and WGHP-TV. He’s won two national Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in TV Political Journalism, seven regional Emmys, as well as Edward R. Murrow, SPJ, FABJ, AP, & Green Eyeshade awards. Greg was also an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida and Rollins College.

Connect: X, Facebook

Daniela Molina, Gray Television/InvestigateTV

Daniela Molina is a bilingual investigative journalist who has great interest in human trafficking and health care stories. Throughout her time at InvestigateTV she has uncovered nursing home abuse, desecration of Black cemeteries, lack of updated emergency medical kits on airlines and has exposed secrecy in military medical malpractice. Daniela Molina also has a Spanish consumer segment called “Cuidando Su Billetera” that airs on Gray TV’s Telemundo stations.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Andy Pierrotti, WANF-TV, CBS Atlanta; InvestigateTV

Andy is a national award-winning investigative reporter who has received the duPont Columbia Award, George Foster Peabody, multiple Emmy, and Edward R. Murrow awards. His investigations have changed state laws, put people in prison, freed a man from jail, and led to historic state fines.

Connect: X, Facebook, Instagram

Nicole Vap, CBS News & Stations

Nicole Vap is the Executive Producer of Content Development for the CBS News and Stations Innovation Lab. She leads a investigative team to produce data-driven stories across the platforms of CBS NEWS and its 14 owned and operated stations. She works from her home in Denver.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

FYI Forum

FYI Forum: Floodlight: Fiction in the public interest

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

Come hear about this one-of-a-kind initiative! Created by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Gabriel García Márquez’s Foundation (Gabo Foundation) and film industry pros, Floodlight connects investigative journalism and the film and television industry to produce fiction that informs, illuminates, and entertains. Learn more: https://www.floodlightproject.org/en

Speakers

Drew Sullivan, OCCRP

Drew Sullivan is a co-founder & the publisher of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). Under his direction, OCCRP has won numerous awards, including the European Press Prize. He is an executive producer of the award-winning film, The Killing of a Journalist. Drew also created Reporters Shield, a membership program for media outlets that helps defend investigative journalism against SLAPPs & other legal harassment.

Alesia Weston, Floodlight: Fiction in the Public Interest

Alesia oversees Floodlight's creative work. Previously, she led the Sundance Institute's International Feature Film Program, overseeing their programs in Europe, The Middle East, Latin America and South East Asia for a decade. She was the ED of the Jerusalem Film Festival and served as guest curator for the Beirut and New Zealand film festivals. She began her career at Imagine Entertainment and more recently, worked with Martin Scorsese to support new auteurs.

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets: Advanced pivot tables

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

You've done a few pivot tables and are getting curious about what more you could do with them. What happens if you aggregate by more than one column? What are those "column" and "filter" boxes for? Come unlock the full potential of pivot tables in this intermediate spreadsheet class.

This session is good for: People familiar with spreadsheets and aggregating data with pivot tables, or anyone who has taken Sheets 1-3.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Emily Featherston, InvestigateTV

Emily is a national producer for InvestigateTV. She is a data-focused investigative journalist with a background in both broadcast and print media, and has reported on a myriad of topics including healthcare, agriculture, elections and government spending. Like most everyone in her field, she likes digging into records and data of all sorts, but as an MBA finds particular joy in sifting through financial documents for gems hiding in plain sight.

Connect: Reddit, Mastadon, GitHub

PanelBeat reporting track

How military and veterans coverage touches everything from health care to education to housing

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Just about every local or national issue can be looked at through the military and veterans communities. The health and welfare of service members and veterans inevitably affect the communities in which they live -- from the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury to the impact of VA backed mortgages on housing. We'll show you how to think about stories differently but also provide you with story ideas you can write immediately and tips on how to get information from the military services and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Speakers

Zachary Fryer-Biggs, Military.com

Zachary Fryer-Biggs is the Managing Editor for news at Military.com. Zach has been a national security journalist for more than a decade, during that time working as Newsweek’s Pentagon reporter and an investigative reporter covering national security for the Center for Public Integrity, among other positions. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Reveal, The Daily Beast, and other outlets.

Connect: LinkedIn

Sonner Kehrt, The War Horse

Sonner Kehrt is an investigative reporter at The War Horse. Her work has also been featured in The New York Times, WIRED magazine, Mother Jones, and other publications. She studied government at the US Coast Guard Academy and served for five years as Coast Guard officer before earning a masters in democracy and governance studies from Georgetown University and a masters of journalism from UC Berkeley.

Ron Nixon, The Associated Press

Session materials

PanelAI track

How to report on AI copyright cases

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Join attorneys Matt Topic and Angela Dunning — both of whom are working on cutting edge legal issues arising from generative AI — in conversation with Eileen Guo, MIT Technology Review, to discuss:

Copyright authorship and ownership of AI-generated and AI-augmented works;

Copyright litigation directed to the training and output of generative AI image and language models;

Whether the use of content for training an AI model constitutes “fair use”; and

Key legal and regulatory issues and considerations for companies and individuals wishing to deploy AI models.

Speakers

Angela L. Dunning, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Eileen Guo, MIT Technology Review

Eileen Guo is the senior reporter for features and investigations at MIT Technology Review, where her work focuses on how the tech industry shapes our world—often entrenching existing injustices and inequalities in the process. Previously she was a freelance reporter and audio producer for publications like The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, and Wired, among others.

Connect: X, Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads

Matt Topic, Loevy & Loevy

Matt Topic leads the Media and Intellectual Property practices at Loevy & Loevy. He has represented journalists in hundreds of state and federal open records lawsuits, and represents news organizations in copyright lawsuits against the makers of ChatGPT. Matt has also served as the outside general counsel to a non-profit newsroom for over 10 years. Before joining Loevy & Loevy, Matt was a partner at the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelElections track

Investigating the groups organizing anti-trans action and legislation

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

Nearly 600 anti-trans bills were filed in 2023, and 2024 looks to be a continuation of that legislative onslaught. And that's not to mention fast-moving policies in school boards and state departments. What, exactly, do the laws and policies do, how are they being implemented, and who are they affecting? (Hint: Everyone, not just trans people). Come for a lively discussion of this astonishing flood of policies and the groups behind them.

This session was planned in collaboration with TJA. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Lil Kalish, HuffPost

Vivian McCall, The Stranger

Adam Rhodes, IRE

Kate Sosin, The 19th

Kate Sosin is an LGBTQ+ reporter at The 19th. Their work has appeared in lots of places, and you are also awesome.

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating the public relations machine within policing

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

In 2020, the LA Times published Maya Lau's investigation of the role of police public relations departments in Los Angeles. She found that the police department and sheriff's department employ a combined 67 people and spend more than $12 million per year on public relations. She also identified several instances in which PR staff across the country lied, released misleading body camera footage, and otherwise spun events to reflect favorably on police officers. In 2021, Sofía Mejías Pascoe at the Voice of San Diego published a similar investigation of police contracts with private PR and crisis response firms. Does the public know their money is being used to spin information about police conduct back to them? Maya and Sofía will offer a behind the scenes look at how their investigations came together and offer concrete suggestions to journalists interested in taking on similar investigations.

Speakers

Laura Bennett, The Center for Just Journalism

Laura Bennett is the founder and director of The Center for Just Journalism, an organization dedicated to reducing sensationalism and promoting accuracy, evidence, and nuance in crime and safety reporting. She is a criminal justice policy expert who has led major policy and research projects in states across the country, first at the Pew Charitable Trusts and later at FWD.us.

Connect: X

Maya Lau, Independent journalist

Maya Lau is a financial investigative researcher. She also hosts the personal finance podcast "Other People's Pockets." She's a former investigative journalist for the LATimes, where she covered the LA County Sheriff's Department. She also talks about career pivots from journalism.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Sofia Mejias-Pascoe, inewsource

Sofía covers immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border through an accountability lens from her hometown of San Diego. She has written about shifting migration patterns along the border, Border Patrol pursuits and wage theft. She previously interned with the San Diego Union-Tribune and Voice of San Diego. She speaks English and Spanish.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

PanelStory ideas track

Investigating your state's guardianship system: From identifying red flags to reporting with empathy

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Marquis Northeast, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

When Samantha Hogan covered Maine's criminal justice beat, she regularly fielded reader requests to investigate the state's illusive probate court system, which oversees conservatorship and guardianship arrangements for adults with disabilities. Her year-long Livingston Award-winning investigation told the personal stories of people whose lives were affected by the gaps in the probate system and uncovered the unexplained deaths of eight people under state guardianship.

Join Samantha Hogan in conversation with Sewell Chan and learn how to:

- Overcome the challenges and barriers of reporting about guardianships

- Identify red flags in your state

- Sensitively approach and interview people living with mental and physical disabilities

- Use death records to investigate suspicious deaths of people under guardianship

This session is sponsored by the Wallace House Center for Journalists. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Sewell Chan, The Texas Tribune

Sewell Chan has been The Texas Tribune’s editor-in-chief since October 2021. During his tenure, the Tribune won its first National Magazine Award and was a Pulitzer finalist for the first time. Previously, he was a deputy managing editor and then the editorial page editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he oversaw coverage that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2021.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Samantha Hogan, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Samantha Hogan is an investigative reporter with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She spent four years investigating Maine's court systems and revealed bad oversight of contracted lawyers for the state's poor, widespread recording of private attorney-client phone calls in county jails, and gaps in the state's probate court system that leaves aging and disabled vulnerable to abuse or death. Hogan has been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize and Livingston Award.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelElections track

Lessons learned from election investigations around the world

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

“We will know whether democracy lives or dies by the end of 2024” – Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa, January 2024. How can investigative journalists hold political actors accountable in an era of rising autocracy, political violence, AI-driven disinformation, and other anti-democratic threats in this seismic global elections period? In this round-up session, journalists will share the key tools, strategies, and techniques that leading watchdog journalists around the world now recommend, from at-risk elections to “hybrid” democracies and autocratic states holding sham elections.

Speakers

Tamoa Calzadilla, Factchequeado

Tamoa Calzadilla is the Editor in Chief at Factchequeado, based in Miami, USA. She was Journalist of the Year John S. Carroll - News Literacy Project, a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University (2024-2025) and a Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow at University of Missouri. She is a Former director of elDetector, Univision fact checking platform.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, instagram

Rowan Philp, Global Investigative Journalism Network

Rowan Philp is GIJN's senior reporter. He was formerly chief reporter for the Sunday Times and The Witness in South Africa. His award-winning investigations include the revelation of secret and illicit negotiations for South Africa's $70 billion purchase of 8 nuclear reactors from Russia. As a foreign correspondent, he has reported on news, politics, corruption, and conflict from more than two dozen countries around the world.

Connect: LinkedIn

Akhil Ranjan, ICFJ

Akhil Ranjan is a bilingual London-based freelance journalist with expertise in uncovering organised disinformation techniques in South Asia. He has worked with global media and tech organisations, including the BBC, Twitter, AFP and ICFJ, and possesses over a decade of experience in multimedia content production and digital investigation. Ranjan is passionate about contributing to the global fight against information pollution and making the internet a safer place.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Beth Reinhard, The Washington Post

Beth Reinhard has been an investigative reporter at The Washington Post since 2017. She was part of the Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, the George Polk Award and Toner Prize in 2018. She also was part of Post teams awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2022 and first place in investigative reporting from the Associated Press Sports Editors in 2020.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

R 3: Gathering and cleaning data

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Learn how to use R to scrape data from web pages, access APIs and transform the results into usable data. This session will also focus on how to clean and structure the data you've gathered in preparation for analysis using tidyverse packages.

This session is good for: People who have used R and have a basic understanding of how to retrieve data from APIs. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Andrew Pantazi, The Tributary

Andrew Pantazi is the editor of The Tributary, a nonprofit investigative newsroom based in Jacksonville, Florida. He previously worked at The Florida Times-Union and as a union organizer with the NewsGuild-CWA.

Connect: X

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

Sleeping well: How investigative journalists can make even the most sensitive and complicated stories ironclad

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

There was a time it was a matter of keeping your desk clean. But today’s investigative journalists have an overwhelming number of options about how to organize their work. We will present a few simple systems teams can use to make sure that every bit of content from pitch to publish is in a simple, well organized site. We’ll talk about annotating drafts (keep the lawyers happy), using video and audio transcriptions, and security challenges. Bring concerns you face and solutions you’ve developed to this session as we collaborate in true IRE style to share what we know.

This includes:

-Reporting Plans in 2024

-Two = Three: How teaming up can boost productivity, creativity and accuracy for investigative reporting.

-Managing Up: Making workplace decisions that benefit you and your editor

Speakers

Martha Mendoza, Associated Press

A two-time Pulitzer Prize and Emmy winner, Martha Mendoza’s reports have prompted Congressional hearings and new legislation, Pentagon investigations and White House responses. She was part of a team whose investigations into slavery in the Thai seafood sector have led to the freedom of more than 2,000 men.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook

Mary Rajkumar, The Associated Press

Mary Rajkumar is the Global Investigations Editor for The Associated Press, co-leading the team with Jeannie Ohm. Rajkumar has led and edited two Pulitzer Gold Medal-winning international investigations for The Associated Press, in 2016 for Seafood From Slaves and in 2023 for Erasing Mariupol, which also won an Oscar. She led and edited three other projects, named Pulitzer finalists, on China, Al-Qaida, and child trafficking in Africa. Rajkumar is from Singapore.

Hands-onBeat reporting trackIntermediate

Storyball: Finding ideas in sports data

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Sports is absolutely drowning in data and there is a large and hungry audience for sports content. Alongside that, there's a large and growing open-source sports analytics community that data journalists should be a part of. In this hands-on class, I will take you through examples of ways to use traditional data journalism tools like R and the Tidyverse to bring in up-to-the-moment sports data and do sophisticated analysis that you can immediately visualize to add context to seasons, leagues and sports.

This session is good for people comfortable running commands on their computers. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training and should have a GitHub account.

Instructor

Derek Willis, University of Maryland

Derek Willis teaches data journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Previously he has worked at ProPublica, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other news organizations. He runs OpenElections.

Connect: Github

PanelManaging & Editing track

Why do U.S. newsrooms hire so few investigative reporters of color?

Time: Friday, June 21, 5 – 6 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Following the data is often what we do best as investigative journalists. A three-year study by a National Association of Hispanic Journalists task force found that most of America's investigative news teams at major news organizations don't include reporters of color and newsrooms largely avoid the conversation behind why. In addition to publishing newsroom diversity survey numbers, task force members convened lots of frank conversations with news executives, finding problems, progress and promise. Come learn from those who collected data on how to be a true ally after 2020's "racial reckoning" in journalism and how to authentically handle the DBEI backlash undergirding a backslide in our newsrooms.

Speakers

Yvette Cabrera, The Center for Public Integrity

Yvette Cabrera is a senior reporter at the investigative news nonprofit, the Center for Public Integrity, where she covers social and economic inequalities with a focus on environmental justice issues. She serves as president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and is a founding member of The Uproot Project, a network for environmental journalists of color.

Connect: X, Instagram

Norberto Santana, Voice of OC

Norberto Santana, Jr. is an experienced investigative reporter and founding publisher and editor-in-chief for Voice of OC. An award-winning columnist with decades of newspaper experience in government/investigations, Santana is a pioneer in the field of nonprofit news having served on the board of directors for the the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). He also served on boards for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the First Amendment group, CalAware.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Mc Nelly Torres, Center for Public Integrity

Mc Nelly Torres is an award-winning investigative journalist and former editor at the Center for Public Integrity, where she leads a team investigating inequality. Before, Torres worked as an investigative producer for NBC6 in Miami and co-founded FCIR.org. Torres is a product of newspapers including the Sun-Sentinel and the San Antonio Express-News. Torres was the first Latina to be elected to the IRE board of directors. She was a recipient of the Gwen Ifill Award in 2022.

Connect: X

Mercedes Vigon, Florida International University

Mercedes Vigón, Ph.D., associate professor and associate director, designs and teaches investigative journalism, storytelling, and master's degrees in Latin America and the US since 2001. She was a news director for Net Financial News, an executive producer for the 24-hour network CBS Telenoticias, and a journalist for United Press International, UPI, and the Spanish newspaper ABC.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Saturday

Sessions starting at 9 a.m. PT

PanelStory ideas track

Behind the story: Driving while Black

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Twenty years ago, Illinois began collecting some of the most robust data in the nation on traffic stops under legislation sponsored by then-Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama. By requiring police in every department across the state to record data about every traffic stop – including the race of the driver, the reason for the stop, the outcome and dozens of other data points – the hope was to better understand and address racial profiling.

On the 20th anniversary, WBEZ Chicago and the Investigative Project on Race and Equity obtained and analyzed 42.5 million records from more than 1,000 police jurisdictions across Illinois collected under the law. This first-of-its-kind analysis showed the problem has only gotten worse: the share of traffic stops involving Black drivers has risen over time, reaching all-time high levels in recent years.

Speakers

Jessica Alvarado, Chicago Public Media/WBEZ

Jessica Alvarado Gamez is an investigative Roy W. Howard Fellow on WBEZ’s data team. Previously, she earned her master’s degree in investigative journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has been featured by The Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Univision Arizona and Arizona PBS.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Angela Caputo, Investigative Project on Race and Equity

Angela Caputo is an award-winning investigative reporter who specializes in using documents, databases, mapping and other analytical tools to expose abuses of power and lax government oversight. She's worked at The Chicago Reporter, American Public Media's APM Reports, the Chicago Tribune and Daily Southtown. She currently serves as the Project Director of the Investigative Project and teaches journalism at Loyola Marymount University.

Connect: X

Matt Kiefer, WBEZ/Chicago Public Media

Matt Kiefer is a data journalist with WBEZ/Chicago Public Media.

Connect: X

Alden Loury, Chicago Public Media/WBEZ

Alden Loury is the data projects editor at WBEZ, Chicago's NPR member station, and leads a five-person team of data journalists. Documenting segregation and racial inequality in housing, education, employment, the criminal justice system, economic development and politics have been a focus of his work for nearly 25 years in a variety of roles including reporter, editor, publisher, columnist, research director and policy analyst.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: MMJs edition

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker

Brandon Goldner, CBS News Philadelphia

Brandon Goldner is an award-winning reporter and multi-skilled journalist for CBS News Philadelphia. He's the recipient of two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and six EMMY nominations. His investigations have exposed problems on a billion-dollar highway construction project, tracked ongoing pollution at a paper mill controlled by NFL owner Robert Kraft, and scrutinized training requirements for teachers who physically restrain students.

Connect: Facebook, X, Instagram

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Finding the data on marginalized communities, uncovering the story and getting it on air

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

How to retrieve data when data rarely exists, especially in communities of color. How do you pitch these stories and convince your bosses they’re worth the time and resources? This panel will also explore inequalities and racism in data, finding the data and public records you need and utilizing it for your story.

Speakers

Caresse Jackman, Gray Television/InvestigateTV

Caresse Jackman is national consumer investigative reporter with InvestigateTV/Gray Television. Caresse’s work shines a light on issues impacting consumers and marginalized communities. Her work has uncovered the desecration of African American cemeteries nationwide, exposed the complexities of replacing lead service lines across America and the issues surrounding appraisal bias for African American homeowners.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook

Jared Kofsky, ABC News

Jared Kofsky produces longform and breaking news investigations for ABC News’ broadcast and digital platforms. He works from both the field and the network’s headquarters in New York, and has covered everything from decades-long waiting lists for public housing to Americans being detained in Russia to prison escapes. Jared previously served as the investigative producer for WCSC-TV in South Carolina and a reporter covering New Jersey economic development for Jersey Digs.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Emerald Morrow, 10 Tampa Bay (WTSP-TV)

Emerald Morrow is an investigative reporter and fill-in anchor at 10 Tampa Bay (WTSP). Her work has led to changes in state law and focuses on exposing injustice often at the intersection of race and class. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where she studied both print and broadcast reporting.

Connect: X, Facebook, LinkedIn

Candice Nguyen, NBC Bay Area News

Candice Nguyen is a Peabody Award-winning investigative reporter for NBC Bay Area. Born in Oakland, California, investigative journalism is Candice's way of fighting for her community. When she was a child, her father died of an aneurysm. Her family lost their home. Experiencing housing insecurity and watching her young, overwhelmed mother navigate social services gave –and still gives– Candice the grit to tackle injustices plaguing our communities today.

Connect: X, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook

PanelDeep dive track

Deep Dive: Working with people who have been harmed

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

The Marshall Project’s Shoshana Walter and Nashville Public Radio’s Meribah Knight have been the lead reporters on stories featuring people who have been traumatized by unjust systems or practices. Their skill in producing this type of investigation was on full display in Knight's podcast The Kids of Rutherford County, produced by Serial, and Walter's recent New York Times magazine story and podcast about women who faced child abuse investigations and lost their newborns for taking prescribed medications during pregnancy.

Both have done a range of other stories, in both audio and print, in which they needed to earn the trust of people who have been victimized and hurt. In this session they’ll talk about how they earn that trust, approach interviews with a microphone, and the special challenges they face in asking people to revisit their pain.

Speakers

Meribah Knight, Nashville Public Radio

Meribah Knight is a senior reporter at Nashville Public Radio. She’s the host and creator of the Peabody Award-winning podcast The Promise and Serial’s recent podcast The Kids of Rutherford County. Knight has received numerous national awards for her reporting, including the George Foster Peabody and George Polk awards. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the Goldsmith Award, and twice for the National Magazine Award.

Connect: X

Shoshana Walter, The Marshall Project

FYI ForumPublic records track

FYI Forum: Agenda Watch

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Are you a reporter keeping tabs on controversial topics debated by school board members? An investigator tracking city contracts scooped up by certain companies? The Agenda Watch platform is designed to help you shine light on the business of local government. The project, created by Big Local News at Stanford, with support from the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, centralizes agendas, agenda packets and meeting minutes from thousands of local city councils and other decision-making bodies in a single, easily searchable platform. Even better, Agenda Watch lets you sign up for alerts on potentially newsworthy items coming up for discussion at future meetings. Join Big Local for this session to learn how to begin using their new platform to cover your beat.

Speaker

Cheryl Phillips, Big Local News - Stanford University

Cheryl Phillips has taught data and investigative journalism at Stanford University since 2014. She founded Big Local News, whose staff contributed to two projects that were Pulitzer finalists in 2024. She co-founded the Stanford Open Policing Project. Previously, she worked at The Seattle Times, contributing to Pulitzer-winning coverage in 2009 and 2014. She has worked at USA Today and newspapers in Michigan, Montana, and Texas. She is a former IRE board president.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating health insurance

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

This session will delve into how to investigate health insurance companies and, specifically, the decisions behind denying coverage. We'll share tangible tools and a framework for reporting on this life-and-death industry.

Speakers

Laura Garcia, San Antonio Report

Laura Garcia is the Managing Editor of the San Antonio Report. She also serves as regional coordinator of the Society of Professional Journalists’ chapters in Texas and Oklahoma; vice president of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists and a senior fellow with USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism. Previously, Laura was the night news editor at The Texas Tribune and a business health care reporter at the San Antonio Express-News.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Maya Miller, ProPublica

Maya Miller is an engagement reporter at ProPublica working on community-sourced investigations.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Patrick Rucker, The Capitol Forum

PanelLocal track

Local investigations with big impact

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

We've seen incredible local journalists take down powerful officials, blow the lid off corruption, and hold their communities to unparalleled account. This session will focus on the amazing work journalists have done in the past year and how you can do that work yourself!

This session is sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Joshua Ceballos, WLRN News

Joshua Ceballos is an investigative reporter based in Miami, Florida. His work has appeared on WLRN.ORG, in the Miami New Times and The Miami Times. He is the recipient of an IRE award for audio reporting and an Esserman-Knight Journalism Award.

Connect: X

Caitlin McGlade, Arizona Republic

Caitlin is an award-winning investigative reporter at the Arizona Republic and a data professor at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Her most recent series exposing widespread violence in assisted living facilities prompted a new law that created tougher assisted living standards and also a state takeover of a troubled facility.

Connect: X

Anne Ryman, ABC15 Arizona

Anne Ryman is an investigative reporter at ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix. Before that, she was an investigative reporter for more than 20 years at The Arizona Republic. She was part of the newspaper's 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning team in explanatory reporting.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Claudia Vargas, NBC10 Philadelphia

Claudia Vargas is an investigative reporter at NBC10 and Telemundo62 in Philadelphia. Her investigative reports focus on government accountability and have led to new laws and changes in city policy. Claudia has also reported and produced three NBC10 original true-crime documentaries, one of which led to the reopening of a child's murder case. Before her work in TV, she was a print journalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, NY.)

Connect: X, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn

Session materials

Pre-registration - Master ClassReporting and writing strategies track

Master Class: Backstopping the data-driven investigation - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

Managing a data project presents challenges for any journalist. No matter your comfort level with data, this half-day workshop will give you the foundation you need to help make sure you or your reporters aren’t running with scissors or spinning wheels on data projects. Veteran editors Maud Beelman and Jennifer LaFleur will guide you through the ins and outs of data journalism from an editor’s point of view, including:

- How to help journalists find focus for their data stories

- How to structure and write data-driven investigations

- Verifying analyses and bulletproofing data stories and apps

- Using data to find human sources and characters for stories

- Planning the best data workflows for your newsroom

No data experience is necessary for this workshop. Everyone is welcome!

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Speakers

Maud Beelman, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

Maud Beelman is the founding director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and now serves as its part-time collaborations editor. She was also the founding director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the U.S. Investigations Editor for The Associated Press and a deputy managing editor at the Dallas Morning News.

Connect: LinkedIn

Jennifer LaFleur, UC Berkeley

Pre-registration - Master ClassManaging & Editing track

Master Class: Managing investigators: Leading those born to challenge authority - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Grand Ballroom B, lobby level

Being a news manager is already tough, but what if you supervise investigative journalists? They come with an extra layer of challenges because their very job (and likely their personality) makes them hyper-alert to authority figures.

This course is designed to give you some tools and tactics to lead individuals and entire teams of investigators more effectively. Learn from four investigative managers from different media at different stages of their leadership careers. How did they launch into their roles, and what experience have they gained along the way? This course is for current investigative managers and anyone aspiring to step into such a position in the future.

Topics will include: managing compassionately, hiring challenges, transitioning to management, forging partnerships, building relationships, handling resource cuts, organization/structure, tough decisions/conversations, in-house training/growth, delivering feedback, creating inclusive opportunities, and juggling responsibilities/projects/work.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Speakers

Emma Carew Grovum, The Marshall Project

Emma Carew Grovum is the director of careers and culture at The Marshall Project and also the founder of Kimbap Media, a consultancy solving problems at the intersection of journalism, technology, and the audience. She is a co-founder and regular contributor to the News Product Alliance, and also runs a leadership accelerator for journalists of color called Upward. Emma co-hosts Sincerely, Leaders of Color.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram, Threads, Bluesky

Cindy Galli, ABC News

Cindy Galli is Executive Producer of ABC News’ Investigative Unit, leading a team of award-winning reporters and producers who investigate government fraud, corporate corruption, racial injustice and consumer and environmental issues. She led the network’s Uvalde:365 commitment to remain in and cover the community after a mass shooting. Her team’s recent recognitions include a duPont-Columbia baton and three national Murrow awards. Cindy also oversees collaborative projects between ABC News and local stations and affiliates.

Connect: X

Josh Hinkle, KXAN

Josh Hinkle is KXAN’s director of investigations and innovation, leading the station’s duPont and IRE Award-winning investigative team on multiple platforms. He also leads KXAN’s political coverage as executive producer and host of “State of Texas,” a weekly statewide program focused on the Texas Legislature and elections. In 2021, he was elected to the IRE Board of Directors and currently serves as its vice president.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Gonzalo Magana, ABC10

Gonzalo Magaña is an award-winning journalist and the Director of Special Projects and Audience Engagement at ABC10, TEGNA’s ABC affiliate in Sacramento, CA. In 2017, Gonzalo created the ABC10 Originals team, specializing in long-form and investigative reporting. In 2021, he launched and oversees the Race and Culture Content Team, dedicated to reporting with and about diverse communities. Prior to joining TEGNA, Gonzalo spent 12 years working in Spanish broadcast news.

Connect: X

Mc Nelly Torres, Center for Public Integrity

Mc Nelly Torres is an award-winning investigative journalist and former editor at the Center for Public Integrity, where she leads a team investigating inequality. Before, Torres worked as an investigative producer for NBC6 in Miami and co-founded FCIR.org. Torres is a product of newspapers including the Sun-Sentinel and the San Antonio Express-News. Torres was the first Latina to be elected to the IRE board of directors. She was a recipient of the Gwen Ifill Award in 2022.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelCareer advice track

Media law for journalists: Newsgathering

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

In this session, you’ll learn from an experienced media attorney about the laws governing newsgathering activity, including going undercover, entering private property, using technology, gaining access to government proceedings and records, dealing with confidential sources, and more. Bring your questions and learn more about your rights to gather information.

Speaker

Jeffrey Hermes, Media Law Resource Center

Jeff Hermes is a Deputy Director of the Media Law Resource Center, a membership organization for media lawyers. Jeff previously served as the Director of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University’s Berkman Center; before that, he assisted a wide array of clients with media and intellectual property issues as a litigation attorney for fourteen years. Jeff went to Harvard Law School and received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton.

Connect: LinkedIn

One-on-oneCareer advice track

One-on-one with Barry Nash & Co. (Saturday)

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (3h)
Location: Gold Key 3, lobby level

Barry Nash and his team return to IRE to provide personalized coaching sessions. If you have questions about any aspect of your delivery — your appearance, how you use your voice, how you can perform most effectively in the field or in the studio — this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Barry has been working with talent at all levels of experience and ability for over 30 years.

Please note: Participants should bring recent footage on a flash drive, webpage/online link, or storage drive (Google or Dropbox).

Click here to sign up

PanelBeat reporting track

Skies to subways, covering the transportation beat

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

We’ll talk with reporters at the forefront of some of the biggest transportation news events of the day, including the Norfolk Southern train derailment, the recent spate of Boeing manufacturing quality failures and the sudden pause of the nation’s first congestion pricing program.

Speakers

Frank Esposito, ABC OTV

Frank is a data journalist covering the New York City metro area. His favorite way to get around is NYC's Ferry system. A Scranton native Frank has a deep understanding of how transportation defines people and places.

Connect: X

Dominic Gates, Seattle Times

Ana Ley, The New York Times

Mark Walker, The New York Times

Benét Wilson, Independent Journalist

Benét J. Wilson is a veteran aviation trade journalist. She was previously director of the Poynter-Koch Media and Journalism Fellowship and a senior editor and writer for The Points Guy. She serves on the boards of Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism and the Institute for Independent Journalism. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., with a B.A. in broadcast journalism and resides in Baltimore, MD.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

The final fact check

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

You've completed your reporting, gathered the evidence and interviewed the sources. It’s almost time to put your work into the world. From color-coded spreadsheets to presenting evidence to bosses and attorneys, we'll discuss techniques for conducting that final fact check for your investigations.

Speakers

Ryann Grochowski Jones, ABC News

Ryann Grochowski Jones is the director of data journalism at ABC News and Owned TV Stations. Previously, she was the data editor at ProPublica and a data reporter at inewsource in San Diego, Calif. Ryann received her master's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she was a data librarian at IRE/NICAR. Ryann began her career as a municipal beat reporter for her hometown newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

John Voskuhl, Bloomberg News

John Voskuhl is a managing editor for Bloomberg News investigations. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, he worked at newspapers in Louisville and Lexington, Ky., and in Miami, before joining Bloomberg in 2008. He wrote one of the most noteworthy newspaper corrections of the 21st Century: "It has come to the editor's attention that the Herald-Leader neglected to cover the civil-rights movement. We regret the omission."

Hands-onTools & Tech track

Using OSINT tools to access data at scale

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

Learn how to leverage search engines, social media, and other public websites to collect the information you need to uncover the truth and gather facts. Together we’ll walk through how this data is leveraged in newsrooms so you can apply it to yours. By the end of this session, you'll now how to use public web data from elections to art.

This session is sponsored by Bright Data. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Instructors

Jennifer Burns, Bright Data

Jennifer is the Director of PR and Communications at Bright Data, a global DaaS company, and runs a data and OSINT tool program designed for journalists and newsrooms to access public web data. After spending 20 years in TV news, operating this program is a natural fit that Jennifer is passionate about.

Connect: LinkedIn

Michael Newton, Bright Data

Dominique Willis, Bright Data

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Using the Census to tell a story

Time: Saturday, June 22, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

We will go over some tips and tricks for navigating Census data. This session is good for people who want to learn how to use demographic data in their stories.

Instructor

Sandhya Kambhampati, Los Angeles Times

Sandhya Kambhampati is a data and graphics reporter on the Los Angeles Times Data Desk, where she covers the demographics and diversity of California and the nation. She previously worked at the Chronicle of Higher Education, Correctiv and ProPublica Illinois. Her co-reported work on the widespread inaccuracies in Cook County’s property tax assessment system was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for local reporting in 2018. Send her tips at sandhya@latimes.com.

Connect: X

Session materials

Sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. PT

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: Local political investigations

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker information coming soon.

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Working for you and on your side

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Now more than ever, our audience needs protection from scam artists and get-rich quick schemes. These are just some of the consumer issues the public deals with every day. This panel of investigators will tell you how to find stories right under your nose.

Speakers

Jason Knowles, WLS ABC 7

Jason Knowles is an Emmy award winning Consumer Investigative Reporter at WLS, ABC7 Chicago. He's been part of the ABC 7 I-Team for more than 10 years and has been at WLS for 20 years. Before joining WLS, Jason was an Investigative Reporter at WTVG 13 ABC in Toledo, Ohio.

Connect: Instagram

Kristine Lazar, KCAL/KCBS

Kristine Lazar is a consumer investigative reporter at KCAL/KCBS in Los Angeles. Kristine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley and has been at KCAL/KCBS since 2007. Kristine was a general assignment reporter for the bulk of her now 24-year career, until 2017, when she was tapped to launch the On Your Side consumer franchise. Kristine is also a mom to 3 children, a son and twin daughters.

Myriam Masihy, WSCV-TV, Miami, FL

Hands-onData analysis track

Cleaning and extracting data: 30 tips in 60 minutes

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Let's put those documents to work for you! In this session we'll review need-to-know methods for getting the most out of your dirty datasets, regardless of whether you're working in Excel or knee-deep in Python.

Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Jonathan Soma, Columbia University

Jonathan Soma is Knight Chair in Data Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, where he directs the Data Journalism MS and the summer-intensive Lede Program. He regularly publishes tutorials on everything from basic Python and analysis to ai2html and machine learning. Unfortunately, he cannot stop talking about AI at the moment.

Connect: X, GitHub

PanelElections track

Continuing accountability on the redistricting beat

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

Join us for an in-depth discussion on the critical role of investigative journalism in ensuring fair redistricting practices. This panel will provide journalists with the tools and insights needed to maintain continuous scrutiny of redistricting efforts, even years after the Census.

What You Will Learn:

Strategies for investigating and reporting on complex redistricting issues at the state and local levels.

Techniques for uncovering hidden agendas, discriminatory practices, and legal violations in redistricting processes.

Effective ways to communicate intricate details to readers in a clear and impactful manner.

Speakers

Andrew Pantazi, The Tributary

Andrew Pantazi is the editor of The Tributary, a nonprofit investigative newsroom based in Jacksonville, Florida. He previously worked at The Florida Times-Union and as a union organizer with the NewsGuild-CWA.

Connect: X

Marilyn Thompson, ProPublica

Marilyn Thompson is a veteran reporter and editor who currently works at ProPublica on the Threats to Democracy team. She spent 2023 examining the underbelly of redistricting in South Carolina. Washington and Texas. She is former IRE board member and has authored or co-authored four non-fiction books.

Connect: X

David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

David Zahniser covers city government for the Los Angeles Times. On that beat, he has written extensively about L.A. city elections, campaign fundraising, real estate development, transportation, homelessness, taxes and many other issues affecting the city's nearly 4 million residents. He has tracked L.A.'s redistricting process three times -- in 2002, 2012 and 2021.

Connect: X

PanelInternational track

How to report from and about a country that doesn't want you there: Investigating Russia

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

With the lack of a free press in Russia and amid a war, journalists trying to tell the stories from there and about the nation is a major undertaking. Journalists have to navigate harassment, barriers to information, disinformation and lack of resources in order to do their job. With conflicts around the world dividing newsroom attention, it's critical to continue to keep an eye on Russia.

Speakers

Paul Beckett, Wall Street Journal

Olesia Bida, The Kyiv Independent

Olesia Bida is a reporter at the War Crimes Investigations Unit at the Kyiv Independent. She is the author of two investigative documentaries on the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia and war crimes committed by Russian military personnel during the occupation of Kyiv and Kherson oblasts in 2022. Prior to the full-scale invasion, her work focused on human rights violations, gender equality, and other sensitive topics.

Connect: Facebook

Axel Gordh Humlesjö, Mission Investigate, SVT 1

T.J. Quinn, ESPN

T.J. Quinn joined ESPN in November 2007 as an investigative reporter for ESPN’s Enterprise Unit, which is charged with developing long-form, investigative features to be presented across multiple platforms. Quinn contributes to all aspects of ESPN’s news and information programming, including SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, ESPN .com and ESPN Radio.

Mary Rajkumar, The Associated Press

Mary Rajkumar is the Global Investigations Editor for The Associated Press, co-leading the team with Jeannie Ohm. Rajkumar has led and edited two Pulitzer Gold Medal-winning international investigations for The Associated Press, in 2016 for Seafood From Slaves and in 2023 for Erasing Mariupol, which also won an Oscar. She led and edited three other projects, named Pulitzer finalists, on China, Al-Qaida, and child trafficking in Africa. Rajkumar is from Singapore.

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating unemployment

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

It's a department that affects everyone but is often the least-transparent. Learn about the pitfalls, technology, and small business problems all affected by unemployment.

Speakers

Lauren Hepler, CalMatters

Lauren Hepler is an investigative reporter covering labor and housing issues for CalMatters. Her previous stories have been published by the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, the Guardian and others.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Brittany Johnson, WCVB

Brittany Johnson, an Emmy award-winning journalist for WCVB’s investigative unit in Boston, focuses on various community injustices. She uncovered the sometimes violent conditions of mentally ill inmates in federal prison. Previously, at KCRA, Brittany helped expose widespread fraud within California's unemployment system. Her reporting ensured numerous claims were rectified. Notably, while working in Utah, Brittany found its constitution allowed slavery as a form of punishment. Her reports spurred an amendment to the state constitution.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Dave Manoucheri, KCRA/Hearst Television

Dave Manoucheri is an award-winning journalist and documentary producer/director for KCRA in Sacramento. His 35 year career spans investigative journalism to historical documentaries.

Connect: X, Lindkedin

PanelBeat reporting track

Reporting on the judiciary

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Sources, tips, documents and data to produce high impact stories on judges and the courts.

Speakers

Maya Dukmasova, Injustice Watch

Maya Dukmasova is a senior reporter at Injustice Watch. She reports on judges, prisons, housing and the courts. Before joining Injustice Watch in 2021, Maya was a senior writer at the Chicago Reader, where she produced award-winning long-form features and investigative stories, as well as profiles, film reviews and essays on a wide range of topics.

Connect: X, Bluesky

Justin Elliott, ProPublica

Justin Elliott has been a reporter with ProPublica since 2012, where he covers business and politics. Last year he was one of the reporters covering U.S. Supreme Court justices' hidden relationships with billionaire political donors. He was also on the team of reporters documenting how the rich avoid taxes for “The Secret IRS Files” series.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Website

Lise Olsen, The Texas Observer

Lise Olsen is investigations editor at the Texas Observer. Her first book, Code of Silence: Sexual Misconduct by Federal Judges, the Secret System that Protects Them and the Women who Blew the Whistle, won the IRE book award in 2022. Her work has been featured in several documentaries, including "The Pillowcase Murders," (Paramount Plus '24), the Killing Fields (Netflix '22). Her new book, the Scientist and the Serial Killer, will be published by Random House in 2025.

Connect: X, Website

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

The art of business investigations

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

From getting CEOs to talk to deep diving into a company, a business investigation has its own sets of challenges. You'll hear from veteran print and broadcast journalists on navigating these challenges and how to turn a tip into a compelling corporate investigation. We will cover how to source up at companies you cover, especially those with NDAs, the aggressive nature of PR in business investigations and how to keep your cool when they are yelling at you and calling your editor as well as front running stories with press releases.

This session is sponsored by Bloomberg. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Olivia Carville, Bloomberg Businessweek

Olivia Carville is an investigative reporter for Bloomberg News. She is an award-winning journalist who has written multiple cover stories for Businessweek magazine. A native of New Zealand, Olivia moved to New York City in 2017. She teaches investigative reporting techniques at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and serves as president of the New York Financial Writers' Association.

Connect: X

Jane Sasseen, McGraw Center for Business Journalism

Jane Sasseen is executive director of the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, which provides grants for business and financial investigative stories. Previously, she was senior editor and Washington bureau chief for BusinessWeek, politics editor-in-chief for Yahoo News, and Paris bureau chief of International Management magazine. She is a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award, the top prize in financial journalism.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Scott Zamost, CNBC

As the senior investigative producer for CNBC, Scott oversees investigative reports and documentaries. Scott joined CNBC in 2017 after nine years at CNN as a senior investigative producer. During his career, he has won more than 75 journalism awards, including two IRE awards, four national Emmy nominations, three National Headliner awards and 23 regional Emmys. A former newspaper reporter, he has spoken or moderated at IRE conferences every year since 2002.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

The art of interviewing

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

This session is sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

David Cay Johnston, Simon & Schuster/Syracuse U College of Law

Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times

Harriet Ryan is a Los Angeles Times investigative reporter. She has written about Phil Spector, Michael Jackson and Tom Girardi, USC, the State Bar of California, the Catholic Church, the Kabbalah Centre and Purdue Pharma. Ryan and two colleagues won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. She has worked at Court TV and the Asbury Park Press. She is a Columbia University graduate.

Connect: X

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

Top 10 stories in religion you should be following

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

The Israel-Hamas war, along with the rise in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents in the U.S. and around the globe, were named the top international and domestic religion stories by the Religion News Association in its latest annual poll. RNA members, a 75-year-old association for reporters who cover religion in the news media, have been voting on the annual story poll for decades and offer a deep well of insight on how to adapt these stories for your audiences. Come learn who the newsmakers you should be covering are, and the topics engaging audiences domestically and globally. From ongoing legislative and legal battles following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, to the exodus of thousands of congregations from the United Methodist Church and the global political debates over sexuality and transgender rights, the top 10 will show you how diverse and wide-ranging the stories are on the beat and touch all of our communities. This session is presented in collaboration with the Religion News Association.

Speakers

Deepa Bharath, Associated Press

Deepa Bharath is a reporter on AP's Global Religion team. Prior to taking on this role in February 2022, Deepa was a staff writer at the Orange County Register and the Southern California News Group for 16 years, where she covered a number of beats including religion, race, health and city government.

Connect: X

Ken Chitwood, Religion News Association

Ken Chitwood is a professional religion nerd, working as a scholar and newswriter. He is currently President of the Religion News Association, Editor of ReligionLink, as well as Faith and Immigration Reporter with Sojourners Magazine. He is a Senior Research Fellow with the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at Indiana University and Affiliate of USC's Center for Religion and Civic Culture.

Connect: X

Alejandra Molina, Independent Journalist

Alejandra Molina is a journalist based in the Los Angeles area, where she explores Latino identity in politics, religion, arts and culture. Most recently, she was part of a team that launched De Los, a new section of the Los Angeles Times exploring Latinidad in L.A. and across the country. Her work appears in the LA Times, Religion News Service, The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, The Orange County Register, the Associated Press and Washington Post.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

James Queally, Los Angeles Times

James Queally is a criminal justice reporter for the Los Angeles Times, focused on the L.A. County district attorney's office and juvenile justice. A part of the Times staff that won the 2015 Pulitzer for Breaking News, Queally has written about cops and crime on both coasts for more than 15 years. He is also the author of two novels.

Connect: X

Hands-onStory ideas track

Using data to uncover nursing home staffing shortages

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

In this session we’ll show you how to find nursing homes in your community that would meet – or fail to meet – new federal regulations mandating minimum staffing levels at thousands of facilities nationwide. We’ll use timecard data to show you the basic spreadsheet skills and tiny bit of math needed to craft impactful sentences about staffing shortages at local nursing homes. You’ll see how other journalists have used this data and get a detailed story recipe to aid in your own reporting. This session will be taught using Google Sheets, a laptop and Google account will be required to participate.

Instructor

Eric Sagara, Big Local News

Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Web scraping with R

Time: Saturday, June 22, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

If you need data that's trapped on a website, writing some code to scrape the page could be your solution. This entry-level class will show you how to use the rvest package within the R programming language to harvest data from a website into a data file. We’ll cover the basic structure of HTML and tackle a few websites from easy to difficult.

This class is good for anyone who is comfortable writing some basic R code. Some understanding of HTML is helpful but not required.

Attendees must bring their own laptops (no tablets) with R and RStudio installed, along with the packages "tidyverse" and "rvest."

Instructor

Liz Lucas, IRE & NICAR

Sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. PT

PanelPublic records track

50 FOIAs in 50 minutes

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Finding yourself coming up empty handed on FOIA Friday thinking up what to request? This session will offer dozens of concrete request ideas you can file today (even during the session!) while also giving you strategies for how to tailor your public records strategy to match whatever story or topic you're diving into, from backgrounding an agency and source development to setting up even your rejections to be newsworthy.

Speaker

Michael Morisy, MuckRock

Michael Morisy is the co-founder and chief executive of MuckRock Foundation, a non-profit that builds transparency tools used worldwide. A member of the National Freedom of Information Coalition's board, he serves on SPJ's FOIA Committee and served two terms on the federal FOIA Advisory Committee. In addition to MuckRock, the Foundation also runs DocumentCloud, oTranscribe and other services that help power reporting around the world.

Connect: Mastadon, GitHub

Session materials

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Juggling investigations and GA

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Learn how to balance being an investigative journalist who also needs to contribute daily to the news cycle. You can do both effectively! Hear from reporters about both quick-turn investigations in just a few days and larger investigation strategies. We'll also discuss the tools and strategies used to manage record requests and story ideas.

Speakers

Dan Krauth, WABC-TV

Dan Krauth is an award-winning investigative journalist with WABC-TV Eyewitness News. His investigations have led to changes in local and state laws, from how plastic surgeons are disciplined in Florida to how squatters are defined in New York State law. He started as a producer in Rockford and worked at stations in Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, West Palm Beach, and Miami before moving to New York City.

Connect: Instagram, X, Facebook

Lolita Lopez, KNBC

Lolita Lopez is an investigative reporter and anchor at NBC4 and has been part of the team since 2011. Lopez is part of the award-winning I-Team, digging deep into stories and cases that impact viewers throughout the Southland.

Connect: X, Instagram, Facebook

Karla Ray, WFTV

Karla Ray wakes up Central Florida every weekend as an anchor on WFTV, and fights for the underserved as an investigative reporter with the 9 Investigates unit. Her work has led to significant changes, including legislation requiring regulations and standards for safehouses serving survivors of human trafficking.

Connect: Facebook, LinkedIn

Kris Van Cleave, CBS News

Hands-onElections trackAdvanced

Diving deeper into the billions of dollars fueling elections

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Money is swirling around in this year's elections at nearly unprecedented levels. Come and learn some advanced hands-on tips to extract the nitty-gritty from campaign-finance data and make sense of it for your audience. We'll aim for you to walk away with at least one political-money story idea.

This class is good for those comfortable working with SQL and Python, and have some experience with mapping software.

Instructor

Jack Gillum, The Wall Street Journal

Jack Gillum is a reporter in the The Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau, where he focuses on data-driven stories about politics and government. His has worked for ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and other newsrooms. Jack has broken stories that included the existence and location of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, a U.S.-backed "Cuban Twitter" program and standardized test cheating in the nation's capital.

Connect: LinkedIn

PanelGender & reproductive rights track

Gender & reproductive rights track: Race and reproductive justice reporting

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

The reproductive rights and gender justice issues that have arisen and worsened since the Dobbs decision have a disproportionate impact on low-income people of color. And yet so many of the subjects of, and sources for, stories about repro/gender issues are white. The layoffs decimating the news industry have hit journalists of color especially hard. This panel would look at how to report on the intersection between reproductive justice and racial justice while navigating this profoundly difficult professional and cultural environment.

Speakers

Maggie Green, ABC7 Chicago - WLS

Maggie Green is the data journalist for ABC7 Chicago. Working closely with the Investigative and Race & Culture teams across the ABC-owned stations and ABC News, she has contributed to stories about maternal health equity, mental health provider shortages, racial health disparities, and more. Maggie is a proud alumna of Yale University and Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. 

Connect: X

Bracey Harris, NBC News

Nada Hassanein, Stateline

Nada Hassanein is a national health inequities reporter for Stateline. Before that, she was USA Today's environmental/health inequities reporter, covering systemic racism and health and environmental and climate justice. A former fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, her work has shed light on Black + Indigenous maternal health in obstetric 'deserts.' She's also produced award-winning work at the Tallahassee Democrat on refugee communities and children's health.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Nina Martin, Center for Investigative Reporting/Reveal/Mother Jones

Nina Martin is an award-winning reporter and editor who focuses on issues at the intersection of gender, health, and race. Her reporting on maternal health/mortality has had a sweeping impact at the federal, state, and hospital levels.

Vanessa Sanchez, KFF Health News

Vanessa G. Sánchez is a KFF Health News reporter who focuses on the health of Hispanic populations in California and issues at the intersection of health and immigration. Before that, she worked as a health investigative reporter at Searchlight New Mexico, writing stories about policies affecting women and infants. She was a Bradlee Fellow and intern for The Washington Post and a fellow at the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

How to develop, pitch, and write books based on your investigative reporting

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Do you have an investigative project you'd like to turn into a book? Are you searching for book ideas and mystified by the world of agents and advances? These reporters-turned-authors share their best advice on developing and selling a book proposal, financing the reporting and writing (we promise brass tacks!), and exploring options like indie publishers, podcasts, and docuseries.

Speakers

Maurice Chammah, The Marshall Project

Maurice Chammah is a staff writer at The Marshall Project and the author of Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress and Writer's League of Texas book awards. He was on a team that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, and his first podcast, "Just Say You're Sorry," was a 2024 Ambies nominee for Best True Crime Podcast. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Mike Hixenbaugh, NBC News

Mike Hixenbaugh is a senior investigative reporter for NBC News and author of "They Came for the Schools: One Town’s Fight Over Race and Identity, and the New War for America’s Classrooms." His reporting in recent years on the battles over race, gender, and sexuality in public schools won a Peabody Award and was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Connect: X

Tracie McMillan, Capital & Main; Henry Holt & Co.

Tracie McMillan is an award-winning investigative journalist and an editor for worker organizing at Capital & Main. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The American Way of Eating, and the 2024 title, The White Bonus: Five Famiies and the Cash Value of Racism in America (Henry Holt & Co.).

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Lise Olsen, The Texas Observer

Lise Olsen is investigations editor at the Texas Observer. Her first book, Code of Silence: Sexual Misconduct by Federal Judges, the Secret System that Protects Them and the Women who Blew the Whistle, won the IRE book award in 2022. Her work has been featured in several documentaries, including "The Pillowcase Murders," (Paramount Plus '24), the Killing Fields (Netflix '22). Her new book, the Scientist and the Serial Killer, will be published by Random House in 2025.

Connect: X, Website

PanelManaging & Editing track

Leadership: Trauma and toxicity in the newsroom

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

The panel will discuss entering a new environment as a manager, managing staff with strong opinions, helping staff avoid residual trauma from the stories they cover, and what to do if you inherit a team that has been under poor leadership in the past.

Speakers

Kate Howard, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Kate Howard (she/her) is an editorial director at Reveal and Mother Jones. Previously, she spent 17 years in local news: first as a newspaper reporter, then in radio as a reporter and managing editor at the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (KyCIR). Kate is a member of the board of directors of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and Louisville Public Media, and she lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Karyn Pugliese, Canadaland

Karyn Pugliese is an award-winning journalist, a citizen of the Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, a visiting professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, a panellist for CBC's political show, a board member of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the editor-in-chief of Canadaland. Formerly, Karyn worked as the managing editor of CBC's investigative unit and the news director for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

Connect: LinkedIn

Zahira Torres, ProPublica/Texas Tribune

Zahira Torres is the editor for the ProPublica-Texas Tribune investigative unit, a first-of-its-kind collaboration to publish investigative reporting for and about Texas. Before joining the unit, Torres was a senior editor with ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network. A native of El Paso, Texas, Torres was the first Latina and second woman to serve as the newspaper’s editor in its more than 100-year history.

Connect: X

PanelBeat reporting track

Lifting the curtain on the child welfare system

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

For decades, coverage of the child welfare system was largely limited to two types of stories: something horrible happened to a child in foster care, or something horrible happened to a child when CPS didn’t get involved. In recent years, though, the reporting has shifted. Journalists are taking a closer look at the civil rights and social justice issues endemic in foster care and its separation of families, which disproportionately impacts low-income communities and people of color. Join investigative journalists in conversation about how to bring depth and compassion to our coverage. We’ll talk about obtaining CPS-related data and records, trauma-informed interviewing, and framing stories in a way that both adds value and remains sensitive to those involved.

Speakers

Julia Lurie, Mother Jones

Julia Lurie is a senior reporter at Mother Jones writing about child welfare, mental health, and addiction. Her investigation of the warehousing of foster children in psychiatric hospitals won the 2024 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. She is a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for young journalists and was a 2022 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. You can reach her at jlurie@motherjones.com.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Karen de Sa, The Imprint

Karen de Sá is executive editor of The Imprint, a national nonprofit outlet covering child welfare and youth justice. She has worked as an investigative reporter covering these topics for the majority of her three-decade journalism career, including 18 years at The San Jose Mercury News and three years at The San Francisco Chronicle. Her award-winning stories have led to 10 state laws and numerous systemic reforms improving the lives of vulnerable children and families.

Session materials

NetworkingNetworking track

Networking: Women

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 6, lobby level

Mix and mingle, meet friends old and new, and build your professional community in this fun and informal networking session. This session is for people who identify as women.

Speaker

Micah Luxen, Independent Journalist

Micah Luxen is an international journalist who has worked since 2014 for BBC News and is now freelance,

Session materials

CommonsBroadcast track

Open mic: Are you struggling with the emotional toll of working in news?

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

You're not alone. The news industry can be emotionally challenging, and it's important to have a safe space to discuss the unique challenges you face. This "open mic" session with an emotional wellness coach and journalist is designed to provide you with the tools and resources you need to better manage the emotional toll of working in news. We'll discuss:

- How to make space for you personal life in news

- Understanding how stress shows up for journalists

- Managing your mindset to help you release guilt or shame from taking care of you

- Answer questions on how to align with resources

- Nurture a emotional wellness plan

This is a safe space to share your experiences and learn from others. Let's help each other build sustainable careers.

Speakers

Jeremy Jojola, KUSA-TV

Jeremy Jojola is a journalist with 25 years of television news reporting experience. He currently works in the investigative unit at KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado. Jojola was honored with the IRE Don Bolles Medal for his reporting on extremist groups in 2020. Over his career, Jojola has embraced emerging technologies, from using a cell phone to go live in 2009 to using artificial intelligence today as a tool to organize and contextualize data.

Connect: Threads

Leslie Rangel, The News Yogi

Leslie Rangel, an Emmy-nominated and UN-recognized journalist and author, has over 12 years of experience in news. She's a certified emotional health coach and the founder of The News Yogi Coaching. Her first book, "Journalists Break News, Don't Let It Break You" serves as a curriculum for a University of Texas class on Journalism and Mental Health. A first-generation Mexican-American daughter of immigrants, Leslie lives in South Austin with her husband and rescue pugs.

Connect: LinkedIn, Instagram, Instagram (2)

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

SQL 1: Exploring data

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Learning to manipulate data is a bit like learning a new language. Actually, it is a language, called Structured Query Language (SQL). This session is an introduction to using SQL to zero in on your data by viewing slices and chunks of it (filtering) and putting it into a useful order (sorting) so you can spot the stuff you need to get started toward a story. We'll use PostgreSQL, a free database manager.

This session is good for: People with some experience working with data in columns and rows, in spreadsheets or database managers. Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Andy Lehren, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Andy Lehren is the Director of CUNY Graduate Journalism School investigative program. Lehren is also a former senior editor for NBC News Investigations, a Pulitzer Center senior fellow, and a former New York Times reporter.

Connect: LinkedIn

DemoInternational track

Using data to investigate Russia from exile

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

The presentation will discuss ongoing Mediazona projects, such as the name-by-name list of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine—the only widely recognized independent count of Russian casualties—and investigations into the true scale of Russia’s “partial mobilization” and the circumstances surrounding Alexei Navalny’s death in prison.

We'll also talk about unique challenges of covering Russia-related topics from exile and the innovative tools and approaches the team has developed for data collection, verification, collaborative work, and OSINT.

Speaker

Alexander Borodikhin, Mediazona

Alexander Borodikhin is the editor of Mediazona English and a reporter with Mediazona’s Data Department. With years of experience in covering political repression and surveillance in Russia, he is leading and participating in data reporting projects, including the signature effort to tally the toll of Russian casualties in the war in Ukraine. He also oversees Mediazona’s efforts to bring critical wartime insights from and about Russia to larger global audiences

Connect: LinkedIn

FYI ForumTools & Tech track

Using the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker to prepare for the 2024 election

Time: Saturday, June 22, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

From the 2017 inauguration protests to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots, this session will show you how to search for — and better understand — threats for journalists covering elections and other hot-button issues. You’ll also get a better understanding of how to use the database in real time and how to apply press freedom issues to your election reporting.

Speaker

Stephanie Sugars, U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Stephanie Sugars is the senior reporter for the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, documenting press freedom violations across the U.S. A graduate of NYU's GloJo program in journalism and international relations, her work focuses on human rights, politics and targeted violence. She has previously worked at the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Post-Conflict Research Center, and her reporting has appeared in Al Jazeera, Columbia Journalism Review and Balkan Diskurs.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 12:30 p.m. PT

SpecialNetworking track

IRE Awards luncheon

Time: Saturday, June 22, 12:30 – 2:45 p.m. (2h 15m)
Location: Marquis Ballroom, lower level

A highlight of the IRE conference, the IRE Awards luncheon begins at 12:30 p.m. in the Marquis Ballroom. We will present the 2023 IRE Awards and salute some of the best investigative work of the past year. Admission to the luncheon is included in your conference registration. Conference name tags are required for entry.

The IRE Awards luncheon is co-sponsored by NBC News/NBCUniversal Local.

Sessions starting at 3 p.m. PT

One-on-oneBroadcast track

Broadcast Track show & tell: Anything goes!

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Show & Tell sessions allow you to share your investigations with colleagues from around the country. Veteran broadcasters will moderate each session. Each slot runs for 15 minutes.

Click here to sign up

Speaker information coming soon.

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Making data and documents come alive on screen

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

This panel is all about data visualizing for broadcast and streaming platforms. How to create graphics on a budget, utilizing free tools, Google mapping, making documents pop, and more!

Speakers

Sarah Rafique, ABC13 Houston

Sarah Rafique is an investigative producer at ABC13 in Houston, where she specializes in open records, government accountability, data analysis and solutions for viewers. She has spent 10 years as a journalist at news organizations across Texas.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Ashley Talley, WRAL

At WRAL News in Raleigh, Ashley Talley manages a team of award-winning enterprise journalists covering beats including investigative, consumer, state government, data, education, investigative sports, health and climate change, along with the station's documentary and podcast teams. Before joining WRAL, Ashley was the news director at WMBF, the NBC affiliate in Myrtle Beach, SC, and worked in newsrooms in Charlotte, Wilmington and Greenville-New Bern, NC.

Connect: LinkedIn

Hands-onPublic records track

Cracking the code: How to read local government budgets

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Local government budgets are plans — Hopes. Dreams. Needs. Priorities. They reflect power. They make promises. In this session, you’ll learn how to read them and how to find the enterprise stories in the numbers. I’ll also share takeaways from a recent gathering of public finance professionals, including how they navigate the politics in the budgeting process. Lessons in this session apply to all local council, commission, school and authority budgets.

Instructor

AmyJo Brown, The Public Ledger & War Streets Media

AmyJo Brown’s work focuses on the organizational challenges specific to doing good journalism at the local level, particularly related to government coverage. She is building out The Public Ledger, a data tool & strategy designed to map local power structures. As a consulting editor, clients include LNP Media Group, Texas Tribune & American Press Institute. AmyJo was a 2022-2023 Knight Lab fellow at NU & founding project director of the Pittsburgh Media Partnership.

Connect: LinkedIn

PanelDeep dive track

Deep Dive: The reporter and editor relationship

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom G, lobby level

This reporter-editor duo will discuss how to get the most out of this critical relationship. How can editors drive more ambitious reporting and help reporters focus on the right investigative targets? How can reporters work with editors to craft stronger leads, structure narratives and make stories more accessible to readers? Learn practical tips for collaborative editing that can make the process productive and painless.

Speakers

Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times

Matt Apuzzo is the international investigations editor for the New York Times, based in London. Over a decade of reporting in Washington and overseas, he was part of teams that won Pulitzer Prizes for investigative, national and public service journalism.

Megha Rajagopalan, The New York Times

Megha Rajagopalan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the New York Times, based in London. She focuses on international projects in the public interest. Previously, she was a senior correspondent for BuzzFeed News, with stints in Asia and the Middle East. She started her career as a politics reporter at the Reuters Beijing bureau.

Connect: X

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

Fostering relationships and working with sensitive sources

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Trust is low with many communities throughout our coverage areas. What are best practices to make sure we are building trust better and also how do we shift our approaches with strong ethical practices in how we treat those exploited or victimized while out and about reporting. What old school techniques still work and which ones no longer serve us?

Speakers

Alfonzo Galvan, Sahan Journal

Alfonzo is a business and labor reporter covering Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities. In the past he’s worked covering criminal justice with a special focus on racial bias in the court systems while working in South Dakota.

Connect: X

Mary Hudetz, ProPublica

Mary Hudetz is a ProPublica reporter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She writes about Native American communities and is a past president of the Indigenous Journalists Association.

Connect: X, Instagram

Naomi Martin, The Boston Globe

Naomi Martin is a business editor at the Boston Globe. Earlier in her career, she has been a reporter at The Globe, The Dallas Morning News, and The New Orleans Times-Picayune covering education, criminal justice, local government, and cannabis, with an eye toward investigations. She also serves on The Globe’s Fresh Start committee that gives people a chance to have their names cleared from past articles.

Connect: LinkedIn

Bruce Shapiro, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

Bruce Shapiro is Executive Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of Columbia Journalism School. His books include Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America and Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future. He has received the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Public Advocacy Award for "outstanding and fundamental contributions to the social understanding of trauma."

Connect: X

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating research fraud and errors: Tips and tools to help you get started

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Over the past year, multiple high-profile scholars have made national headlines amid allegations of scientific fraud and misconduct. Also, more than 10,000 research papers were retracted in 2023, according to an analysis published in December in Nature, which is a top academic journal. Scientific integrity experts say the true number of academic papers needing to be retracted is likely higher. bad research can have tremendous impacts. Some studies involve new drugs, surgical procedures, and disease prevention programs — all of which directly affect public health and safety. Also, government leaders rely on scholarly findings to help guide policymaking in areas such as crime, education, road safety, climate change, and economic development. Join The Journalist’s Resource and fellow panelists to learn key takeaways on how to find and report on problematic research.

Speakers

Theo Baker, Stanford University

Stephanie Lee, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Denise-Marie Ordway, The Journalist's Resource

PanelCareer advice track

Investigative project collaborations with early-career reporters

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

An investigative project must be bullet-proof: legally sound and the findings supported with data, voluminous pages of public records, and dozens or hundreds of interviews corroborating information. Many of the key skills -- such as effective strategies for interviewing whistleblowers, what story tips and leads to follow or avoid, and overcoming hurdles with data or public records -- are learned over time by doing investigative reporting. One way early-career reporters can effectively pursue investigative projects while receiving mentorship and assistance is by working with reporters and editors who have done major projects. Panelists will describe how they did just that and what roles various collaborators can play in launching their own team investigations.

This session was planned in collaboration with AAJA-LA. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Denis Akbari, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Denis Akbari, originally from Iran, was born and raised in Italy and moved to the US for college. She received her STEM degree in Information Technology at Cal State LA and became a reporter and editor at the University Times, her college newspaper. Denis is currently a video journalist at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and she is passionate about pursuing social justice stories in underrepresented communities.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Julie Patel, California State University, Los Angeles

Julie Patel Liss, a professor and head of journalism at Cal State L.A., worked as an investigative reporter at the Center for Public Integrity, D.C.’s NPR affiliate and the Better Government Association (now the Illinois Answers Project). Before that, she worked at the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the San Jose Mercury News. She has received over a dozen journalism awards and honors, including a 2008 national Emmy Award.

Connect: X

Sona Patel, The New York Times

Sona Patel is the Program and Editorial Director for The New York Times’s Local Investigations Fellowship, where she oversees recruiting and newsroom partnerships for the program. She also edits local investigations. She started her career as a reporter for The Tribune (San Luis Obispo) and later pivoted to audience. Sona was the first Social Media editor for The Seattle Times and was part of the team that won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Eric Sagara, Big Local News

Anne To, Cal State LA University Times

Anne To is an ABC7 intern as part of a Cal State LA internship program this summer. Anne, the former EIC of the 75-year-old University Times newspaper and former co-station manager of Golden Eagle Radio, works at KQBH 101.5 FM as their Program Coordinator. She loves working on audio production for radio, podcasts, and more. You may have seen some of her comics with the “Life of Biffy” series.

Connect: X, Instagram, LinkedIn

PanelResearch track

Learn from the (other) investigators

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom B, lobby level

As journalists we know how to conduct research and dig into stories - but rarely at a panel do we hear from experts in other fields that require investigative skills. This panel lets you get a sneak peek into how legal investigators, police investigators, and private investigators do their jobs. Get tips you can use for digging into any story, from the "other" investigators.

Speakers

Jay Bobrowsky, State Compensation Insurance Fund (California)

Jay Bobrowsky is a Senior Vice President of Special Investigations for the State Compensation Insurance Fund. He represents State Fund on the California Fraud Assessment Commission (FAC) and serves as the FAC Chair. He has over 30 years of experience in both law enforcement and insurance fraud investigations. He is a frequent presenter on various aspects of the detection, investigation, and prosecution of all types of insurance fraud including workers’ compensation.

Connect: LinkedIn

Anna Werner, CBS News

Anna Werner is CBS News Senior Consumer Investigative Correspondent. In 2024, Werner won her second Polk Award and the Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism. She’s won three IRE awards, two duPont-Columbia awards, two Peabody awards, four SPJ awards, three Scripps-Howard awards, six Murrow awards, 35 Emmy awards, and been named ‘journalist of the year’ seven times. Previously, she was an investigative reporter at WISH, KHOU, KPIX, and CIR.

Erin West, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office

Nanci Wilson, Dublin Police Department

Nanci Wilson is a detective for Dublin Police Department in Dublin, Texas handling felony and misdemeanor cases. She is a Certified Fraud Examiner, a member of the North Texas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a member of the North Texas Fraud Intel Group. Wilson is a former journalist and became a member of IRE in 1996.

Pre-registration - Master ClassStory ideas track

Master class: Under pressure: Real life in real time with breaking news - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 5:15 p.m. (2h 15m)
Location: Grand Ballroom C, lobby level

One of the hottest sessions at every IRE Conference! How would you and your newsroom fare in digging out little-known facts and information under the pressure of a breaking news deadline? One of the best ways to get better is to practice.

This is a real-life scenario where you can learn to break news without leaving your computer. The skills learned in this session can also be used for turning daily general assignment stories when there’s not breaking news. This session regularly fills up and the tipsheet that comes with it is in high demand. If you're interested, get there early to get a seat.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $30 to participate.

Speaker

Stephen Stock, CBS News and Stations

CBS News and Stations National Investigative Correspondent Stephen Stock specializes in public safety, security and transportation issues. Prior to joining CBS News, Stephen helped found NBC Bay Area’s 15-member Investigative Unit. Stock also helped build investigative teams at CBS4 in Miami and WESH-TV Orlando. He teaches not only at IRE but at universities around the country. He’s won a Peabody, a du-Pont, a national SPJ, 3 Murrows, 6 AP awards and 18 regional Emmys.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, MuckRock

PanelBeat reporting track

Reporting on coordinated rightwing extremism

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

In this panel, attendees will hear the methods journalists use to expose rightwing attacks on elections, school boards, the LGBTQ+ community, and more as part of a larger coordinated rightwing extremist movement to upend democracy and strip away Americans' fundamental rights.

Speakers

David Armiak, Center for Media and Democracy

David Armiak is research director and an investigative journalist with the Center for Media and Democracy. David joined CMD in 2015, has conducted extensive investigations on dark money, corporate corruption, and right-wing networks, and is responsible for filing and analyzing hundreds of public records requests every year. David has a strong research interest in social movements and political power and has delivered many talks on the subject.

Connect: X

Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times

Sergio Olmos, CalMatters

Emily Russell, North Country Public Radio

Emily Russell is a reporter at North Country Public Radio. She is also the co-host of the NCPR podcast If All Else Fails, a 6-episode limited series on far-right extremism in Upstate New York. Prior to joining NCPR in 2019, Russell worked at NPR stations in rural and urban Alaska, which is where she began her journalism career. Her work regularly appears on NPR programs including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Connect: X

A.C. Thompson, ProPublica/FRONTLINE

A.C. Thompson is a reporter for ProPublica and the PBS series FRONTLINE. His journalism has helped to spur multiple Congressional investigations, major reforms at the New Orleans Police Department, and the prosecution of nine violent white supremacists.

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

SQL 2: Grouping and summing data

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

If you know how to write a basic SELECT statement in SQL but are looking to make calculations, then this is the session for you. Learn to count how many times certain records appear in a database, and sum totals across records. These skills can come in handy whether you're covering campaign finance or boating licenses. We'll use PostgreSQL, a free database manager.

This session is good for: People who took “SQL 1: Sorting and filtering” or are familiar with “SELECT” and “WHERE” statements in SQL." Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Amy DiPierro, EdSource

Amy DiPierro covers California State University —the nation's largest four-year public university system— at EdSource. She previously worked as a data journalist at the Center for Public Integrity. She graduated from Swarthmore College and the master's journalism program at Stanford University, where she was a Knight-Hennessy Scholar.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

Hands-onAI track

Turning documents into data using AI

Time: Saturday, June 22, 3 – 4 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

Carefully used, artificial intelligence can be very helpful to journalists. One of the best use cases is extracting information from unstructured text - think documents, transcripts and reports - so that it can be more easily organized. In this hands-on session you’ll walk through some examples using both paid and free versions of large language models.

This session is good for anyone; experience with coding is helpful but not required. Attendees will need to bring their own laptop (no tablets) for the training.

Instructor

Derek Willis, University of Maryland

Derek Willis teaches data journalism at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Previously he has worked at ProPublica, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other news organizations. He runs OpenElections.

Connect: Github

Sessions starting at 4:15 p.m. PT

Hands-onAI trackBeginner

15 ChatGPT prompts in 15 minutes to help with your reporting

Time: Saturday, June 22, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Artificial intelligence is raising many legit ethical concerns about its role in journalism. There are ways to use it safely in the periphery of your reporting. In this session, you'll learn 15 ChatGPT prompts in 15 minutes to help you organize and collect data, do math, understand complex topics, and so much more.

Instructor

Jeremy Jojola, KUSA-TV

Jeremy Jojola is a journalist with 25 years of television news reporting experience. He currently works in the investigative unit at KUSA-TV in Denver, Colorado. Jojola was honored with the IRE Don Bolles Medal for his reporting on extremist groups in 2020. Over his career, Jojola has embraced emerging technologies, from using a cell phone to go live in 2009 to using artificial intelligence today as a tool to organize and contextualize data.

Connect: Threads

PanelBroadcast track

Broadcast Track: Lightning Talks

Time: Saturday, June 22, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 7, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Come to this session to hear rapid-fire lecture from broadcast pros. Moderated by Jennifer Titus; talks will include:

-Work/Life Chemistry (as opposed to balance)

-Sarcastic Outlining

-7 Must-have Public Records in 7 Minutes

-Just talk to me! Conversational Delivery

-Barreling Through Barriers

-No video? No problem!

-This investigation could be a book! What you need to know...

Speakers

John Bedell, WHIO-TV

John Bedell is the lead investigative reporter at WHIO-TV in Dayton, Ohio. His work has led to new laws at the Ohio Statehouse, a congressional hearing, and a criminal indictment and conviction. John is a Regional Murrow, Regional Emmy, National Headliner, NAB Service to America, and Goldsmith Special Citation recipient, and he was honored as a finalist for the 2024 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.

Connect: X, Facebook, LinkedIn

Jenna Bourne, 10 Tampa Bay (WTSP-TV)

Jenna is an investigative reporter at 10 Tampa Bay (WTSP-TV), a TEGNA-owned and CBS-affiliated station. She previously worked at WJAX/WFOX in Jacksonville, FL; WSPA in Greenville, SC; and WKBT in La Crosse, WI.

Connect: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

Kelly Dietz, Denver7

Tammy Leitner, TML Media

Tammy Leitner is the author of the international bestselling investigative book "Don’t Say A Thing." She is a longtime investigative journalist who has worked at both the network and local TV stations in New York City, Chicago and Phoenix. Her work has garnered journalism’s top honors, including a George Foster Peabody award, a GLADD media award, an Edward R. Murrow and numerous Emmy awards.

Connect: Website, LinkedIn, X, Instagram

Rebecca Lindstrom, WXIA - 11Alive News

Rebecca Lindstrom loves data and documents -- two great tools for investigative reporting. They don’t always pair well with TV, but that’s never stopped her from telling an important story (and trying to make it visually interesting). Rebecca was honored with the 2023 duPont-Columbia Award for her #Keeping series and has won several national and regional Murrow awards. Her investigative focus lately has been on child welfare and gaps in behavioral/mental health care.

Connect: Facebook, X, LinkedIn

Leslie Rangel, The News Yogi

Leslie Rangel, an Emmy-nominated and UN-recognized journalist and author, has over 12 years of experience in news. She's a certified emotional health coach and the founder of The News Yogi Coaching. Her first book, "Journalists Break News, Don't Let It Break You" serves as a curriculum for a University of Texas class on Journalism and Mental Health. A first-generation Mexican-American daughter of immigrants, Leslie lives in South Austin with her husband and rescue pugs.

Connect: LinkedIn, Instagram, Instagram (2)

Bigad Shaban, NBC Bay Area

Bigad Shaban is the Senior Investigative Reporter for NBC Bay Area. His stories have spurred government hearings, changed laws, and captured the attention of the White House. Bigad has received the most prestigious honors in broadcast news, including the Peabody, duPont, Murrow, and 18 Emmy awards. His docuseries 'Saving San Francisco' is currently steaming on Peacock.

Connect: X, LinkedIn, Instagram

Hands-onBeat reporting track

Finding the story: Using data to report on statehouses

Time: Saturday, June 22, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

Whenever journalists are told to follow the money, we know that always means having a strong grasp on the data that is used to advocate for bills and the backdrop of who may be funding what. Come learn how to dig into the data out there with some hands-on exercises.

Instructor

Marina Villeneuve, Salon

Marina Villeneuve is an investigative journalist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2023, she graduated from Columbia University's Lede Program in data journalism and was a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism National Fellow for a broadcast series she led on sexual abuse in Massachusetts public schools. She worked for six years as a statehouse reporter for The Associated Press in Maine and New York.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

PanelAI track

How can we prepare for AI whistleblowers?

Time: Saturday, June 22, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon F, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

As the secrecy at multi-billion dollar Big AI companies becomes increasingly apparent, it also becomes more and more clear that true accountability is going to rely on insiders coming forward with information for the public good. Big AI permeates all industry and government and even the most seasoned tech investigative journalist may feel overwhelmed on how to tackle the story.  Together, we will explore such topics as: Who is the AI insider and what is their motivation for coming forward? What threats do potential AI insiders face and how can you mitigate those risks? What regulations and laws will protect you doing this work?

Speakers

Garance Burke, The Associated Press

Garance Burke is a global investigative journalist with The Associated Press, where she leads investigations on the societal impacts of AI technologies. Her work has led to federal investigations and cabinet-level resignations. Her stories on the treatment of migrant children were a Pulitzer Prize finalist and the subject of an Emmy-winning AP-FRONTLINE documentary. She was a John S Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University and in 2023 wrote the AP Stylebook's AI chapter.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Erika Cheung, The Signals Network

Erika Cheung was a key whistleblower in the Theranos scandal that was uncovered by the Wall Street Journal. Erika has worked extensively in biotechnology and venture capital, and is now the Executive Director of the non-profit Ethics in Entrepreneurship.

Connect: X

Delphine Halgand-Mishra, The Signals Network

Delphine Halgand-Mishra is the Executive Director of The Signals Network. She previously served for six years as Reporters Without Borders’ North America Director, advocating for journalists, bloggers, and media rights worldwide. She received the 2017 James W Foley American Hostage Freedom Award for her work assisting American journalists detained abroad.

Connect: LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Investigating sheriffs

Time: Saturday, June 22, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. (1h)
Location: Grand Ballroom Salon E, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Sheriffs are elected officials who often answer to no one but voters. Without effective oversights in place, journalists are sometimes the only watchdogs over sheriffs, who can rule their counties like kings. This panel will discuss the challenges and triumphs of reporting on sheriffs from Los Angeles to rural Mississippi.

Speakers

Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times

Keri Blakinger is a Los Angeles Times reporter covering the Sheriff's Department and county jails. Previously, she covered prisons for The Marshall Project and criminal justice for the Houston Chronicle. She is a two-time Pulitzer finalist and the author of Corrections in Ink.

Connect: TikTok, X, Instagram, Threads

Ilyssa Daly, Independent

Ilyssa Daly is an investigative reporter. A recent Pulitzer and Goldsmith finalist, she is a former local investigations fellow for The New York Times, where she led a series that dug into the unchecked power of sheriffs with Mississippi Today. She received her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, where she received honors from the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism and won the Fred M. Hechinger Journalism Education Award.

Connect: X

Brian Howey, The New York Times & Mississippi Today

Brian Howey investigates Mississippi sheriff's departments as a Local Investigations Fellow for The New York Times and Mississippi Today. He has published stories in publications large and small, from the Aurora Sentinel to the Washington Post, and has written about everything from policing to wedgefish.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Jerry Mitchell, Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting

Jessica Pishko, Independent journalist

Special

Keynote: Fireside chat with Ava DuVernay

Time: Saturday, June 22, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Salon 5, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Come hear award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay in conversation with Kevin Merida, the former executive editor of the Los Angeles Times, on Saturday, June 22 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. PDT.

Speakers

Ava DuVernay,

Kevin Merida,

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

SQL 3: Joining tables

Time: Saturday, June 22, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

Learn how to join tables, matching information from one file to another. We'll use PostgreSQL, a free database manager.

This session is good for: People who are familiar with counting, summing or “GROUP BY” in SQL and want to add another tool to their SQL skill set." Laptops will be provided.

Instructor

Matt Kiefer, WBEZ/Chicago Public Media

Matt Kiefer is a data journalist with WBEZ/Chicago Public Media.

Connect: X

DemoResearch track

Wayback Machine and other archives in support of investigations

Time: Saturday, June 22, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

An introduction to the resources, capabilities, and tools available from the Internet Archive, their Wayback Machine, TV News Archive and other of their services

Speaker

Mark Graham, Internet Archive

Mark Graham is director of the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, where he works to help make the Web more useful and reliable by archiving and making available hundreds of millions of Web pages every day. Mark was SVP with NBC News Digital where he managed several business units including Stringwire, a live mobile video platform for collaborative citizen reporting. Mark also served as SVP of technology at iVillage, The Women’s Network.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 5:30 p.m. PT

Special

IRE membership meeting

Time: Saturday, June 22, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Marquis Center, lower level

IRE Executive Director Diana Fuentes and IRE Board President Brian Rosenthal will lead a membership meeting for all IRE members at 5:30 p.m. in Marquis Center. Following the membership meeting, the results of the board of directors and contest committee elections will be announced.

Sunday

Sessions starting at 9 a.m. PT

Hands-onData viz track

Data visualization and storytelling with Datawrapper

Time: Sunday, June 23, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Datawrapper is a practical, free, browser-based data visualization tool -- particularly useful for journalists who don't have much experience with visualizations or need to make them quickly.

In this hands-on session, you'll learn the basics of choosing the right visualization type for your data, inputting the data and using Datawrapper's customization and annotation tools to meaningfully integrate the visualization into your story, as well as avoiding visualizations that are misleading or difficult for your audience to understand.

The goal is to get you the technical knowledge needed to work with Datawrapper and give you the tools to apply journalistic values when utilizing data visualizations of any kind.

This session is good for: Anyone who wants to learn how to make basic data visualizations.

Instructor

Aaron Mendelson, Independent journalist

Aaron Mendelson is an IRE Award-winning data and investigative journalist based in Los Angeles, CA. Most recently, he worked at the Center for Public Integrity covering voting. Before that, he was a member of the investigative team at KPCC/LAist for eight years. He holds a master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and got his start in news at KFAI in Minneapolis.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Digging into private companies

Time: Sunday, June 23, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Private companies can seem like a frustratingly opaque world for even veteran investigative journalists. But there are side doors and windows into them. Our panelists will discuss the best strategies for investigations involving private companies – including identifying and developing valuable human sources, finding the few public documents private companies are required to file and discovering creative inroads through state and federal records requests.

Speakers

Ziva Branstetter, Propublica

Ziva Branstetter has been a senior editor at ProPublica since March 2022, supervising a team of national reporters. Before that, she was an investigative editor at The Washington Post, worked for Reveal and co-founded an investigative newsroom in Oklahoma. Her investigation into Oklahoma’s death penalty process was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. Work she has led at ProPublica has received two Polk awards and been named a Goldsmith finalist.

Connect: LinkedIn, Threads

Hannah Critchfield, Tampa Bay Times

Hannah Critchfield is an investigative reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. She and her colleagues recently reported a series of overdose deaths due to kratom, a virtually unregulated herb that's often marketed as a safe way to treat anxiety, pain, or opioid withdrawal. The investigation has been cited by lawmakers across the country who have called for more stringent oversight over how the substance is manufactured and sold. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Emily Elena Dugdale, Independent Journalist

Norberto Santana, Jr. is an experienced investigative reporter and founding publisher and editor-in-chief for Voice of OC. An award-winning columnist with decades of newspaper experience in government/investigations, Santana is a pioneer in the field of nonprofit news having served on the board of directors for the the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). He also served on boards for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the First Amendment group, CalAware.

Connect: X, Instagram

Hanisha Harjani, The Fuller Project

Hanisha Harjani is a reporter with The Fuller Project where they cover tech, Silicon Valley and more through a gender lens. They are an award-winning audio journalist who has written and produced stories for several outlets, including NPR, The Guardian, Yale Climate Connections, KALW, and The Oaklandside. Before they were a reporter, they were a science educator in museum and classroom settings, and they are super passionate about learning and sharing information.

Connect: LinkedIn

Session materials

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 1: Getting started with spreadsheets (repeat)

Time: Sunday, June 23, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

In this introduction to spreadsheets, you'll begin analyzing data with Google Sheets, a simple but powerful tool. You'll learn how to enter data, navigate spreadsheets and conduct simple calculations like sum, average and median.

This session is good for: Data beginners.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Liz Lucas, IRE & NICAR

PanelReporting and writing strategies track

Investigative story survival guide: How to manage your most ambitious projects

Time: Sunday, June 23, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Congrats! Your team has an amazing idea for an investigative project. Now what? Every great series needs a clear roadmap to successfully navigate and manage the reporting and editing process. In this panel, we'll walk you through that process from start to finish, with tips for reporters and editors on how to collaborate effectively and produce journalism with impact. We'll also break the process into smaller, actionable steps to help you build momentum and buy-in along the way.

Speakers

Donna Borak, New York University Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

Donna Borak is an Emmy-award winning journalism professor at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. With more than 20 years experience as an economic policy reporter in Washington, she’s worked for Bloomberg Tax, Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Associated Press covering the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department. In 2014, she was a JSK Fellow at Stanford University. Her media appearances include Bloomberg Radio, C-SPAN, NPR, and WNYC’s Consider This.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Rose Ciotta, EdSource

Rose Ciotta, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editor, co-edited the 2012 Gold Medal winner for The Philadelphia Inquirer on violence in city schools. She is the investigations and projects editor for EdSource, an education news organization and the founder of Investigative Editing Corps which links editors with local newsrooms to do investigative reporting. She is a former IRE board member; and attended Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Marisa Kwiatkowski, Freelance

Marisa Kwiatkowski is an investigative journalist. Her work has spurred multiagency investigations, criminal charges, resignations and changes to federal law and state policy. She and her IndyStar colleagues earned numerous awards for their investigation into USA Gymnastics’ handling of child sexual abuse allegations, including those against Larry Nassar. Marisa has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Grand Valley State University and an MBA from Indiana University.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Flynn McRoberts, Bloomberg News

Flynn McRoberts is a managing editor on Bloomberg News’ Investigations team. He co-edited the ‘America, Global Gun Pusher’ series that won IRE’s Tom Renner Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Before joining Bloomberg, McRoberts was a reporter and deputy projects editor at the Chicago Tribune and a Midwest correspondent for Newsweek. An Idaho native, McRoberts and his wife, Monica Davey of the New York Times, have two kids and live in Chicago.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Session materials

Pre-registration - Hands-onData analysis trackIntermediate

Web scraping with Python - pre-registered attendees only

Time: Sunday, June 23, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (3h 30m)
Location: Orange County 3, lobby level (PC)

If you need data that's trapped on a website, writing some code to scrape the page could be your solution. This entry-level class will show you how to use the Python programming language to harvest data from a website into a data file. We'll introduce you to the command line and show you how to write enough code to fetch and parse content on the web.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided.

Workshop prerequisites: This class is programming for beginners. Some basic familiarity with Python and HTML is helpful but not required.

⚠️ This session requires pre-registration and an additional fee of $40 to participate.

Instructor

Cody Winchester, IRE & NICAR

Cody is the director of technology and online resources at IRE, where he has also been a trainer. Before that, he was a journalist focused on data and investigations at various newspapers.

Connect: GitHub

Session materials

PanelBeat reporting track

What to cover in education (K12 and higher ed)

Time: Sunday, June 23, 9 – 10 a.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

Schools are a crossroads in a community. This panel discussion will highlight the stories that will be most prominent on the education beat during the rest of 2024. As journalists gear up for election coverage, anticipating the issues coming from and having the most impact on education will assist reporters on any beat to tell more comprehensive stories.

From school funding decisions to campus protests, from parent groups influences to school safety/hardening, from LGBTQ rights and supression to book bans continuing, speakers will cover large ground on what journalists can cover in education, and what they can pull from the beat into their own reporting.

This panel was planned in partnership with the Education Writers Association.

Speakers

Torsheta Jackson, Mississippi Free Press

Torsheta Jackson is the Education Equity Solutions reporter for the Mississippi Free Press headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi. Before joining the MFP full-time, she spent 19 years as an educator and 12 years as a freelance journalist. She also has bylines in YES! Magazine, Mississippi Scoreboard and Bash Brothers Media. Her work as part of MFP’s Black Women and COVID project covered education history, equity and access in Noxubee County garnering national recognition.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Divya Kumar, Tampa Bay Times

Divya Kumar covers higher education for the Tampa Bay Times in partnership with Open Campus.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Graph Massara, HuffPost

Graph is a board member for the Trans Journalists Association and the editor of TJA’s stylebook. By day, he’s also a copy editor for HuffPost. He was previously a fact-checker for The Associated Press, where he helped contribute to AP Stylebook entries on LGBTQ+ topics, and before that was an editor at Politico.

Connect: X

Sydney Sims, Capital B News

Sydney Sims is Capital B Atlanta's youth and education reporter. She is an award-winning journalist and a proud Atlanta native who covers everything from school board elections to Black Atlanta culture. Sydney is an Auburn University alumna and has been published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WABE News, Atlanta Civic Circle, The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and the Auburn Villager. She believes in not only covering the news but influencing it.

Connect: X, LinkedIn

Sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. PT

PanelCareer advice track

Beginning your investigative career

Time: Sunday, June 23, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

This workshop will provide practical advice for reporters who have just started their investigative career. Learn how solid reporting helps in investigative reporting. Panelist will also provide tips on establishing yourself as an investigative reporter.

Speakers

Kerwin Speight, The Poynter Institute

Kerwin Speight is the broadcast faculty member at The Poynter Institute. He's an award-winning television journalist who most recently led editorial strategy at REVOLT Black News. Before that, he was managing director of Spectrum News in Charlotte, North Carolina. Speight started his career as a producer and eventually led teams as an executive producer at several local stations.

Connect: LinkedIn

Shoshana Walter, The Marshall Project

Julie Watts, CBS News California Investigates

Julie Watts is a national-award-winning investigative correspondent for CBS News, covering California. Her investigations, Capitol accountability reports, and solutions-oriented journalism air weekly on CBS stations across California.

Connect: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, X

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 2: Formulas & sorting (repeat)

Time: Sunday, June 23, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

Much of Google Sheets' power comes in the form of formulas. In this class, you'll learn how to use them to analyze data with the eye of a journalist. Yes, math will be involved, but it's totally worth it! This class will show you how calculations like change, percent change, rates and ratios can beef up your reporting.

This session is good for: Anyone who has taken Google Sheets 1 or has been introduced to spreadsheets.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor information coming soon.

PanelInternational track

How journalists are using investigative tools in perilous press environments

Time: Sunday, June 23, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

Western journalists can learn a lot from how peers in tough foreign press environments hold bad actors accountable – including the sheer inspiration of their example. Through interviews, networking, and Global Shining Light Award submissions, GIJN has gathered unique insights into the new methods reporters in developing and authoritarian nations are using to expose wrongdoing, while also keeping themselves and their sources safe. In this session, learn about the open source tools and collaboration models that make a difference in these places, as well as new methods that have driven projects – such as curated hacktivist databases in Belarus; visual forensics in Colombia, Google Pinpoint in South Africa; AI tools in Venezuela, elevated "fixer" roles in conflict zones; and a new censorship circumvention app in Iran.

Speakers

Maria Lilly Delgado, Huellas de Impunidad-Nicaragua

Maria Lilly Delgado is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. Recently, she worked as a National News Desk Producer at NBCUniversal Telemundo in Miami. Previously, she performed as a freelance news correspondent for UNIVISION, reporting on the human rights crisis in Nicaragua. In early 2021, she co-founded Huellas de Impunidad, a website that documents the human rights abuses in Nicaragua, using investigative and data journalism tools.

Connect: X

Faisal Karimi, John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. Afghanistan Institute for Research and Media Studies

Faisal Karimi is an exiled media entrepreneur and senior journalist from Afghanistan. He is the founding director of Afghanistan Institute for Research and Media Studies and Afghanistan Women’s News Agency. Currently, Faisal is a John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford. He worked as a media researcher at San Jose State University and Internews. Prior to the Taliban takeover, he was an assistant professor of journalism at his alma mater Herat University Afghanistan.

Connect: LinkedIn, X

Rowan Philp, Global Investigative Journalism Network

Rowan Philp is GIJN's senior reporter. He was formerly chief reporter for the Sunday Times and The Witness in South Africa. His award-winning investigations include the revelation of secret and illicit negotiations for South Africa's $70 billion purchase of 8 nuclear reactors from Russia. As a foreign correspondent, he has reported on news, politics, corruption, and conflict from more than two dozen countries around the world.

Connect: LinkedIn

DemoAI track

Intro to ChatGPT

Time: Sunday, June 23, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

Description coming soon.

Speaker

Charles Minshew, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Charles Minshew is the digital storytelling editor (data and graphics) at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Professionally, he's a journalist working at the intersection of data and graphics and finding new, innovative storytelling tools. In his personal life, he listens to just enough (not too much) Taylor Swift (OK, it might be too much) and currently has 37 of 50 states in his spreadsheet of places he's visited.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

PanelBeat reporting track

Reporting on natural (and human-caused) disasters

Time: Sunday, June 23, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

In this session we’ll cover strategies and real-world tips for investigating the aftermath of natural disasters and other extreme events. You'll learn about key documents and data to request, story ideas for post-disaster follow-ups and other tips for holding public officials accountable.

Speakers

Jared Bennett, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Jared Bennett is a reporter with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, where he has covered disasters including the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 tornadoes and 2022 floods.

Connect: X

Brianna Sacks, The Washington Post

Brianna explores how climate change is transforming the United States through violent storms, intense heat, widespread wildfires, and other forms of extreme weather. She deploys to disaster zones and does investigative and enterprise reporting on the preparations for, responses to and aftermaths of catastrophic events.

Connect: X

Sessions starting at 11:30 a.m. PT

Hands-onAI track

AI 101: Coaching ChatGPT to help you with your coding and data tasks (repeat)

Time: Sunday, June 23, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 2, lobby level (BYO)

ChatGPT, widely misunderstood and in some cases misused, can be a powerful tool to improve efficiency in our day-to-day work. Give ChatGPT a few rows of publicly available data and ask it to write a data dictionary. We'll use ChatGPT to help write a public records request for us, have it help us make sense of data and we'll even use it to write a Python script to reshape unruly Excel data. The best part? You don't need to know Python to write this code. This session is good for everyone.

Instructor

Charles Minshew, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Charles Minshew is the digital storytelling editor (data and graphics) at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Professionally, he's a journalist working at the intersection of data and graphics and finding new, innovative storytelling tools. In his personal life, he listens to just enough (not too much) Taylor Swift (OK, it might be too much) and currently has 37 of 50 states in his spreadsheet of places he's visited.

Connect: X, GitHub, LinkedIn

PanelElections track

Covering hot-button issues through an election lens

Time: Sunday, June 23, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 4, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

We can't always rely on the polls we know when it comes to elections and how public opinion will manifest at the ballot box. But we know that every election cycle priorities shift for voters and newsrooms are left to figure out how to best handle coverage when it comes to framing and amount of attention to give a story. We'll discuss what's on our audiences' minds and how to calibrate that through lens of elections.

This session is sponsored by the Associated Press. IRE retains control of content, including the topic and speaker selection, for all conference sessions.

Speakers

Mark Greenblatt, Arizona State University/Howard Center for Investigative Reporting

Adam Rhodes, IRE

Elliot Spagat, The Associated Press

Elliot Spagat oversees immigration coverage for The Associated Press, a beat that is global in scope but focused on the United States. He has been based in San Diego since joining the AP in 2003 and assumed his current role in 2018. He reports often while working with journalists across platforms around the world to shape coverage. He is a 2023 recipient of the Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Award, the AP’s highest internal honor.

Hands-onData analysis trackBeginner

Google Sheets 3: Filtering & pivot tables (repeat)

Time: Sunday, June 23, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Orange County 1, lobby level (BYO)

A look at the awesome power of pivot — and how to use it to analyze your dataset in minutes rather than hours. We'll work up to using a pivot table by first sorting and filtering a dataset, learning how to find story ideas along the way.

This session is good for: Anyone familiar with formulas, sorting and filtering in a spreadsheet program.

You must bring your own laptop (no tablets) to participate in this class, and you will need a free Google account to participate.

Instructor

Liz Lucas, IRE & NICAR

PanelCareer advice track

Taking it all home: Putting the conference and your membership to work

Time: Sunday, June 23, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Platinum Ballroom 2, lobby level

Session audio will be recorded.

You've just spent the past three days absorbing as much information as possible and now it's time to go home and put it all to use. But where do you start? And how do you not immediately lose all that knowledge you just gained? Come to this session to get simple tips and tricks to bring it all home and put it to good use. You'll also learn how your IRE membership can help you ride the conference wave long after Anaheim.

Speakers

Diana Fuentes, IRE & NICAR

Diana R. Fuentes is a second-generation Texan who grew up on the Texas-Mexico border. She is an award-winning journalist with more than 35 years' experience, from copy editor and cops reporter to executive editor and publisher. She serves on Headliners Foundation of Texas Board of Governors, was past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and served on national board of National Association of Hispanic Journalists, among other activities.

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Adam Rhodes, IRE

PanelBeat reporting track

Uncovering secret flows of taxpayer money

Time: Sunday, June 23, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1h)
Location: Gold Key 1, lobby level

In this session, you’ll hear the inside story of how reporters broke two major investigations into the hidden routing of millions of taxpayer dollars that have gone unaccounted for right here in Orange County. A powerful county official quietly directing millions to a delinquent nonprofit led by his 22-year-old daughter — without disclosing his family relationship. The nonprofit has repeatedly failed to account for what happened with those dollars.

And a school district tossed competitive bids out the window to award a lucrative COVID testing contract to a company with ties to a well-connected lobbyist who stood to make millions. The deal is now under federal investigation.

How did reporters track the money — much of which never appeared on public meeting agendas? In this session you’ll hear how LAist reporters pieced together these stories, and tips you can use for getting the records you need to uncover hidden money flows in your community.

Speakers

Nick Gerda, Southern California Public Radio

Jill Replogle, Southern California Public Radio