IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO RSVP: Summer 2015 National Security Journalism Data/Watchdog Workshop — NOW ONLY $15

This just in! We have a few slots left for Saturday’s Medill/IRE event, and a special new low price of $15!

The Summer 2015 National Security Journalism Data/Watchdog Workshop

 This Saturday, July 11, 2015

We’ll be providing a full day’s worth of intensive, hands-on training that focuses on how to use data, documents and the Internet for security reporting at the local, state and national level. The workshop, featuring trainers from IRE and NICAR, its National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting, will be hosted by Medill in its Washington, D.C. newsroom at 1325 G St. NW, Suite 730, Washington, DC.

The program will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with coffee and bagels for breakfast and sandwiches, chips and drinks for lunch. All for a registration fee of $15. We will cap this event at 35 reporters, so RSVP now by sending an email to with the subject line Medill/IRE National Security Journalism Data/Watchdog Workshop. Those registered to attend will be sent more details ahead of time, including data sets to upload so you’re ready to go.

Agenda and topics:

9:00 am – 10:30 am  – How to Use Data in National Security Reporting, Analysis and Storytelling

10:30 am – 11:45 am  – How to turbo-charge your data reporting, analysis and publication with IRE’s innovative DocumentCloud

11:45 am to 12:15 pm –Lunch and Introduction to Excel: How to use it, importing data for analysis

12:15 pm to 2 pm –  Introduction to data, including identifying good data for analysis, how to sort and filter data and an introduction to functions

2 pm to 2:45 pm  – Introduction to pivot tables

2:45 pm to 3 pm – Data journalism beyond excel: What is possible with database programs?

Our instructors are (alphabetically): 

Anthony DeBarros, IRE’s director of Product Development for DocumentCloud, travels nationally to provide training and education re: the open-source tool. As director of Interactive Applications for Gannett Digital, he led a team that built data-driven interactives for investigations, elections and the Gannett platform as well as publishing tools for the company’s journalists. Tony also spent 15 years with USA TODAY as a database editor and investigative journalist.

Aaron Kessler, a reporter for the New York Times based in Washington, writes about business, autos and related policy issues. He’s spent the last decade as a reporter using data to investigate a wide variety of financial issues, including terrorist financing and other security issues. He was a[masked] Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business & Economics – a program for journalists to enroll in a year of MBA courses at Columbia Business School. His work has been honored with numerous national awards, and he has twice been a finalist for the Loeb Award, business journalism’s highest honor.

Ron Nixon, a reporter and data journalism specialist at the New York Times, has covered stories ranging from the U.S. role in the Arab Spring to companies violating the Iran Sanctions Act to lobbying by several former high ranking government officials in the Reagan Administration on behalf of the coup government in Honduras. He was also training director for IRE, and his deep experience reporting internationally led Ron to establish The Ujima Project, an online portal of documents and data that allows journalists around the world to access information that may be restricted in their countries.

Steven Rich, the database editor for the investigations unit at The Washington Post. While at The Post, he’s worked on numerous security-related projects, and was a member of the reporting team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for NSA revelations. Steven is also a recently elected member of IRE’s Board of Directors and a former staffer there based at IRE headquarters in Missouri.

Margot Williams, the research editor for Investigations at FirstLook Media’s The Intercept. During her career at The Washington Post, New York Times, NPR and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, she has pursued jihadists online and detainees who died in U.S. immigration detention, investigated Iraq war contractors and followed the money (and private jets) of mayors, governors, senators, presidential candidates, and ex-presidents. During 14 years at The Post, she was a member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, including in 2001 for national coverage of terrorism.

The Medill National Journalism Security Initiative, begun in January 2009 with the support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, offers a sequence of courses that equip graduate and undergraduate journalism students with the knowledge and skills to report on national security issues in ways that have relevance and meaning to a variety of audiences. It also undertakes an annual investigative project with 10 students and a professional media partner, and sponsors a conference for journalists to get a series of briefings on the most pressing national security issues and to share ideas on covering them. And it provides training and background materials on as well as webinars to enhance its outreach to working reporters around the country.

Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. IRE was formed in 1975 to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, newsgathering techniques and news sources.
IRE provides members access to thousands of reporting tip sheets and other materials through its resource center and hosts conferences and specialized training throughout the country. Programs of IRE include the National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting and DocumentCloud.

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