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Be a Better Business Watchdog — CAR for Business Journalists: Self-guided training

The free workshop, “Be a Better Business Watchdog — CAR for Business Journalists,” was originally held at the University of Washington, Sept. 13, 2011 in Seattle.

Please Note: The CAR PowerPoint, along with the general CAR guide and Excel Filters and Pivot Tables handouts, below were all updated for the “CAR for Business Journalist” workshop, which was held at SABEW’s annual conference on March 15, 2012. A new handout, “Importing HTML to Excel,” was provided following the free, pre-conference workshop.


  • Find and download online databases.
  • How to use Excel spreadsheets to analyze that information. No previous experience with Excel is expected.
  • How to translate that analysis into business stories.


Jaimi Dowdell joined IRE as a training director in October 2008. She taught this workshop in Atlanta and Milwaukee in 2010. Before joining IRE, she was computer-assisted reporting editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for more than three years. Her duties included obtaining and analyzing data for daily and long-term stories; training staff on CAR and investigative techniques; and maintaining the newspaper’s online data center. In addition to her work at the Post-Dispatch, she taught a CAR course for Washington University in St. Louis.


Take a look through the workshop session recording and resources below. At your own pace, you can walk through the self-guided lesson on how to best utilize online databases and tools for business journalism investigations.

In Self-guided and archives.

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