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Finding Your Best Investigative Business Story: Online, Feb. 5

The Seattle Times' Methadone and the Politics of Pain in The Seattle Times

Your instructor, Michael J. Berens, shared the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting with Ken Armstrong for their Seattle Times stories on the economics of methadone.

The Particulars

When: Noon or 4 p.m. ET (-5 hours
GMT) Feb. 5

Where: Online

Instructor: Pulitzer winner
Michael J. Berens
of The Seattle Times

Registration is now closed.

Did you miss our live sessions?

Check out archived recordings and materials at the self-guided training page.

So, you want to do an investigative business story. You’ve got several ideas, but how do you decide which one to pitch to your editor?

Let Pulitzer winner Michael J. Berens help you find, develop and pitch a winning investigative story idea. Attend his one-hour webinar Feb. 5 on Finding Your Best Investigative Business Story.


  • Find the best stories with a simple 10-point guide to create groundbreaking enterprise articles.
  • Use free or easy-to-obtain public records, documents and sources to build extraordinary business stories.
  • Develop time-tested reporting strategies and learn tricks of the trade that boost efficiency, unlock new story nuggets and coax reluctant sources on the record.
  • Learn how to quantify stories with a spreadsheet program (and a handful of click-and-point commands) to unlock a treasure trove of business and finance stories.
  • Discover techniques for writing memorable story memos that sell editors on your ideas.


This hourlong webinar is for reporters tackling their first investigative story, as well as veterans looking for fresh ideas on where to look for good investigative pieces.

Michael J. Berens

Michael J. Berens


Michael J. Berens is a reporter for The Seattle Times and a winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He previously worked for the Chicago Tribune and The Columbus Dispatch, where he began as a copy boy in 1981.

Berens’ work has received dozens of national awards, including multiple honors from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; the National Press Club; the White House Correspondents Association; and Investigative Reporters and Editors; and Associated Press Media Editors. Additionally, his work in recent years was recognized with a Gerald Loeb Award; Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism; and Selden Ring Award for Investigative Journalism.

He was the 2011 bronze award winner in the Reynolds Center’s Barlett and Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism. | Behind the Barlett & Steele Award: Berens’ tips from “Seniors for Sale”

He is a frequent journalism trainer for various media-related organizations and is a former adjunct professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

In this video included in Michael J. Berens’ “Seniors for Sale” package, Ann Detlefs of Everett, Wash., recalls the nightmare of finding bruises on her husband, Darwin, in an adult family home.


Check out our Technology Help Page for connectivity requirements, helpful tips and an instructional video on how to access Reynolds Center webinars.


This webinar is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. Those who attend three of the center’s training events are eligible to receive a Circle of Achievement certificate. If you have any questions about the center’s training, please email Executive Director Linda Austin or call 602-496-9187.

In 2014, Calendar: Workshops, Webinars, Investigation, Story ideas, Training.

Comments (13)

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  1. kowene says:

    I’m writing to you from Goma, in the eastern DR Congo.I would like to partake but I don’t what time GMT it will be.Please, let me know.

  2. Linda Austin says:

    Hi, Kowene. Goma appears to be two hours ahead of GMT, and these sessions are held on Eastern U.S. time, which is 5 hours behind GMT. I believe the most convenient session for you would be 7 p.m. Goma time. Or you could attend at 11 p.m. Goma time. While some of the public records that Michael references will be specific to the United States, some of the strategies he outlines can be used anywhere. Thanks for your interest! Hope to "see" you in class. Linda

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would love to join this class as well!

  4. Linda Austin says:

    Hi, Anonymous. We’d love to have you join us! You can sign up here for this free webinar: http://businessjournalism.org/ws-registration/?cid=632

  5. Dennis says:

    Hi Linda, please send me the time details of the classes so that I can comfortably attend the classes from Kenya. Thanks

  6. Linda Austin says:

    Hi, Dennis. I would suggest you tune in at 8 p.m. Kenya time to the noon Eastern U.S. time session. Your other option would be midnight Kenya time (the 4 p.m. Eastern session). Kenya is eight hours ahead of Eastern U.S. time. Thanks for your interest!

  7. nikmo says:

    I am from Guinea in west africa. I am interested on this training.

  8. Linda Austin says:

    Hi, nikmo. Glad to hear you’re interested in this training. You can sign up here: http://businessjournalism.org/ws-registration/?cid=632

    You can join us at 7 p.m. Guinea time or 11 p.m. Guinea time on Feb. 5.

    Thanks for your interest!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I would like to join the webinar on the 4th Feb from India. Please give me the exact India time. Thanks

  10. Linda Austin says:

    Hi, and thanks for your interest in our Feb. 5 webinar.

    You should join the webinar at India time: 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 5.

    Please sign up for the webinar here: http://businessjournalism.org/ws-registration/?cid=632

    Thanks again, and we hope you can join us.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi Linda,

    Do these webinars get archived anywhere online?

    Thank you!

  12. Linda Austin says:

    Yes, you can find them after the live webinar at http://bit.ly/self-guided-training

    We archive the recording, PowerPoint and any handouts there. Thanks for your interest!

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