Polish your skills in computer-assisted reporting (CAR) and learn how to hold local businesses accountable with this free, daylong workshop preceding the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) Convention.
Even if you’ve never touched an Excel spreadsheet before, you will leave this hands-on workshop with the skills you need to begin analyzing the wealth of information available in public databases about businesses. The databases featured will be particularly relevant to those covering Indian Country.
Remember: the 2010 Pulitzer for Public Service was won by a reporter for The Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier who used the CAR skills he learned from Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) to investigate the mismanagement of natural gas royalties.
To register for this free workshop, click here.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
- Find and download online databases.
- How to use Excel spreadsheets to analyze that information.
- How to translate that analysis into business stories. Here’s a story on the area store selling the most winning lottery tickets produced by reporter Sean F. Driscoll, formerly of the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, who attended a similar workshop in 2010.
IS THIS WORKSHOP FOR YOU?
This workshop is for journalists who have no previous experience with Excel. Due to the hands-on nature of the workshop, attendance will be capped at 20 journalists. Each media organization is limited to one attendee. NAJA Convention attendees will receive preference for the available seats through June 1; please indicate in the “Additional Information” box that you are attending NAJA.
AGENDA: Accountability in Indian Country — Be a Better Business Watchdog
8:30-9 a.m.: Registration. (Continental breakfast in Room 355.)
9-9:10 a.m.: Introduction and welcome — Linda Austin of the Reynolds Center
9:10-12:40 p.m.: How to use Excel spreadsheet software — Jaimi Dowdell
12:40-1:30 p.m.: How data empowers you — Dianna Hunt (Box lunch in Room 355.)
1:30-3:30 p.m.: Where and how to access great databases with examples of business stories done from them — Dowdell
3:30-5 p.m.: Questions and review of specific concepts — Dowdell
Jaimi Dowdell joined IRE as a training director in 2008. She has taught hundreds of journalists how to use Excel for computer-assisted reporting. To sample her teaching style, check out the video and materials from a similar workshop she taught in Seattle in 2011. Before joining IRE, she was the computer-assisted reporting editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and taught a CAR course for Washington University in St. Louis. She also worked at IRE and NICAR in its Database Library and Resource Center while completing her master’s degree at the University of Missouri.
Dianna Hunt is the watchdog/news editor at The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, La., and former investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle and The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth. She also worked as a local government editor, assistant business editor and assistant features editor at the Star-Telegram, and as a reporter for the Dallas Morning News and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. She has produced stories on police profiling of minorities, improprieties among nonprofits, failures of federal emergency funding, and problems within fire departments. She has won the Texas APME Freedom of Information award twice and the national Brechner Award for Freedom of Information. She is a former board member and executive committee member of IRE and is a member of NAJA.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Please do not register unless you are sincere about participating. Because this workshop offers hands-on training on individual computers, space is extremely limited, with spots allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Signing up and not participating deprives someone else of the opportunity.
Those who successfully complete three regional workshops or online seminars presented by the Reynolds Center are eligible to receive a “Circle of Achievement” certificate.
This free seminar is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. If you have any questions about the workshop or the center, please email Executive Director Linda Austin or call 602-496-9187.