Login | Help


Accountability in Indian Country – Business Watchdog: Self-guided training

The free investigative workshop, “Accountability in Indian Country – Be a Better Business Watchdog,” was first offered on July 18, 2013.

Accountability in Indian Country – Be a Better Business Watchdog.

It’s not rude to turn your back on the instructor during this very hands-on session. Photo: Robin J. Phillips

In this self-guided training based on that live session, you can polish your skills in computer-assisted reporting (CAR) and learn how to hold local businesses accountable. Even if you’ve never touched an Excel spreadsheet before, you can develop 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 & Editors (IRE) to investigate the mismanagement of natural gas royalties.


  • 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.

Mark Horvit, executive director, IRE

Mark Horvit


Mark Horvit is the executive director of Investigative Reporters & Editors. He oversees training, conferences and services for more than 4,300 members worldwide, and for programs including the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) and DocumentCloud. A longtime IRE member, Horvit most recently served as projects editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He worked as a reporter, editor and on the projects teams at newspapers in Texas, North Carolina, Missouri and Florida.

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.


Dianna Hunt, watchdog/news editor, The Daily Advertiser, Lafayette, La.

Dianna Hunt

Review the workshop materials below and learn infuse your reporting with databases.

Session recordings

PowerPoint presentations

Additional resources


In Featured, Investigative, Self-guided and archives.

Leave a Comment

1) Register to join the community & comment or 2) Quick comment
Username: Username:
Email: Email:
Verify Password:
or 3) Login if you already have an account