Keeping government and business accountable is a hot topic, and with shrinking newsrooms and resources, many reporters don’t know how to produce enterprising and informative stories. The Minnesota Journalism Center partnered this fall with the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press to bring Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) to Minneapolis to present the Better Watchdogs Workshop, IRE’s highly rated program for reporters, editors and producers and Unleashing the Watchdogs, a special program for midlevel editors offered in conjunction with the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Participants learned investigative skills, federal and state freedom of information laws, and how to juggle watchdog stories with other assignments. Kathleen Hansen, MJC director, and Nora Paul, INMS director, spoke to the group on effective use of the Internet. The workshop concluded with an optional hands-on, computer assisted-reporting session.