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Watchdog Journalism seminar set for April 25 at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

March 6, 2013

Using the Web for investigative stories and getting tips on quick-hit investigative pieces will be the heart of a one-day Watchdog Journalism seminar April 25 at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Mark Horvit, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, will lead the seminar, which is being sponsored by the Mid-America Press Institute, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The workshop will start with registration at 9 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m. Sessions on open records and key documents for investigative pieces also will be included in the seminar.

Registration for the seminar is $40 and includes a box lunch. Registration can be made with John Ryan, MPI executive director, via email: jmryan@eiu.edu or by phone, 217.581.7939.

A tentative program is attached. Those interested can also fill out the registration information on the program and fax it to Ryan at 217.581.2923.

The Hyatt Milwaukee, 333 W, Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee, Wis., 414.276.1234, is the seminar hotel, if someone would need to stay over. Let Ryan know to make sure you get the Journal Sentinel corporate rate.

The program:

Thursday, April 25

9 a.m. Registration: Coffee and newspapers will be provided.

10 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

10:15 a.m. Web for Watchdog:

From better search techniques for the invisible Web, how to find documents and databases on deadline and where to find reliable Web sites for reliable stories.

11:30 a.m. Break

11:45 a.m. Key Documents You Can’t Live Without:

Move beyond anecdotes and he-said, she-said journalism with data and documents. Advice on developing a documents state of mind, navigating public records, exploring key records on a variety of beats, and becoming familiar with key national data sets to produce high-impact local stories.

12:45 a.m. Break

1 p.m. Working Lunch and Open Records:

Advice on crafting records requests, tracking them and holding local officials feet to the FOIA fire. Includes strategies for dealing with excuses and obstacles from public officials who stand in your way of getting key documents and data.

2 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Quick-Hit Watchdog Investigations : Strategies, story ideas, resources and tips for watchdog stories on a variety of beats.

3 p.m. Adjourn

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