By Deb Wenger
Whether it’s revealing wasteful government spending or keeping consumers safe from faulty products, journalists act as watchdogs for society. On April 6, one of the top investigative journalism training programs in the country will be on the Ole Miss campus.
“Many journalists, including myself, consider the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) training among the best professional development opportunities in the country,” said Tony Hernandez, the chair of the committee organizing the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 12 Conference, which takes place April 5-7 at the Meek School of Journalism & New Media and in the Overby Center for Southern Journalism & Politics.
Jaimi Dowdell is the director of training for IRE. She will conduct a workshop that focuses on using the Web to find reliable information on deadline and for enterprise stories.
“I’ve been to IRE training in several different cities. They make each event unique to the host city/state. That makes it exciting for local participants because they can see firsthand the latest watchdog techniques for finding local documents, people, data and much more. Those techniques can easily be applied for any journalist,” said Hernandez.
The Saturday afternoon workshop follows a morning full of training on topics such as business writing, mobile newsgathering and photojournalism. Alysia Steele is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo editor and Journalist in Residence at the Meek School. She will lead a hands-on session on Photoshop for conference attendees.
“In this workshop I will share a few quick techniques that will hopefully make post-production easier for the person who knows the basics in Photoshop,” said Steele. “These are skills that I learned while working on deadline at The Columbus Dispatch.”
The conference website offers more details on the programming, including a night of food, live music and fun at the L.Q.C. Lamar House. All events and meals are included in the cost of the registration.