Demand for Training in Business Arena Leads to Partnerships, Resources

By Houston, Brant | Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. The IRE Journal, September/October 2005 | Go to article overview

Demand for Training in Business Arena Leads to Partnerships, Resources


Houston, Brant, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. The IRE Journal


Keeping government and business accountable is the mission of investigative journalism. Government always receives attention because its meetings and records are supposed to be public. But businesses often require more intense effort since many of its decisions and activities are done in private.

Thus, over the past three years, we at IRE have been focusing on improving our training and resources for probes into businesses.

We understand that every journalist - not just business reporters - needs to know the basic resources, methods and approaches to digging deeper into a business, whether it's a publicly traded company or a privately held corporation.

In fact, a survey last year of more than 200 business reporters and their editors found that they believed investigative projects were one of the areas in which news business sections needed the most improvement. They also said they needed more training to do those pieces.

We not only devote our feature focus in this IRE Journal issue to business coverage, but we also will continue presenting panels and collecting tipsheets at our conferences and seminars that examine business investigations. Further, we will continue teaming up with other journalism organizations that specialize in business coverage.

We already have had a successful collaboration with the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business Journalism at the American Press Institute (www.businessjournalism.org).

Led by long time business journalist Andrew Leckey, the institute has fanned out around the country to offer a series of business seminars to small groups of journalists. With the tremendous help of IRE's volunteer trainers and speakers, we have participated in more than 20 of those seminars, offering sessions in computer-assisted reporting and the online and database resources particularly useful for business investigations.

You can find our basic PowerPoint presentation for those sessions at www.businessjoumalism.org/ bizjournalism/ComputerAssistedReportingPPT_IRE.pdf or at the IRE Resource Center in our tipsheets.

A second thriving collaboration is with the Lorana Sullivan Foundation and the London-based Centre for Investigative Reporting. …

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Demand for Training in Business Arena Leads to Partnerships, Resources
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