Friday, September 28, 2018
from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

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SCPA Offices 
106 Outlet Pointe Blvd.
Columbia, SC 29210

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Jennifer Faulkner 
S.C. Press Association 

IRE Computer-assisted Reporting Bootcamp

Sharpen your journalism and computer-assisted reporting skills on Friday, Sept. 28, as SCPA hosts IRE for a full-day boot camp. Sponsored by the SCPA Foundation Smoak Fund, this event will be a mix of training and hands-on work featuring the industry’s leading data-driven journalism organization, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). At this event, you’ll learn how to use social media and online search tools to find information and connect with sources, how to effectively use spreadsheets for analyzing data, and you’ll learn how to best present data for readers. This event is catered specifically toward S.C. journalists so regardless of your beat or your organization’s size, frequency or resources, you’ll walk away with practical skills. At only $65, this is an unheard of value for top-notch training that will expand your skills and teach you cutting edge tools and techniques to help dig up vital information on deadline, and to quickly add depth and context. The last time we offered IRE training, we sold out quickly so if you're interested, sign up soon. 

Here’s a breakdown of the topics we’ll cover:

9:30-10:30 a.m.  |   Digital sleuthing on deadline: Tips for using social media and online search tools to dig out information, connect with sources and more.

10:30-10:45 a.m.  |  Break

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.  |  Hands-On Spreadsheet Training Part I: Use computer-assisted reporting for better watchdog stories and beat coverage. Spreadsheet basics and formulas.

12:15-12:30 p.m.  |  Break

12:30-1 p.m.  |  Working lunch/Everyday watchdog: In this session, we'll talk about juggling daily work and bigger projects, review some popular time management tools and show examples of solid enterprise stories that don't take months to turn around.

1-3:30 p.m.  |  Hands-on Spreadsheet Training Part II: Analyze data with sorting, filtering and pivot tables. 

3:30-4 p.m.  |   How to integrate watchdog into your shift. Tips on time management, organization and daily watchdog stories, as well as further resources for finding help on the fly.

3:30-3:45 p.m.  |   Break

3:45-4:30 p.m.  |  Easy, free dataviz tools: A roundup of free tools that newsrooms can use to present their journalism online -- no coding required! -- and a discussion of what makes an effective data visualization.

Attendees will need to bring a laptop with access to Google Sheets to this event. If you don’t have a Google account, you will need to create one. If you need help creating a Google account, contact SCPA.

Thanks to sponsorship from the SCPA Foundation Smoak Fund, the cost to attend is only $65, which includes a boxed lunch. This hands-on session is limited to 30 attendees. If you’d like to guarantee a spot, sign up today!

Collegiate members, contact SCPA to get $10 off discount code. 

Meet the trainer:
Cody Winchester has been a watchdog reporter, data specialist and web developer for daily newspapers in South Dakota, Nebraska and Texas. Before joining IRE as a training director in April 2017, he was a news applications specialist at the Austin American-Statesman. He uses Python, Javascript, SQL and other tools to analyze data, develop interactives and otherwise support his  journalism. He also has organized and led newsroom training sessions on various watchdog and CAR topics. Cody has a communications degree from Black Hills State University and a master’s degree in international journalism from Baylor University.

About IRE:

Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. IRE was formed in 1975 to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, newsgathering techniques and news sources.