Investigative Reporters and Editors

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Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) is a national non-profit founded in 1975 that came together out of a core group of seasoned investigative journalists who wanted a way to enable training, support and collaboration in the community of journalists who focus on investigative work. The group's mission statement says that they "foster excellence in investigative journalism, which is essential to a free society."

The first national IRE conference was held in 1976 in Indianapolis, and attended by 300 reporters.


Assessing FOI laws

In 2002, IRE collaborated with the Better Government Association on a 50-state study called Freedom of Information in the USA that ranked the FOIA laws in each of the fifty states.[1]

Computer-assisted reporting

IRE offers several conferences and bootcamps every year on computer-assisted reporting (CAR). The bootcamps teach participants "how to analyze data using spreadsheets and databases, map data, or use statistical analysis in your work."

Watchdog workshops

IRE offers three workshops on "acting as a watchdog on government and business":

  • Unleashing the Watchdogs. These workshops are sponsored in a collaboration with the American Society of Newspaper Editors, are targeted at midlevel editors, and teach them how to "conceive of, manage and produce watchdog journalism on a daily, beat and long-term basis."
  • Better Watchdogs. This series of workshops is designed for reporters at small-to medium-sized media outlets and teaches "the investigative skills to produce enterprising and informative stories that keep government and business accountable."
  • Ethnic Media Watchdogs. In collaboration with New America Media, this workshop is for "journalists working for ethnic news organizations" and teaches "how to find documents, databases and sources for topics such as education, immigration, homeland security, criminal justice, labor, and local government."

External links


  1. Freedom of Information in the USA, 2002