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For the third consecutive year, high school, college and professional journalists are invited to a special investigative reporting workshop being offered as part of the annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards event.

Last year’s free watchdog workshop for students and early-career journalists was a success — so for the third consecutive year a workshop is being offered. Jentri Colello / For the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

“Watchdog 101 Workshop: Essential Skills for Investigative Journalists,” a free, fast-paced workshop, will be led by staff and board members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism — Brant Houston, Ralph A. Weber, Dee J. Hall, Andy Hall and Coburn Dukehart. This year’s workshop will be geared to a wide range of journalists, from students to experienced reporters and editors.

The workshop will include sessions on how to use the state’s open records law, the art of the interview, how to use multimedia in investigative journalism and backgrounding individuals and companies. See the full schedule below.

The workshop will be held from 2:30 to 4:45 p.m. this Thursday, April 19, immediately before the eighth annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner at The Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St.

Admission to Watchdog 101 is free. Refreshments will be provided.

Signups for the workshop will be accepted until 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 18. To register, please click here.

Many thanks to the event sponsors: Schott Bublitz & Engel, Betty and Corkey Custer, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Gass Weber Mullins LLC, The Capital Times, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Pines Bach, The Edgerton Reporter, Dick Record, Madison Magazine and Morgan Murphy Media, and Wegner CPAs.

Watchdog 101 Workshop: Essential Skills for Investigative Journalists

2:30-2:45 – Welcome, introductions and, “What is Investigative Reporting, Anyway?” Andy Hall, executive director, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

2:45-3:05 – “Using Open Records Laws to Uncover Secrets” Dee J. Hall, managing editor, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

3:05-3:30 – “How to Make Photos That Bring Your Investigative Reporting Alive” Coburn Dukehart, digital and multimedia director, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

3:30-4 – “Backgrounding Individuals and Companies: How the Pros Do It” Brant Houston, Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting,  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

4-4:45 – “Handling Difficult Interviews: Tips from a Trial Lawyer” Ralph A. Weber, founding member of Gass Weber Mullins law firm in Milwaukee

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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