McGinnis puts the IRE experience to work; gets ready to share

Earlier this summer, the Center for Public Interest Journalism sponsored six area journalists who attended the 2013 IRE Conference in San Antonio, Texas. We ask recipients to share their experiences, and our IRE report begins today with Jim McGinnis:

Jim McGinnis

Jim McGinnis

Data is dirty. Spreadsheets are sexy. And, George Orwell was right.

Returning from the 2013 IRE conference in San Antonio, this reporter embarked on a number of projects – some already completed.

The IRE seminar “Inspect This” inspired stories on safety at local amusement parks and carnivals and the decline in oversight for such things as gas station fuel pumps and bar code scanners.

Seminars on health care and the military inspired a third story, which ran on Independence Day. The focus: Recent military veterans who are terrified of fireworks because they suffer from PTSD.

One of the most interesting presentations involved government surveillance programs and the growing number of commercial stalking services causing alarm for both readers and reporters.

Going forward, I am eager to share so much of what I’ve learned with students at Temple University.

The conference presentations should prove critical in helping me stay up-to-date with the latest research techniques.

And I will soon begin sharing those techniques with students in my Journalism Research class scheduled to begin this fall at the Temple University.

Have questions? Need help? Don’t hesitate to contact me at Jfmcg@Temple.edu, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

Jim McGinnis
Bucks County Courier Times
Burlington County Times
Doylestown Intelligencer

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