Stellar cast of speakers for Sept. 21 investigative reporting seminar in Los Angeles

Posted By admin on Monday August 6, 2012

Special to SABEW

PHOENIX – SABEW’s Sept. 21 investigative reporting workshop at the Los Angeles Times will feature a rich cast of experts and speakers.

Lorie Hearn, a nationally recognized expert on investigative reporting,  recently recently joined the faculty for the special SABEW program for reporters and editors at the Los Angeles Times.

Other speakers include:

·      Steve Doig of Arizona State University, a national expert in Computer-Assisted Reporting CAR).
·      Ken Bensinger, investigative reporting reporter at the Los Angeles Times.
·      Kelly Carr, award-winning freelancer investigative reporter and senior online producer at the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.
·      Warren Watson, SABEW executive director, former newspaper editor and executive, and instructor in investigative reporting.

Prior to founding INewsource, Hearn was the senior editor for metro and watchdog journalism at The San Diego Union-Tribune. Her reporters and editors joined the newspaper’s Washington bureau in the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning stories that exposed the bribery of now-imprisoned Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

Lorie Hearn


The workshop, conducted with funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, is free to anyone.  It is the third in a series of four workshops developed by SABEW this year.  A fourth will be held in Tampa Oct. 19.

The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism foundation awarded SABEW a grant to provide training in investigative business reporting in four cities.  Los Angeles will be the third workshop in the series.  The first two seminars were held in Oklahoma City and Toronto in July.

Although the workshop is free, all participants are asked to register here.

Steve Doig

Doig, who is on the faculty of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, is Knight Chair in CAR.

Doig joined the ASU faculty in 1996 after a 23-year career as a newspaper journalist, including 19 years at the Miami Herald.

There, he served variously as research editor, pollster, science editor, columnist, federal courts reporter, state capital bureau chief, education reporter and aviation writer.  He has won numerous major prizes in journalism.

Doig actively consults with print and broadcast news media outlets around the world on computer-assisted reporting problems. Most recently, he did
the data analysis for a year-long investigation by in to hospital billing practices in the state.

Other examples include a study of racial profiling in Massachusetts traffic tickets for the Boston Globe, a study for the Cleveland Plain Dealer of racial differences in access to health care and an analysis of the 185,000 uncounted ballots in the Florida presidential election of 2000 for the Miami Herald.

He is an active member of Investigative Reporters & Editors and served on the 4,000-member organization’s board of directors for four years.

Kelly Carr

“Our series got off to a great start in July in Oklahoma and Toronto.  We had more than 60 on hand in the Midwest and 55 in Canada,” said Warren Watson, SABEW executive director.  “The Foundation has made a great commitment to investigative reporting.”

Carr’s work continues to be recognized. In July, the National Press Club awarded Carr and her team first prize in the Consumer Journalism, Periodicals category. In addition, Kelly  won the 2011 Foreign Press Association Media Award for Financial/Economic Reporting and the New York Press Club Business ReportingAward for the story.

Bensinger has covered the auto industry for the Los Angeles Times since 2007. A Seattle native, he has also worked for the Wall Street Journal  and SmartMoney magazine.

His “Wheels of Fortune,” the Times series that exposed the world of Buy Here Pay Here car dealers, was honored with a Loeb.

Bensinger’s stories explained the shrewd business model that underpins Buy Here Pay Here. The buyers are people who need cars to get to work but whose credit is so poor they can’t qualify for traditional loans. Buy Here Pay

Ken Bensinger

Here dealers sell them clunkers at prices often double the book value, financed at interest rates as high as 30 percent.

To report the stories, Bensinger scoured court records, interviewed customers and dealers, and talked his way into a Buy Here Pay Here convention.

This was the second Loeb award for Bensinger, who shared the Beat Reporting award with fellow reporter Ralph Vartabedian in 2010 for their coverage of sudden-acceleration problems in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles.

Hearn was a Nieman Foundation fellow at Harvard University in 1994-95.
INewsource was founded in 2009. Its primary partner is KPBS, the PBS and NPR affiliate in San Diego. Hearn is Journalist in Residence at SDSU where she teaches a course in Investigative Journalism.

The foundation, based in Oklahoma City, announced the SABEW grant as part of $1.5 million in awards to journalism organizations nationwide.

The Los Angeles workshop will start at 8 a.m. and includes lunch.   It will conclude at 4:30 p.m.

Founded by Edith Kinney Gaylord, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation’s mission is to invest in the future of journalism by building the ethics, skills and opportunities needed to advance principled, probing news and information.

Click here to register for the LA workshop.





SABEW - Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication,
Arizona State University

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