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Prize-winning young journos report back on US trip


“Data” was the buzzword when 800 journalists from around the world gathered in New Orleans in June for the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference, attendee Bridget Davies told guests at a Melbourne Press Club event in August.

“Most of the journalists I spoke to believed data to be the future of journalism and the background of any big investigation,” she said.

Davies, a News Corp trainee, won entry and flights to the IRE conference with her Student Journalist of the Year Award at the 2015 Quill Awards.

Bridget Davies and Tom Minear, with Melbourne Press Club board member Ashlynne McGhee (right)

Also attending the event was the Melbourne Press Club Young Journalist of the Year, Tom Minear.

Minear, a political reporter for the Herald Sun, said that hearing about US journalists’ access to public records was the most eye-opening aspect of the conference for him, given in Australia “journalists struggle to access basic information”.

He also reported on a talk by mobile editor of the Wall Street Journal David Ho, who listed 50 apps every reporter should have on their phone, including one that uses augmented reality to identify from a photo of a plane in the sky its airline and flight number.

The Press Club audience also heard about Canadian investigative program producer Julian Scher’s interview strategy and Washington Post editor Marty Barron’s philosophy on reporting Trump.

The Student Journalist of the Year Award is sponsored by the Vizard Foundation.

The Young Journalist of the Year Award is funded by Josephine Nicholls and the Wilnic Family trust on behalf of David Wilson, a Walkley-award winning investigative reporter, who was the first Australian journalist to attend the IRE conference in the United States. David died in 2008.

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Membership is $75 for journalists, $95 for associate members and $30 for students.

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