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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Investigative Reporters and Editors is a nonprofit membership organization that provides training and reporting resources to journalists. The program is housed at the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.

IRE is home to organizations and reporting projects like the National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting (NICAR), the IRE Resource Center, and DocumentCloud. The organization also presents the annual IRE Awards, which recognizes the best investigative work in print, online, or broadcast.

IRE was founded in 1975 by an informal gathering of journalists in Reston, Va., who came together to share their tips and resources on investigative reporting. A year later in 1976 IRE held its first conference in Indianapolis, attracting 300 journalists. The organization was founded with the help of a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

In 1976 one of IRE’s founding members, Don Bolles of The Arizona Republic, was killed by a car bomb in Phoenix while investigating a story on organized crime. Fellow journalists and IRE members joined together to finish reporting Bolles story, producing what would become “The Arizona Project.”

NICAR was founded in 1989 as companion program to IRE for the purpose of helping journalists find and use electronic information in reporting. Since its inception, NICAR has maintained a large collection of government data for use by newsrooms. Both IRE and NICAR provide regular training programs, workshops, annual conferences and other resources for journalists.

In 2011 DocumentCloud, the the set of tools that allows journalists to host documents and make them searchable to the public, became a part of IRE as the project’s original funding from the Knight Foundation was set to expire.

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
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Primary author: Justin Ellis. Main text last updated: June 12, 2014.
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