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McCormick Foundation and Poynter announce reporting workshops on covering the 2014 elections, Obamacare fraud, Common Core and fracking

Reporters and journalism educators can receive free travel and tuition to attend one of six seminars.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To ensure citizens benefit from the best possible reporting on critical issues, The Robert R. McCormick Foundation and The Poynter Institute for Media Studies today announced six workshops on key issues for journalists in 2014.


The seminars, called McCormick Specialized Reporting Institutes, carry out both organizations' mission to create a strong democracy through an informed public. The McCormick Foundation pays travel costs and tuition through a $600,000, two-year grant to Poynter, the leading educator of journalists worldwide.

The 2014 topics and workshop hosts include:

  • Follow the Money: Fraud and the Affordable Care Act, at Boston University, June 15-18, organized by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, details at;
  • Fueling Investigative Reporting for 2014 Elections, in August at the University of Montana, organized by the National Institute on Money in State Politics;
  • Covering the Regulation of Shale Gas and Oil Development in the U.S this summer, organized by the Society of Environmental Journalists;
  • Covering the Common Core, this summer in Chicago, organized by the Poynter Institute.

Poynter is hosting the first SRI of 2014 at the University of Maryland this week on covering the Affordable Care Act.  Poynter will announce the sixth workshop later this year.

To ensure as many people as possible benefit, each host also will produce a Webinar on the topic and a page of reporting resources on Poynter's e-learning site, News University (

"Our goal is to give journalists the knowledge, sources and insight they need to cover these important issues. Providing both workshops and online education creates a deeper and broader journalistic learning framework," said Clark Bell, director of the McCormick Foundation's journalism program.

Reporters interested in applying should contact workshop hosts.  Application details will be available starting about three months before each workshop.

The McCormick Foundation has partnered with The Poynter Institute to administer this program since 2011. This is the first year of a two-year grant to continue to carry out this work.

"This program allows journalists to become real-time experts on complicated and important issues.  That's increasingly difficult these days, when stories come and go so quickly," said Stephen Buckley, Poynter's dean of faculty. "Being able to come to a place where you can get your arms around these topics is really valuable."

Previous Specialized Reporting Institutes have informed journalists' work on covering guns, sex trafficking, immigration reform, child sexual abuse and more. To see tip sheets, slide presentations, links to Webinars and other reporting resources from prior McCormick SRIs, go to

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation developed the SRI program in 2007 to provide journalists and others with subject-specific expertise and practical reporting training in key issues. The training convenes a diverse group of journalists, often from small to mid-sized news organizations, plus educators for a program lasting two to three days. Participants represent all media platforms.

About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit

About the Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders since 1978. Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Poynter's reach extends around the globe: through Poynter's News University website,, with more than 195,000 registered users in 225 countries, to in-person courses now offered in India. The Poynter Institute trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter's website,, is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

Wendy Wallace
Entrepreneurship Faculty and Grants Coordinator
The Poynter Institute
[email protected] 

SOURCE The Poynter Institute

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