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McCormick Foundation And Poynter Announce Reporting Workshops On Covering Guns, Medicare, Immigration And More

Reporters and journalism professors can receive free travel and tuition to attend one of seven nationwide seminars.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Feb. 13, 2013 /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 seven new issue-centered workshops for journalists in 2013. 

The McCormick Specialized Reporting Institutes are free training seminars, focused on creating a strong democracy through an informed public. They are scheduled from Long Island to Chicago and El Paso, Texas, from April through October. The McCormick Foundation is funding the training (which also includes e-learning) through a $710,000, two-year grant to Poynter — an international media strategy center and school for journalists.

The seven topics and workshop hosts are:
  • Covering Guns, April 1-3 in Chicago, organized by The Poynter Institute;
  • Covering Medicare: Care, Costs, Control and Consequences, May 5-7 in St. Petersburg, Fla., organized by the Medicare NewsGroup;
  • Grading the Teachers, May 8-10 in Detroit and in October in Chicago, organized by Michigan State University School of Journalism and the Education Trust-Midwest;
  • Covering Big Agribusiness in the Heartland, in June in Champaign, Ill., organized by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and Investigative Reporters and Editors;
  • Poverty in the Suburbs: The New Poor, the Old Poor and the Growing Poor, in September at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, on Long Island;
  • Reporting on Immigration Reform, in September or October at The University of Texas at El Paso; and
  • Reporting Sex Trafficking: A Local Problem with Global Dimensions, in October at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The McCormick Journalism Program and Poynter made these selections from almost 60 applications. To ensure as many people as possible benefit from the workshops, each host also will produce a Webinar on the topic and a page of reporting resources on Poynter's e-learning site, News University ( McCormick and Poynter require journalists who attend to commit to producing significant coverage on the issue.

"Every news organization in America is challenged to provide quality coverage on these sensitive, hot-button social and economic issues," said Clark Bell, director of the McCormick Foundation's journalism program.

Reporters interested in applying should contact workshop hosts. The first two Specialized Reporting Institutes, or SRIs, are accepting applications.  Apply for Poynter's workshop in Chicago on Covering Guns at To apply for Medicare NewsGroup's workshop in St. Petersburg, go to The Grading the Teachers workshop will post its information soon at, and look for information about Poverty in the Suburbs at

The McCormick Foundation awarded The Poynter Institute a one-year grant to administer its SRI program in 2011, then gave Poynter a second grant to continue that work through 2013. The program complements Poynter's curriculum, which teaches the craft and values of journalism to reporters, bloggers, students and others interested in storytelling in print, on radio or TV and on screens of all kinds.

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