Covering War at Home

Course Overview

Covering War at Home
Seminar Snapshot
This $29.95 course is free thanks to the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

About Seminar Snapshots

A Seminar Snapshot features video highlights that capture the key learning of a seminar presentation.

While the wire services and the biggest national newsrooms cover the front lines of war, telling the story on the home front falls primarily to the journalists in local newsrooms across the U.S. In this Seminar Snapshot from the "Covering War at Home" conference at The Poynter Institute, Poynter faculty and visiting professionals explore the issues surrounding the impact in the U.S. of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Featured visiting faculty in this conference (in May 2008) include David Maraniss and Anne Hull, of The Washington Post, Elana Newman and Bruce Shapiro of the Dart Center, and Byron Pitts of CBS News.

What Will I Learn:
  • Best practices of journalists who have been telling these important stories
  • How to find story ideas
  • Reporting techniques
  • How to find sources
  • How to do research using public records
  • To develop and tell compelling, significant stories

Who should take this course:

Journalist and others who want to tell stories about the impact of war on soldiers and their families, and their communities.


Anne Hull

Anne Hull is an enterprise reporter on the national staff of The Washington Post. She has covered immigration, class, race, Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq and at home. Hull and Post reporter Dana Priest and photojournalist Michel du Cillewon the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with their work that exposed mistreatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital.


David Maraniss

David Maraniss, an associate editor at The Washington Post and author of four critically acclaimed, bestselling books: "They marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967," "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi," "First in his Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton," and "Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero." During his nearly three-decade career at the Post, he has won virtually every major award in journalism, including the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.


Byron Pitts

Byron Pitts is a contributor to "60 Minutes" and chief national correspondent for "The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric."


Bruce Shapiro

Bruce Shapiro, executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. Shapiro is a veteran reporter on human rights, criminal justice and related issues, and he is a contributing editor at The Nation. For the past decade he has taught investigative journalism at Yale University. Shapiro was part of the team that founded the Dart Center and has launched a wide range of activites both in the U.S. and worldwide. His books include "Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America" and "Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future," with the Rev.


Elana Newman

Elana Newman, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology, director of graduate clinical training at the University of Tulsa. She serves as research director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and is the immediate past president of the International Soceity of Traumatic Stress Studies.


Kelly McBride

Kelly McBride is the vice president at The Poynter Institute. She is a writer, teacher and one of the country's leading voices when it comes to media ethics. She has been on the faculty of The Poynter Institute since 2002 and is editor, along with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute, of The New Ethics of Journalism : Principles for the 21st Century.

Her other work involves Poynter’s Sense-Making Project, a Ford Foundation project examining the transformation of journalism from a profession of a few to a civic obligation of many, the effects of technology on democracy, and the media habits of the millennial generation. She conducts workshops in newsrooms and at journalism conventions across the country. Twice she has traveled to South Africa to lead advanced reporting and writing seminars geared toward reporters working in a young democracy. You can follow her on Twitter at @kellymcb.


Bob Steele

Bob Steele is the director of the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw University, in Greencastle, Ind., and is the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute.


Al Tompkins

Al Tompkins is Senior Faculty/Broadcast and Online at The Poynter Institute. He is the author of Aim for the Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters, which is being used by more than 130 universities' journalism departments around the world., and the Poynter NewsU course Reporting, Writing for TV and the Web: Aim for the Heart. He is also the author of Telling Memorable Video Stories, a video tutorial series at Poynter's NewsU. You can join the more than 10,000 people who follow him on Twitter at @atompkins.

Tompkins has more than 40 years of experience as a journalist, writer and journalism teacher who teaches in seminars at Poynter and workshops and conferences around. He has been a presenter at national conventions for IRE, RTDNA, NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA, Unity, NLGJA, PRNDI and NPPA. Since 1998, he has taught seminars and workshops in 48 states and four countries.

Training Partner:

Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is dedicated to informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy.

Technical Requirements:

This Seminar Snapshot contains audio. Please make sure you've got your headphones and speakers adjusted.