Reporting Resources from the McCormick Foundation's Specialized Reporting Institutes


Looking for resources to help you cover key topics? From investigating local government to understanding the impact of the economic crisis on families, we can help. These workshops, Webinars and resource pages, provided through the Robert R. McCormick Foundation’s Specialized Reporting Institute (SRI) program, feature the sources and resources you need to cover stories with context and confidence.
At the SRI events, you'll get story ideas you can develop right away as well as in the future, plus the sources and resources for your reporting. To apply to attend an SRI or to register for an SRI Webinar, look for information under "Upcoming Events," below.

After each SRI, Poynter's NewsU will publish resource pages featuring sites and sources anyone can use to cover each of these critical topics. You'll find lists of experts, key blogs and social media, authoritative websites and more, gathered by the journalists, educators and others at each live SRI event.

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Interested in offering an SRI event? Here is information about developing a Specialized Reporting Institute.

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Upcoming events

Covering Veterans and Mental Health Issues

Coming soon at The Poynter Institute — our final Specialized Reporting Institute of 2014 will address Covering Veterans and Mental Health Issues.

Hosted by Poynter's vice president of academic programs, Kelly McBride, this SRI will provide timely guidance on covering our returning veterans, many of whom live with post-traumatic stress and other mental health challenges.

Check back for application information!

Recent resources

Fueling Investigative Reporting for 2014 Elections

A related Webinar, Money in Politics: Investigating Campaign Finance in Your State and Nationally, will be held on Sept. 10, 2014. Register now!

As we enter the 2014 Midterm Election season, investigative reporters and other journalists will need to sniff out the connections and influences that political donors have on candidates and the prominence of various issues, as well as on the public's awareness and knowledge of a variety of hot-button issues.

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Covering the Regulation of Shale Gas and Oil Development in the U.S.

Energy policy and developments are always big news, but not always well understood. For example, the process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," a process that extracts shale gas or oil, is an energy-related topic that is frequently in the news but not always clearly explained.

The Society of Environmental Journalists hosted a two-day Specialized Reporting Institute to guide reporters on the complex legal framework and policy debates surrounding shale gas and oil development.

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Follow the Money — Resources for Uncovering Fraud Connected to the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is a massive new government program affecting millions of Americans. Naturally, this means that unscrupulous individuals and companies will try to find and exploit weaknesses in the program.

A Specialized Reporting Institute, held June 16–18, taught journalists how to uncover fraud connected to the ACA. This resources page captures some of the highlights from the SRI and presents a wealth of resources for any journalist covering fraud connected to the ACA.

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Obamacare: Covering What Comes Next

The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, raises complex and often very personal questions for many Americans. Journalists need to cover the many angles and nuances of this complicated and controversial law.

This resources page compiles resources from the three-day Specialized Reporting Institute, "Obamacare: Covering What Comes Next " and the Web, offering all journalists a starting point for research on any story connected with the Affordable Care Act. Here, you'll find contacts, story ideas, examples of others' coverage, and places to get the context needed to make your stories comprehensible and useful to your audience.

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