Covering the Budget Crisis in Your City or State

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
November 09, 2011 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

Covering the Budget Crisis in Your City or State
Originally Broadcast On:
November 09, 2011
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

Thanks to the support of our sponsor, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, we are able to offer this $29.95 Webinar for just $9.95.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

It’s happening everywhere. Governments big and small are trying to cut spending but still provide basic services. To cover that story, you need to know how to read and analyze a budget, how to dissect a union contract and how to generate stories that will stand out.

This Webinar is associated with McCormick Foundation's Specialized Reporting Institute about "Covering Municipal Spending in the Post-Stimulus Era" in Boston on May 9-10, 2011.

Additional resources are available on NewsU's Resources and training for Covering Municipal Spending in the Post-Stimulus Era and Resources for Reporting on the Economy and Mental Health pages.

What Will I Learn:
  • The basic elements of budgeting
  • How to analyze your city or town’s budget
  • How to critically examine union contracts
  • How to track stimulus funds and assess whether those dollars were spent wisely
Who Should Take this Course:

Journalists and others who cover issues related to local and regional government budget cuts.

Course Instructor:

Joe Bergantino

Joe Bergantino is the co-founder, co-director and senior investigative reporter of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Bergantino has been a national and local investigative reporter for almost 30 years. He spent most of his career as the I-Team Reporter for WBZ-TV in Boston. He also did investigative reporting for WPLG-TV, the Washington Post-owned TV station in Miami, and spent five years as a correspondent for ABC News where he reported for World News Tonight, Nightline and Good Morning America.


Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization 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 Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.

Technical Requirements:

This Webinar contains audio. Please adjust your headphones or speakers.
We strongly suggest viewing our Webinars with a wired connection.

  • Flash Player - Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 or higher
  • Browsers - Mozilla Firefox 2 or higher; Safari 2 or higher; Google Chrome (any version)
    Windows users can also use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or higher
  • Bandwidth - 256Kbps (512Kbps recommended)

Some networks, especially those that use a proxy server, may encounter difficulty connecting to our Webinar software. If this is your first Poynter NewsU Webinar, please test your connection.

Questions? Read our Webinar FAQ or contact us at