All Resources from the McCormick Foundation's Specialized Reporting Institutes

Resources for Covering Social Protest Movements in an Age of Social Media

Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, and events around the world have demonstrated that the traditional agenda-setting role of mainstream media has been overwhelmed by citizens using social media to publicize their cause and rally supporters to action.

Journalists not wanting to be left behind need to:

  • Become informed about how social media affect public affairs

  • Learn how to use social media to cover social protest movements

  • Monitor social media to become aware of and stay on top of emerging movements

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Resources for Reporting on the Economy and Mental Health

The past four years have been a time of economic crisis. Individuals, families and communities have suffered the effects of high unemployment, increasing numbers of homeless families, foreclosures, shrinking wages, loss of health benefits, strained marriages, reduced social services and changing spending and saving habits. The effects of this crisis are wide-ranging and will likely continue for years to come.

Community journalists have an opportunity and a responsibility to chronicle the mental health impact of our distressed economy. This page offers some resources to help journalists accomplish that task.

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Resources for Covering Sexual Abuse of Children

The trial of Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State scandal have brought the topic of sexual abuse of children to the forefront. It's a complicated issue that has to be covered carefully, fairly and with great sensitivity. Journalistic ethics and principles may be tested as journalists struggle to present the facts without harming victims or accused perpetrators. Resources on this page will enable journalists to create thorough, balanced coverage of this challenging issue.

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Resources for Reporting on Super PACs

The Citizens United Supreme Court drastically altered the way the 2012 presidential campaign. Big money from so-called Super PACs flooded the airwaves with ads whose sponsors were sometimes unclear. The rules have changed and campaign planning and strategy had to figure out how to play by these new rules. The fallout is still to be seen. Even post-election, there is much for journalists to learn. Resources on this page will enable journalists to explore and explain complex issues around campaign finance.

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Resources for Reporting on Globalization

Globalization is about interconnection and interdependence; reporting on globalization means finding the larger issues within a smaller community and explaining global issues from a local perspective.This page presents some resources to help you get started.

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Resources for Covering Veterans' Issues

Thousands of soldiers are heading home from Iraq and Afghanistan. These veterans need medical services, mental health services, education, jobs and more as they reintegrate into civilian life. Journalists’ job is to tell their story. This page provides the resources to facilitate an investigative approach to covering returning veterans.

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Resources for Election 2012: The Campaign for Social Media

Categories: Social media

Four years after the Obama campaign launched an unprecedented social media campaign, social media are even more influential and will play a major role in all 2012 elections — local and national.

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Resources for Covering Islam and Muslims in America

Categories: Diversity, Islam, Muslims

How do U.S. journalists remain accurate and balanced in their coverage of the Muslim community in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which changed the way Islam is viewed by the public? Use the resource on this page to learn about Islam and the role it plays as a religion and a cultural influence.

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Resources for Covering Political Polls

Political polls play an important role in every election but can be tricky for journalists trying to determine their validity. This page will help you get the resources you need to scrutinize and report on those polls, factoring in ever-expanding technology such as online polling and automated polls.

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Resources for Covering Public Pensions

Americans are retiring in record numbers, and private companies aren't the only ones scrambling to find the funds needed to keep up with pension payments. Local governments are struggling to find the money for underfunded pensions. This page will help you get the resources you need to tell those stories.

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