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

2015 Specialized Reporting Institutes

Check here often for updates and information on registering for these timely, in-depth workshops.

Covering the U.S. Visa System in Your Own Backyard

Hosted by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting April 10-12, Chicago, Ill.

Keeping the Peace, Peacefully: Police-Community Relations

Hosted by Community Media Workshop April 23-25, Chicago, Ill.

Covering the Iowa Caucuses

Hosted by The Poynter Institute June 21-23, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

Covering Water in a Changing World

Hosted by University of Florida Nov. 12-13, Gainesville, Fla.

Recent resources

Reporting on Suicide and Mental Health Issues

Suicide is a serious and preventable public health problem that claims thousands of lives each year, without regard to age, education, social standing, race, or gender. According to the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all Americans, the second leading cause of death for adults ages 25-34, and the third leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24.

How can journalists cover this challenging and important topic in a sensitive, accurate, and thorough manner?

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Covering Infectious Disease

As the fear of the Ebola virus consumes the U.S. and dominates the media, how can journalists sort out science from scare tactics and produce factual pieces that educate their audience — acknowledging but not pandering to the fears of the public and the politicians?

The Poynter Institute took a leading role in responding to the Ebola crisis, evaluating media coverage and providing guidance for accurate, science-based, ethical journalism.

This resource page provides journalists with a starting point for solid coverage of Ebola and other infectious diseases.

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Covering the Common Core

As the Common Core educational standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA) are phased in around the country, the issue of whether schools should use them has become increasingly politicized and controversial. What is a journalist to do?

The Poynter Institute and the Education Writers Association joined forces to produce a Specialized Reporting Institute, held in Chicago in June 2014, to provide journalists with the resources and knowledge to cover this important issue. The workshop was funded by the [Robert R.

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Fueling Investigative Reporting for 2014 Elections

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.

This resource page points journalists toward online resources, such as to compare political donor influence across states and election cycles and across levels of government.

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