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 Water in a Changing World

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

Covering Education: Assessments or Education Reform

Poynter will host this Specialized Reporting Institute in summer 2015. Check back for dates and registration details!

Recent resources

Covering Community Policing and Urban Violence

Baltimore is only the latest city to face charges of police violence and massive demonstrations and violent reactions to the death of an African-American during an encounter with police officers.

How can journalists cover these events, providing a national as well as local perspective, and maintain a balanced, fair approach to coverage? What are the most common problems and what solutions show promise? How does race affect policing, relationships between community members and police, and national opinion?

Register now for the May 28 Webinar, Race Matters: Covering Communities of Color, with America Tonight correspondent Sarah Hoye . You can also watch the replay of a Poynter conversation: Covering Cops & Communities from May 4, led by NPR's Luis Clemens with Jennifer Peter of the Boston Globe and Kameel Stanley of the Tampa Bay Times.

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

Immigration reform, the U.S. visa system, how to handle the immigrants already here and those who attempt to enter the U.S. every day — these are already hotly debated topics, and the discussion is likely to only become more intense as the 2016 election campaigns get going.

Many journalists don't know where to start in coverage of this complex topic and its many associated issues and conflicts.

This resource page provides information and links that will help journalists jump start their coverage of immigration, visas and related topics.

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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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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?

Learn more