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

Coming Soon

Check here for the announcement of the 2016 Specialized Reporting Institutes and information on registering for these timely, in-depth workshops.

Webinar: Covering the U.S. Visa System and its Flaws

January 13, 2016 at 2 p.m.

Building on the April 2015 SRI, Covering the U.S. Visa System in Your Own Backyard, this Webinar is free, thanks to the support of the McCormick Foundation. Presented by Brant Houston. Register now!

More than 9 million people enter the U.S. as legal visitors or immigrants each year.

Webinar: Covering Water in a Changing World

Register Now!

Register now for the upcoming Webinar on Feb. 11 Webinar. Learn the scientific background to cover complex quality and quantity issues and suggest fresh strategies for getting beyond politics, offering solutions and explaining the climate-change angles. This Webinar builds on the November 2015 SRI, Covering Water in a Changing World.

Recent resources

Covering Water in a Changing World

Undrinkable water, severe drought or unprecedented flooding; conflicts over water rights ... Water issues touch every aspect of daily life and therefore are relevant to all areas of journalism.

This specialized reporting institute funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation was designed to offer journalists and weather broadcasters who report on water issues and the impact of climate change exposure to key issues.

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Fresh Angles: Covering Disability within Education, Employment, Healthcare and Housing

In an age of budget battles and cuts to social services, this Specialized Reporting Institute takes a look at the impact of those cuts on some of society's most vulnerable citizens: people with disabilities. Access Living and ADA 25 joined The Poynter Institute to present a two-day workshop to give journalists the knowledge and skills to create engaging and powerful journalism on this topic. The focus was on potential budget cuts in Illinois and their impact on key social services for people with disabilities, but the issues resonate in communities across the United States.

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Nominating a President 2016: How to Cover the Iowa Caucuses

The Iowa Caucuses are the first official chance for voters to weigh in on the presidential candidates, garnering a huge amount of media attention for the state and its residents. Some journalists spend weeks or months getting to know the voters, issues and candidates in Iowa. Resources on this page will help journalists to cover this key political contest thoroughly and effectively.

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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?

The resources on this page will get you started.

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