Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Poynter Extend Partnership for Specialized Reporting Institutes Through 2013

Oct 04, 2011, 15:45 ET from The Poynter Institute

Program funds six to eight workshops for journalists on critical topics in the news

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Poynter Institute and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation today announce that Poynter will continue to administer McCormick's Specialized Reporting Institutes (SRI) program through 2013. SRIs are a popular series of intensive reporting workshops designed to provide subject-specific expertise and practical skills to working journalists. 

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The program reinforces the two institutions' shared belief that citizens need access to quality news content. McCormick has managed this grant program for years, first partnering with Poynter to administer the program in 2011.

Poynter will continue to oversee the application process, answer applicants' questions, work with McCormick to select SRI hosts and then be a resource for hosts as they carry out and evaluate their events and share the learning with journalists who could not attend.

The grant for 2012 and 2013 increased to $355,000 a year, which covers Poynter's costs and funds six to eight SRIs per year, including one hosted by Poynter.

Applications are being accepted from universities, non-profits, training groups and others who would like to host an SRI in 2012.  For details, go to Deadline to apply is Nov. 15, 2011.

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with Poynter," says Clark Bell, director of the McCormick Foundation Journalism Program. "Training for journalists has never been so important, yet many news organizations continue to keep a lid on continuing education budgets."

Poynter's dean of faculty, Stephen Buckley, notes that many benefited from 2011 workshops. "More than 100 journalists, bloggers, educators and others learned new ways to cover important topics in the news at SRIs this year, and almost all told us the training exceeded their expectations," he said. "Hundreds more benefited from Webinars and other online resources from that training.  We look forward to working with hosts again in 2012 and 2013 to build on the long tradition of success for this program."

SRIs convene a diverse group of journalists, often from small to mid-sized news organizations, plus educators, for a program typically lasting two days. Participants represent all media platforms. Grant funds cover all of participants' travel, lodging and tuition. The 2012 hosts also will conduct a Webinar and a live online chat on their topic and create a page of reporting resources on Poynter's e-learning site, News University ( SRI hosts receive $35,000-$50,000 to cover costs.

This year's hosts conducted training for reporters on these topics:

  • Covering the impact of the economic crisis on American families (Suburban Newspapers of America Foundation/Associated Press Managing Editors Foundation)
  • Tracking stimulus dollars and covering the budget crisis in your community (Boston University/New England Center for Investigative Reporting)
  • Covering public pensions (Society of American Business Editors and Writers)
  • Political polling (American University School of Communication)
  • Census coverage: Going deep with demographic and economic data (Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University)
  • Covering Islam in the Bible Belt (Middle Tennessee State University School of Journalism)
  • Elections 2012:  The campaign for social media, a workshop planned for Oct. 25-27 (The Poynter Institute).

To see and use the reporting resources that 2011 SRI hosts gathered on these topics, go to

About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The McCormick Foundation is committed to strengthening our nation's civic health by fostering educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through its grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, and museums, the Foundation helps citizens make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets.  For more information, please visit

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter's website, ( is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology. Poynter's News University ( offers training to journalists, journalism students, teachers and the public through more than 200 interactive e-learning modules and other forms of training. It has more than 190,000 registered users in 225 countries.

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Phone: 1-888-POYNTER (1-888-769-6837)

SOURCE The Poynter Institute