McCormick Foundation to fund UNC journalism school workshop for reporters covering sex trafficking
The UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication will host an November 2013 workshop – “Reporting Sex Trafficking: A Local Problem with Global Dimensions” – with more than $40,000 in funding from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
McCormick and The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which administers the program, announced Feb. 13 seven issue-centered workshops, called McCormick Specialized Reporting Institutes, would be held across the U.S. in 2013.
UNC professors Anne Johnston and Barbara Friedman will lead the UNC journalism workshop to provide journalists with tools and approaches necessary to recognize, understand and report sex trafficking in their communities.
“Large cities tend to be destinations for trafficked victims, but more and more, statistics tell us trafficked women and children are being brought to rural and suburban areas where there may be less public and police scrutiny,” Johnston said. “In these communities in mid-sized media markets, reporters are frequently asked to cover sex trafficking stories in addition to other assignments.”
“We have seen this issue linked to and overlapping with a variety of reporting issues, such as business, crime, politics, metro, medical/health, to name a few,” Friedman said. “This workshop will help journalists accurately and responsibly cover sex trafficking.”
The McCormick Specialized Reporting Institutes are free training seminars, focused on creating a strong democracy through an informed public. Reporters and journalism professors can receive free travel and tuition to attend one of the seminars. Journalists who attend to the workshop are required to produce significant coverage on the issue.
The “Reporting Sex Trafficking” workshop was one of seven workshops chosen by The McCormick Journalism Program and Poynter from almost 60 applications submitted. The other workshops funded include:
- Covering Guns, April 1-3 in Chicago
- Covering Medicare: Care, Costs, Control and Consequences, May 5-7 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Grading the Teachers, May 8-10 in Detroit and in October in Chicago
- Covering Big Agribusiness in the Heartland, in June in Champaign, Ill.
- Poverty in the Suburbs: The New Poor, the Old Poor and the Growing Poor, in September at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
- Reporting on Immigration Reform, in September or October at The University of Texas at El Paso
“Every news organization in America is challenged to provide quality coverage on these sensitive, hot-button social and economic issues," said Clark Bell, director of the McCormick Foundation's journalism program.
“We appreciate the opportunity to help reporters from small and mid-sized organizations tackle these issues that are so crucial to their communities,” said Stephen Buckley, Poynter’s dean of faculty.
The training is funded through a $710,000, two-year grant to Poynter — an international media strategy center and school for journalists – from the McCormick Foundation. Each workshop will yield a webinar on the topic and a page of reporting resources on Poynter’s e-learning site, News University (www.NewsU.org).
About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to 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 Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit McCormickFoundation.org.
About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is an international leader in journalism education, and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University (www.NewsU.org) offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with more than 250 interactive courses and 240,000 students. The Institute’s website, Poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn – and to teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media and the First Amendment-protected discourse that ensures public good and the democracy that serves it.