Monday, August 29, 2011

Thursday is deadline to apply for Rural Computer-Assisted Reporting Workshop to be held Oct. 21-23

Thursday is the deadline to apply for the first Rural Computer-Assisted Reporting Mini-Boot Camp, to be held Oct. 21-23 at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City with instructors from Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. With funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, IRE and the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues will select 12 applicants for fellowships that will include meals, lodging and travel assistance.

The workshop is being held in the Tri-Cities area partly to remind rural journalists that Daniel Gilbert, left, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for public service for the Bristol Herald Courier with his reporting on the mismanagement of natural-gas royalties in Southwest Virginia. He was able to crack the case with computer-assisted reporting skills learned at one of IRE's boot camps. Now journalists in the region will have a chance to gain most of the same skills.

These skills are needed to make effective use of millions of electronic records, which exist at every level of government from tiny city halls to bureaucratic bunkers in Washington. In these records are thousands of stories that need to be told. Every community has them, but not all community news outlets have the tools and skills to "mine the data." Here is a chance to get those skills, from some of the best trainers in the field.

To download a PDF of the application, click here. For more background information, go here. For information on the Fund for Rural Computer-Assisted Reporting, created at the Institute by a gift from Gilbert, click here.

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