The R-CAR program was started with a gift to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues from Daniel Gilbert, a Wall Street Journal energy reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize for the Bristol Herald Courier in 2010 with his reporting on state and energy-company mismanagement of pooled natural-gas royalties in Southwest Virginia. He donated his $10,000 prize from another contest, the Scripps Howard Awards, to the Institute's endowment to create a fund that sends journalists to IRE's six-day CAR boot camp, at which he learned the skills that enabled him to do the series. The Scripps Howard Foundation matched his gift, and the state of Kentucky matched both, creating a $40,000 fund that generates enough earnings to sponsor two journalists each year. (Read more)
Kate Martin of the Skagit Valley Herald in Mt. Vernon, Wash., was the inaugural boot-camp fellow. Thanks to the boot camp, she says, "I am no longer at the mercy of my sources to look up a figure or fact for me. I can have them send me the source file and work with it on my own." IRE's next boot camp will be held in Columbia, Mo., Aug. 5-10. Applications for the R-CAR fellowships to the boot camps should be submitted to IRE by June 22. To download the application, click here.