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Sunday, September 01, 2019

Save the date: Covering Substance Abuse and Recovery, a workshop for journalists, will be held in Ashland, Ky., Nov. 15

UPDATE, Oct. 1: Registration for the workshop has opened; click here for information and registration.


Covering Substance Abuse and Recovery: A Workshop for Journalists is designed to help rural journalists cover a difficult subject, but one that needs covering to help their communities deal with it. It will be held by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Ashland, Kentucky, on Friday, Nov. 15.

More details and online registration will be available soon, but we have lined up several award-winning speakers who have been leaders in covering these topics in Appalachia and adjoining areas:

  • Beth Macy, award-winning author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, just released in paperback.
  • Terry DeMio and Liz Dufour, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists from The Cincinnati Enquirer; DeMio has been the newspaper’s opioid beat reporter for five years, and Dufour is the lead visuals person on the beat and the Pulitzer-winning series, "Seven Days of Heroin."
  • Eric Eyre, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the Charleston Gazette-Mail, who revealed opioid distribution patterns in West Virginia.
  • Sharon Burton, editor publisher of the Adair County (Ky.) Community Voice, a national leader in substance-abuse coverage by small newspapers.
Research by Oak Ridge Associated Universities has shown that the stigma attached to drug use and addiction are major obstacles to news coverage of the problem, which makes it harder for communities to find solutions.

Attendees will learn about the issues from a variety of experts in the field including award-winning journalists, authors, researchers, officials and people in recovery. Our goals are to make sure you:
  • Understand the depth and breadth of the problem and how it affects local communities
  • Know how to get reliable data and other local information for your reporting
  • Develop local, state, regional and national sources for stories and story ideas
  • Hear reporters explain how they cover the problem and the people affected by it
  • Appreciate the role of local news media in reducing the stigma that inhibit local action
The workshop will be held on Friday, Nov. 15 in Ashland, Kentucky, with a welcome reception on Thursday evening, Nov. 14. Online registration will be required, with an early-bird registration rate of $50 to cover meals, snacks, and materials. Please contact Al Cross at the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues with any questions: acros3@email.uky.edu

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