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Community Journalists Chosen to Attend Reporting Symposium

Friday, March 11, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jack Lail
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McCormick Foundation grant covers costs for two days of in-depth training co-hosted by Suburban Newspapers of America Foundation and Associated Press Managing Editors

Twenty community journalists from across the United States have been selected to attend a two-day symposium to learn how to report local stories and develop multimedia reporting projects on the impacts of the economic crisis on American families.

The symposium, funded by a grant from The McCormick Foundation and co-hosted by Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA) Foundation and the Association Press Managing Editors (APME), is part of McCormick's Specialized Reporting Institutes program. The training takes place April 5 and 6 in Chicago at the Chicago Sun-Times.

The symposium will feature top speakers, including Richard Longworth, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former national economics reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Tom Koetting, deputy managing editor for news at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University and others.

Participants will receive tools and information to help them improve coverage of the economic crisis and its impact on families in their communities. Follow-up webinars with symposium attendees will also be part of this comprehensive learning experience.

More than 75 community journalists from daily newspapers under 100,000-circulation and weekly newspaper groups applied for this expenses-paid training opportunity. Judging was done by Doug Fisher, senior instructor and executive editor of The Convergence Newsletter, Ernie Wiggins, associate professor, and Miron Varouhakis, visiting assistant professor, all faculty members at the University of South Carolina's School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Scholarship winners include: Jen Judson, Norwood Transcript and Bulletin, Needham Heights, MA; Skye Kinkade, Mount Shasta Area Newspapers, Mount Shasta, CA; Dan Shearer, Green Valley News & Sun, Green Valley, AZ; Jennifer Noblit, This Week Community Newspapers, Lewis Center, OH; Amber Krosel, Suburban Life Publications, Downers Grove, IL; Lindsay Betz, Sun Newspapers, Cleveland, OH; Dean Kahn, The Bellingham Herald, Bellingham, WA; Michael Malik, The Herald Times, Bloomington, IN; Matthew Hensley, The News Herald, Morganton, NC; and Bob Mentzinger, Kennebec Journal, Augusta, ME.

Also selected were: Kevin Craver, Northwest Herald, Crystal Lake, IL; Bruce Krasnow, The Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, NM; Marilyn Odendahl, The Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, IN; Elizabeth Cooper, Observer Dispatch, Utica, NY; Amanda Reavy, The State Journal-Register, Springfield, IL; Melissa Griffy Seeton, The Repository, Canton, OH; Lyle McBride, The Ledger, Lakeland, FL; Pamela Dempsey, CU-CitizenAccess, Champaign, IL; Linda Leicht, The Springfield News Leader, Springfield, MO; and Marga Cooley, Santa Maria Times, Santa Maria, CA.

The McCormick Foundation has served the needs of children, communities and country by advancing the ideals of a free, democratic society for more than 50 years. Civic health unites all aspects of the foundation's work, from investments in human services, journalism, civics, veterans and early childhood education, to investments that deliver programs and services to hundreds of thousands of people through the foundation's public park and two museums in Chicago. As one of the nation's largest public charities, The McCormick Foundation has granted more than $1 billion to organizations in communities across the country.

The SNA Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) charitable trust affiliated with the trade associationSuburban Newspapers of America. The Foundation supports community newspapers in their role as the leading local information providers and specifically helps with the transformation to a digital world. SNA represents nearly 2,000 daily and weekly community newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.

APME is an association of editors at newspapers in the United States and Canada. It works closely with The Associated Press to foster journalism excellence and to support a national network for the training and development of editors who run multimedia newsrooms in the 21st Century. Any person who is the editor, executive editor or managing editor, or holds any other title that provides for senior responsibilities for the news, online or editorial staffs of a member newspaper, is eligible for membership.

For additional information, please contact Mark Laskowski at or (843) 601-2780.

Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

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