Transforming Local Crime Reporting Into Public Safety Journalism (2024)

$1,000.00

Application is closed

Transforming Local Crime Reporting Into Public Safety Journalism (2024)

Transform your newsroom’s reporting on criminal justice and crime during our 23-week online seminar. Reimagine your newsroom’s work and impact, and craft a strategy that not only elevates your public safety reporting, but better serves your audience.

March 19, 2024– August 20, 2024

Overview

  • Open to U.S.-based newsrooms only; each newsroom must field a project team consisting of at least three journalists.
  • Teams must include one front-line journalist and one manager with the ability to influence policy.
  • This manager is expected to champion agreed-upon reforms through new policies and best practices.
  • Deadline extended! Due date is Feb. 14, 2024.
  • Program meets weekly on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Eastern for 23 weeks, all virtual, March 19-Sept. 17.
  • Newsroom teams should plan on committing at least two hours per week to live attendance, coaching and homework.
  • Limited need-based scholarships are available.
  • Each team will receive feedback and consulting from experts.
  • Course retails for $10,000+ but is just $1,000 thanks to our sponsors.
  • Funders include the MacArthur, Annie E. Casey, Just Trust and Craig Newmark foundations.

$1,000.00

Application is closed
SKU: POGS04-24 Tag:

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will:

  • Transform the way your newsroom thinks about crime and community.
  • Work with experts, use realistic case studies and get organization-specific homework.
  • Improve newsroom capacity to transform coverage from crime centered to community focused.
  • Go from a mentality of “if it bleeds it leads” to prioritizing public safety.
  • Learn to spot the episodic and transition to ongoing.
  • Pivot your coverage from superficial to deep.
  • Change your narrative from law enforcement to community.
  • Institute a new crime coverage policy in your newsroom.

$1,000.00

Application is closed

Overview

  • Open to U.S.-based newsrooms only; each newsroom must field a project team consisting of at least three journalists.
  • Teams must include one front-line journalist and one manager with the ability to influence policy.
  • This manager is expected to champion agreed-upon reforms through new policies and best practices.
  • Deadline extended! Due date is Feb. 14, 2024.
  • Program meets weekly on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Eastern for 23 weeks, all virtual, March 19-Sept. 17.
  • Newsroom teams should plan on committing at least two hours per week to live attendance, coaching and homework.
  • Limited need-based scholarships are available.
  • Each team will receive feedback and consulting from experts.
  • Course retails for $10,000+ but is just $1,000 thanks to our sponsors.
  • Funders include the MacArthur, Annie E. Casey, Just Trust and Craig Newmark foundations.

Training five or more people?
Check out our custom training.

In many communities, news reporting on crime amplifies inaccurate narratives and harms the communities that are most affected by crime.

Yet many newsrooms that want to change struggle to reform their work. Why? Covering specific instances of crime requires relatively few resources and often drives traffic, whereas providing more in-depth, contextual reporting takes more time and expertise.

Over the course of this ongoing seminar, we’ll introduce a series of change management tools that will guide newsrooms as they transform their coverage, step by step. Every newsroom’s solution will be unique to the communities they serve.

We’ll start by identifying the journalistic purpose behind your stories about cops, courts and public safety. We’ll teach you how to do an analysis of your own content, to determine how much coverage you are currently producing and what percentage of that coverage serves your audience. After that, we focus on change management, building and implementing new policies, and strengthening your capacity to provide more meaningful reporting.

Each team will join two to three other newsrooms facing similar challenges to form a small group cohort. You’ll meet with your cohort and your assigned coach every other week to exchange ideas as you tackle the next steps of organizational change. They’ll help you figure out how to surmount your roadblocks and you’ll help them.

Only U.S.-based newsrooms are being accepted into this program.

Your U.S.-based newsroom team must consist of three to six people, must include a frontline reporter or producer currently responsible for telling stories about law enforcement and crime, and must have an editor or manager with the authority to implement editorial policies. While every team member does not have to attend every session, we count on the editor/manager remaining involved in the project and championing new policies.  

After participating in this training, newsrooms will:

  • Understand what information helps citizens manage their personal safety.
  • Be able to report accurately on crime trends, including crime resolution rates.
  • Recognize why law enforcement points journalists to certain types of crime.
  • Identify how news coverage shapes public opinion, which in turn shapes public policies.
  • Describe trends by demographics and zip codes evenly and equitably so that people truly understand their absolute and relative risks in different areas.
  • Report more deeply on the underlying causes that contribute to crime, including economic issues, education, access to health care, affordable housing policies, and addiction and mental health treatment.

Questions?

If you need assistance, email us at info@poynter.org. 

Newsroom teams accepted to this program should expect to spend about two to three hours a week from March 19 to Aug. 20, 2024, in live training sessions and peer coaching meetings on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Eastern. (A full schedule follows.)

  • Full group workshops take place every other Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. Eastern. 
  • Peer group coaching sessions fall on alternating Tuesdays for 90 minutes at 1 p.m. Eastern.
  • Newsroom groups must join all classes and coaching sessions. 
  • There will be no sessions the weeks of July 4, Memorial Day or Labor Day.

March

Welcome to Transforming Crime Coverage

Welcome session: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Welcome, introductions, and tracking mechanisms. 

The History and Impact of Local Media Crime Coverage 

Session 1: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, March 26, 2024

 

April

Refining Mission and Tactics 

Session 2: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Building Consensus and Change

Session 3: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, April 23, 2024

 

May

Better Sourcing with Law Enforcement

Session 4: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Getting Data and Making it Useful

Session 5: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, May 21, 2024

 

June

Meaningful Conversation with Your Audience

Session 6: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Trauma-Informed Public Safety Reporting

Session 7: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, June 25, 2024

 

July

Juvenile Crime

Session 8: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Drafting Your New Policies 

Session 9: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, July 30, 2024

 

August

Final Presentation: Part 1

Session 10: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2024

Final Presentation: Part 2

Session 11: 1-3 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2024

 

Who should apply

This training is designed to initiate structural and cultural change within newsrooms; only news organizations with executive-level support and participation will succeed. A minimum of three participants from each newsroom is required, including a senior leader and a journalist who covers crime, justice, cops or courts.

Your team application cannot exceed six people. We welcome editors, reporters, visual journalists, audience engagement strategists and marketing staffers who touch some aspect of traditional crime coverage and who represent a cross section of the community your newsroom serves. Please consider generation, race, gender, sexual orientation and other varied life experiences when selecting the right team.

Deadline extended! Due: Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Instructors

Co-lead faculty

  • Kelly McBride
    Senior Vice President and Chair of Craig Newmark Center for 51ԹϹand Leadership
    Kelly McBride is a journalist, consultant and one of the country’s leading voices on media ethics and democracy. She is senior vice president and chair...
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  • Cheryl Thompson-Morton
    Black Media Initiative Director for the Center for Community Media at the Newmark J-School
    In her role as Black Media Initiative Director for the Center for Community Media at the Newmark J-School, Cheryl Thompson-Morton works to support Black media...
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Coaches

  • Chris Sheridan
    Adjunct; Leadership Consultant; Professor, Wake University
    Chris is a coach, educator and storyteller who knows that getting to the right answer starts with asking the right question.  After 20+ years in...
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  • Justin Garcia
    State and Local Accountability Reporter, Tampa Bay Times
    Justin Garcia has written extensively about law enforcement and his work has led to both leadership and policy change. He’s currently an accountability journalist for...
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  • Mike Canan
    Director of Journalism Strategies, Scripps Howard Foundation
    Mike Canan is the Director of Journalism Strategies for the Scripps Howard Foundation. Mike has led digital, print and broadcast newsrooms for 15 years. Mike...
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  • Kyndell Harkness
    Assistant Managing Editor of Diversity and Community at the Minneapolis Star Tribune
    Kyndell Harkness is the first Assistant Managing Editor of Diversity and Community at the Minneapolis Star Tribune after working as a photo editor during the...
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  • Michael Kilian
    New York state editor, Gannett
    Michael Kilian is New York state editor for Gannett, overseeing news sites upstate and downstate including his hometown newspaper the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, where...
    Read More

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