Here’s a great new idea worth supporting: The Freedom Journalism School — a pioneering program to train a network of fifty new media muckrakers across the South.
A new project from the Institute for Southern Studies (ISS), the outfit that publishes Facing South, the South’s leading online magazine, and Southern Exposure, an award-winning journal of politics and culture, the idea is to provide training for fifty bloggers and citizen journalists in investigative reporting skills in an effort to give them the tools they need to expose corruption and hold elected leaders accountable.
Most training programs in investigative journalism are geared towards career reporters in established media rather than the bloggers and grassroots news outlets that are increasingly becoming the go-to media source for millions of readers. ISS plans to hold two on-site weekend schools–one in Durham, NC, and another in New Orleans to redress this imbalance. The program will also draw on new technology, hosting a series of webinars on the basics of investigative reporting, as well as practical advice for reporting on complex issues like money in politics, energy companies, government contracts and banking and finance.
An attempt to fill the void created by the evisceration of investigative reporting desks at newspapers coast to coast, the Freedom Journalism School’s initial goal of getting fifty new muckrakers into the field is just the first of what its organizers hope is a lasting series of contributions to keeping the public informed.
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