ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (July 6, 2022) – As a global nonprofit working to strengthen journalism in service to democracy, the Poynter Institute has announced a new partnership with the nonprofit RAND Corporation that will connect emerging journalists to experts on critical public policy issues. The partnership is part of RAND’s NextGen Initiative, an effort to strengthen younger generations’ understanding of policy.
“Straight, honest reporting helps each of us fully participate in civic life,” said Neil Brown, president of Poynter. “This partnership with RAND will help journalists embrace the complexity of some of our most important public policy issues, and then be able to share that knowledge with their audiences. This work sits comfortably at the intersection of journalism and democracy.”
Journalists, including fact-checkers and political reporters, will have the opportunity to learn more about the methodology researchers use to assess the validity of the data surrounding the world’s top stories.
Later this month, Poynter and RAND will host 25 journalists for a one-day workshop in Washington, D.C., just blocks away from the nation’s leading policymakers. Policy Matters: A Poynter-RAND Masterclass will be led by PolitiFact managing editor Katie Sanders and will teach journalists how to improve their craft with key research techniques and the fundamentals of complex policy issues. Participating journalists represent cities across the nation and a number of diverse outlets ranging from The Associated Press, CNN and USA Today to the Austin American-Statesman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Factchequeado.
The masterclass will focus on topics such as the process of research and analysis, research to debunk misinformation around gun violence and gun policy, Russian disinformation campaigns, and foreign policy with China. Trainees will learn from a team of RAND experts including senior behavioral scientist Rajeev Ramchand, senior information scientist Elizabeth Bodine-Baron, senior defense analyst Derek Grossman, and sociologist Marek N. Posard.
“RAND and Poynter share a commitment to helping citizens become more informed, engaged, and empowered to take action that betters their communities and the world,” said Jennifer Gould, RAND vice president and chief of staff. “We hope that the masterclass and our other educational programming will deepen journalists’ understanding of today’s most pressing global issues as well as how researchers themselves navigate scientific data.”
Media professionals will also connect with subject matter experts through a series of speaking engagements to gain a deeper understanding of the information and sources necessary to produce excellent journalism. As a preferred training partner, RAND will work closely with Poynter’s world-class faculty to design robust training sessions for new and existing programs on domestic and foreign policies and topics such as the opioids crisis, gun violence, mental health, refugees and war.
“RAND is unquestionably and unflinchingly nonpartisan, and deeply committed to helping research and analyze America’s biggest challenges,” said Aaron Sharockman, executive director of PolitiFact and the vice president of sales and strategic partnerships at Poynter. “Journalists can learn a lot from their research and work, and I’m so excited to launch this new and innovative collaboration. Newsrooms rely on independent experts, and together with RAND, I hope we can help readers, viewers and voters make more informed decisions in their daily lives.”
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About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media, and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at newsrooms, conferences, and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology, and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters, and senior citizens. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians, and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the U.S. First Amendment, and discourse that serves democracy and the public good. Learn more at poynter.org.
About the RAND Corporation
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. For more information, visit rand.org.