This workshop series is our virtual version of the effort Poynter began three years ago to help journalists cover jails and incarceration in the United States. With our funder, The MacArthur Foundation, and our partners at the Vera Institute of Justice and the Marshall Project, Poynter has reached more than 450 journalists in at least 45 states with practical and expert teaching on the gateway to the criminal justice system in the U.S.
We will offer eight sessions over four weeks that will help journalists cover local jails, which have become COVID-19 super-spreaders. Participants will prepare for significant legislative and local changes in policing, spurred by both politics and protests. Formerly incarcerated people will give participants insight into the effects of journalism on their life after lockup. And Poynter faculty will lead robust discussions around journalism ethics when it comes to how we cover the accused and convicted.
Here’s what some of our previous workshop participants had to say about their experience:
“This workshop gave insight on a side of our justice system that we cover, but rarely consider. It gave me a fresh perspective on what goes on behind bars, and how improving our jails can actually improve society.”
“Learning the data I believe was most important. With that knowledge, I can localize the national numbers and trends to my own coverage area.”
“I have written a lot of jail stories, but this workshop really demonstrated some other and better ways to hit on the bail/bond, jail population and other issues by using data and public records to identify the people it affects.”
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