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Reporting in the age of social justice

August 3, 2020 @ 8:00 am

About this product

In this six-week online course, journalists will learn perennial reporting and storytelling tools to elevate their coverage and probe the evolving ethics of today’s critical social justice issues.

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Reporting in the Age of Social Justice: Essential tools for journalists working through a time of unprecedented change

In this six-week online course, early- and mid-career journalists will learn perennial reporting and storytelling tools to elevate their coverage and probe the evolving ethics of today’s critical social justice issues.

CNN contributor and National Geographic explorer John D. Sutter returns as Poynter guest faculty to lead this workshop, bringing in prominent guest speakers who will share their field-tested tips for covering the accelerating social change of 2020, including: Juan Arredondo, a photojournalist whose images explore social inequality and frequently appear in The New York Times; Robert Samuels, a national political reporter at The Washington Post, who focuses on the intersection of politics, policy and people; and Erin Ailworth, a reporter at The Wall Street Journal who has increasingly made “disaster” her beat. Workshop participants will not only learn from these experienced reporters during weekly sessions, but also have the opportunity to receive one-on-one, personalized coaching from them.

By the end of the workshop, participants will have the skills, connections and inspiration to cover social justice movements safely, ethically and poignantly.


Participants will convene for live video sessions each Thursday between Sept. 10 and Oct. 15 from 2-4 p.m. Eastern. Each session will focus on building skills related to reporting during a time of unprecedented change and feature guest instructors and interactive Q&As. Participants will also receive a 45-minute individual coaching session with a guest faculty member during the program.

  • Sept. 10: Finding and pitching the big story
  • Sept. 17: Investigative reporting essentials
  • Sept. 24: Protests, rallies and pandemics
  • Oct. 1: Empathy in interviewing
  • Oct. 8: The power of observation
  • Oct. 15: Managing (and editing) yourself

Sessions will be recorded and accessible to participants afterward if they are unable to join live.

Course learning outcomes

After six weeks of instruction and personalized coaching, you will learn how to:

  1. Get the green light on your story idea
  2. Use basic investigative reporting tactics in a fast-paced environment
  3. Cover protests and rallies safely and ethically
  4. Exhibit more empathy in sensitive interviews
  5. Fine tune your observational skills to charge your storytelling
  6. Better understand — and plan around — your own strengths and weaknesses

Who should take this course?

Early- and mid-career journalists — writers, reporters, podcast producers, filmmakers, photographers, television producers — who are trying to make sense of the chaos that is 2020 will benefit. We’ll offer perennial reporting and storytelling tools and probe the evolving ethics of this moment.

Lead Faculty

John Sutter_cropped

John D. Sutter

Contributor, CNN
National Geographic Explorer
Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT


Erin Ailworth

Erin Ailworth

The Wall Street Journal

Juan Arredondo

Juan Arredondo


Cheryl Carpenter is the Bureau Chief of the McClatchy Washington Bureau in Washington, D.C., on April 10, 2017.

Cheryl Carpenter

Leadership Faculty
The Poynter Institute


Roy Peter Clark

Senior Scholar
The Poynter Institute

Corey Johnson

Corey Johnson

Investigative Reporter
Tampa Bay Times


Robert Samuels

National Political Reporter
The Washington Post

Selene San Felice

Selene San Felice

Staff Writer
Capital Gazette

Jan Winburn

Jan Winburn

Writing Coach

Poynter Coaches

Participants will have the opportunity to schedule private, 45-minute coaching sessions with one of the following:

  • Erin Ailworth — Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
  • Juan Arredondo — Photojournalist
  • Roy Peter Clark — Senior Scholar, The Poynter Institute
  • Corey Johnson — Investigative Reporter, Tampa Bay Times
  • Kathleen McGrory — Deputy Investigations Editor, Tampa Bay Times
  • John Sutter — Contributor, CNN, National Geographic Explorer, Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT

Training sponsor

The value of this program is $450. Thanks to support from the Democracy Fund, we are able to lower tuition to $150.

Questions? Email info@newsu.org.


August 3, 2020
8:00 am