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IRE on Campus launches with focus on data, investigative skills

College educators and students will receive investigative and data training through the new IRE on Campus program, which will include special opportunities for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

Generous funding from Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis will help launch the campus initiative. It features two components:

  • Custom training for students and educators on HBCU and HSI campuses. An IRE trainer will spend several days on campus for a customized program that might feature guest lectures in classes, hands-on data training in a computer lab, an afternoon or evening mini-workshop for all interested students and faculty, a pizza party to brainstorm story ideas, and meetings with administrators and faculty to discuss the latest trends and tools in investigative reporting. Up to 25 students and faculty at each campus will receive free IRE memberships, which provide access to invaluable online resources.
  • Immersive data boot camps and fresh online course materials for journalism educators. The pilot program will include two weeklong data boot camps for college journalism educators — one planned for summer 2020 and the other in January 2021. Full scholarships (including travel and lodging) will be available for 10 educators of color for each boot camp. At least 10 additional slots will be available for other college educators at each training session. IRE is conducting a short online survey of journalism educators to help ensure the program’s success. Please let us know if you would be interested in attending a data boot camp, hosting training on your campus or sharing ideas about developing the program.

“This initiative will bolster IRE’s efforts to equip journalism professors with hands-on data and investigative skills they can incorporate in the classroom,” IRE Executive Director Doug Haddix said.

“We’re also excited about working with new partners on HBCU and HSI campuses. IRE can help equip more students of color with skills and resources to produce high-quality watchdog stories,” Haddix said. “This initiative is part of IRE’s overall efforts to train and support more journalists of color across all news platforms.”

Jamie Merisotis, Lumina’s president and CEO, added, “We’re pleased to be able to support these training opportunities on campuses serving black and Latino students, who are more likely to face structural barriers while pursuing their educations. As part of our commitment to racial equity, we also appreciate IRE’s emphasis on increasing the numbers of academics of color and these soon-to-be journalists with investigative skills entering the field of communications.”

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