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Friday, April 10, 2015

Fracking Investigation Wins NPF’s Stokes Award

Sandy K Johnson by Sandy K Johnson 0 comments

The National Press Foundation has awarded its Thomas L. Stokes award for energy writing to three news organizations for their collaborative in-depth look at hydraulic fracturing in Texas.

InsideClimate News, the Center for Public Integrity and The Weather Channel share the Stokes award for their partnership that produced “Big Oil, Bad Air.”  Journalists from the three organizations combined extensive data analysis with narrative reporting, video, photos and graphics. They zeroed in on the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, a microcosm of the fracking phenomenon.

NPF judges said of the winning work: “First-rate investigative work with a human pulse. The collaborative project blended hard facts with a powerful narrative of real people that made you care. The description of fracking consequences in Texas is now playing out elsewhere, in the Bakken and Utica shales. The project triggered meaningful impact, forcing concessions from state regulators.”

The reporting team for the project included Lisa Song and David Hasemyer of InsideClimate News, Jim Morris from CPI, and Greg Gilderman of The Weather Channel.

Judges for the Stokes award were Ronnie Greene of The Associated Press, Rod Kuckro of EnergyWire, and Chris Mooney of The Washington Post.

The Thomas L. Stokes Award was established in the spring of 1959 by friends and admirers of the late Thomas L. Stokes, the syndicated Washington columnist on national affairs. It was to be given annually for the best writing "in the independent spirit of Tom Stokes" on subjects of interest to him including energy and natural resources.

Tagged Awards
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What is your retirement question?

Linda Topping Streitfeld by Linda Topping Streitfeld 0 comments

Retirement is big business in the United States. The 10,000 or so Americans who retire every single day drive housing decisions, health care costs, transportation options, government policies and a booming financial services industry. Those retirees have lots of questions, as do their children and grandchildren and all the companies who would like their business.

Should I try to “age in place” or is it time to downsize to a condo in Arizona? Should I pay off my school loan or put extra money into my 401K? When should I start receiving Social Security benefits? How much of my retirement savings can I safely spend each year after I retire?

Individual answers to these and other queries will build national trends – and generate stories -- on nearly every beat. Learn more about those trends in an upcoming educational program for journalists: “Reporting Retirement: Finding New Angles.” We will award 18 fellowships that cover all transportation, hotel costs and most meals.

You can see resources from previous programs here. The application is here.

Our deadline is Tuesday, April 14.

Tagged Programs
Thursday, March 26, 2015

NPF Summer 2015 Internship

Shanza Lewis by Shanza Lewis 0 comments

The National Press Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free professional development programs to journalists to increase their knowledge of complex issues. NPF seeks an intern to assist staff with varied projects. Responsibilities include:

  • Assist the media team in the continued maintenance of National Press Foundation’s social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Assist the Digital Media Manager in video and audio production using the Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Complete research for special projects and compile metrics and data when needed.
  • Support Studio and Programs Manager with logistical planning for all journalist training programs.
  • Assist with all general needs of the National Press Foundation office.

NPF is looking for a candidate with an interest and/or background in journalism and digital media who is willing to take on diverse projects. This is a great opportunity for the right candidate to gain quality, hands-on work experience and be an integral part of our small staff. Applicants should be aware that this position involves a variety of tasks that are more administrative and desk heavy.  The intern should be self-motivated and eager to take initiative, and add personal detail and creativity to each task. Interns are welcome to attend any and all local NPF journalist training programs. The right candidate could be an upper-level undergraduate, graduate student, recent graduate or young professional looking to gain more experience.

Additional Qualifications Needed:

  • Interest in journalism required with journalism experience preferred
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Knowledge of and experience with Excel, Microsoft Office, Photoshop and Premier Pro / Final Cut 7.
  • Experience in CMS management and html a plus
  • Interest in business and digital marketing
  • Language skills a plus

NPF is looking for an intern to start sometime in May. Internship may last until August/September 2015 or may be extended into the fall should both the intern and NPF be agreeable. Only full-time hours (40 hours per week) are available. A stipend will be provided, $1900 per month for full time work.

To apply, please email a resume and cover letter to All application materials will be considered on a rolling basis until April 30. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

One Hookah Session = 100 Cigarettes?

Sandy K Johnson by Sandy K Johnson 0 comments

In New York City, a pack of cigarettes costs $12.50, bulked up with city, state and federal taxes. In Abu Dhabi, a pack costs less than $1.

Cheap cigarettes give the tobacco industry easy entry to low and middle-income countries, where 80 percent of smokers live. The reluctance of poor nations to tax tobacco products contrasts with the United States and other wealthy nations, where high taxes have proved to be the single most effective tool to discourage smoking.

The growing popularity of new tobacco products like e-cigarettes and hookah has flummoxed policymakers, said Dr. Scott Sherman, a New York City physician who researches tobacco for New York University Abu Dhabi. He cited a fledgling body of research that shows much higher levels of nicotine ingested from the trendy products than traditional cigarettes.

Sherman said one water pipe session lasts 60-90 minutes. That’s the equivalent of smoking anywhere from 10 to 100 cigarettes at one sitting, according to early research. “Is it 100 or 10? Either way, it’s bad. That can’t be a good thing to be smoking even 10 cigarettes at one time,” he said.

Flavored tobacco for water pipes has made hookah much more attractive to people aged 18-30. “This is seen as a cool thing to do among young people.”

Yet few existing laws governing traditional cigarettes apply to the new products, from taxation to age restrictions – a loophole that Sherman said tobacco sellers are exploiting.

Tagged J2J
Friday, February 20, 2015

In The Vortex of Ferguson

National Press Foundation by National Press Foundation 0 comments

Gilbert Bailon, editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, won the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award for guiding his news organization through the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the tumultuous aftermath.  See a collection of the Post-Dispatch's work here.The judges said: “If ever a newspaper and its editor faced a real-time stress test, it was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and editor Gilbert Bailon.”

Tagged Awards