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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fellow Update: Clifton Kawanga, Malawi, Lung Health 2013, hosts Train the Trainer Session

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On March 3, 2014, Clifton Kawanga, Editor at Blantyre Newspapers Ltd, Malawi held a Train the Trainer session for Malawian journalists. Nine journalists were in attendance.

Kawanga covered many lung disease issues in a single session, titled “Why and How to Report Lung Diseases.” Topics covered included a brief overview of The Union and NPF; Child Lung Health including Asthma, Pneumonia and TB; TB in Adults; MDR and XDR TB; GeneXpert; Tobacco use and Tuberculosis; How reporters can convince editors to produce TB stories; a discussion of story ideas; and a viewing of the Aeras video, “Exposed.”

Kawanga and the journalists present created a Twitter account, @J2JMalawi, tweeting statistics and facts throughout the training.  They continue to post on Twitter regarding lung health issues in Malawi. Kawanga would like to reach even more journalists and is looking into the possibility of visiting the Central and Northern regions of Malawi to share the same information with journalists in those regions.

Topics that were raised by the attendees included: Visiting prisons in Malawi to see how the conditions can lead to TB; getting more information from the Minister of Health in Malawi in regard to statistics on childhood TB cases and whether MDR TB is a threat in Malawi; and assessing the myths and levels of awareness of TB in rural Malawi.In their evaluations, attendees  wrote passionately about their desire to inform the public of these lung health issues and to make changes in the health of the population of Malawi.

To learn more about the J2J Lung Health Program and Train the Trainer click here.

Tagged J2J Programs
Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fellow Update: Svetlana Svistunova, Lung Health 2013, hosts Train the Trainer Session

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On December 16, 2013, Svetlana Svistunova, The Russian Union of Journalists, held a Train the Trainer Session in Moscow, Russia. The training was attended by 7 journalists and the widow of a murdered journalist. Svetlana discussed the following topics with her colleagues: The newest challenges of TB; XDR-TB and the treatment of XDR-TB; side effects of the treatments; and human story ideas that came out of the World Union Congress. Topics that were raised by the attendees included: How TB is transmitted—can someone get infected by flying on a plane with an  infected passenger; and are smoking and TB related?

In their evaluations the attendees found the following information most useful: latest treatment advances; examples of case histories around the world; proposals to increase media coverage on TB prevention and treatment; relevance of TB as a story topic in their region; and finding out about the media training and the Union World Congress. The only improvements suggested by the attendees for the training were that more trainings be held throughout Russia.  

To learn more about the J2J Lung Health Program and Train the Trainer click here. We can't wait to see how the other Lung Health fellows choose to share their training with their colleagues.


Tagged J2J
Monday, December 23, 2013

National Press Foundation Annual Award Announcement

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WASHINGTON:  With an embarrassment of riches, we are proud to announce the winners of the National Press Foundation’s annual awards.  The winners live in El Paso and New York, Buffalo and Houston, and their work covered a school board trying to “disappear” Mexican immigrant kids struggling in school to pump up the scores on standardized tests (oh, and the administrators would be eligible for bonuses); the impact of the Affordable Care Act on school districts in Indiana which didn’t want to pay the required costs so laid off non-professional staffers; Capitol Hill shenanigans in which budgets were “cut” by not including funds that were never allocated – you get the idea.

In the mix we have brand-name stalwarts like Wolf Blitzer of CNN and Robert Siegel of NPR’s All Things Considered, along with the wickedly funny cartoonist Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News; and a new website that uses an impressive array of multi-media tools to tell the story of the conflict in Syria.

The platforms of journalism are changing, and the financial model of journalism in certainly changing, but the quality of journalism exemplified by these winners – and the superb applicants who did not hit the top rung – should give hope to those who embrace NPF’s vision that journalism is an essential tool in creating and nurturing democratic vales.

‘Nuff said. Here are winners. They will receive their awards on March 5, 2014, at NPF’s 31st annual awards dinner:

·      Robert Moore,the editor of the El Paso Times, will receive the Benjamin C. Bradlee Award as Editor of the Year for leading his paper’s three-year coverage of corruption within the El Paso Independent School District. The corruption targeted Mexican immigrant students who were moved into grades so they could not take standardized tests; low scores on such tests would deny some administrators’ bonuses. The paper’s investigation uncovered additional corruption and along with Moore’s editorials led to the firing or resignations of school administrators and statewide reform.

·      Wolf Blitzer, lead political anchor at CNN, will receive the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. Blitzer was cited for his energy, encyclopedic knowledge of politics and unique ability to handle multiple story lines while continuing to inform the public.

·      Robert Siegel, the senior host of NPR’s All Things Considered, will receive the W.M. Kiplinger Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism. He is being honored for his insightful interviewing and calm demeanor that elevates his broadcasts.

There were two equal winners of NPF’s own Feddie Award, showing the impact of federal rules and regulations outside the Beltway:

·      Bloomberg reporters Mark Drajem and Jack Kaskey showed the consequences in West, Texas, when there was little federal oversight of toxic chemical storage at a manufacturing plant, but also little industry compliance with federal safety rules, resulting in a chemical explosion that killed 14 people;

·      Gannett Washington reporter Maureen Groppe showed how school districts and small employers in Indiana were preparing for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act by reducing the hours of aides, bus drivers and others to avoid having to cover them;

·      The one-time only “Shutdown Feddie” award will go to The Wall Street Journal for a comprehensive look at the federal shutdown’s local impact, from declining customers at a tourism business in the Great Smoky Mountains to an Oregon company’s inability to get needed FCC approvals.

There were also two independent winners of the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Coverage of Congress:

·      Boston Globe Washington bureau reporters and editors worked on a year-long series of 19 stories called “Broken City,” showing how legislative gridlock affects all aspects of  the government, what causes it and what might be done to change it.

·      Washington Post reporter David A. Fahrenthold showed how accounting tricks masquerade spending cuts during one session of Congress, inadvertently setting up the take-no-prisoners attitude of newly elected conservatives in another.

In two other categories,

·      Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News will receive the Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning.

·      The website “Syria Deeply” ( will receive NPF’s Excellence in Online Journalism award for a site that uses video, data graphics, original reporting, Twitter, Google Hangouts and other internet tools to convey the story of the conflict in Syria.

Quite a group, with accolades that are richly deserved.

To learn more about the 2014 NPF Annual Awards Dinner and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jessica Jean-Francois at 202-663-7282, or CLICK HERE to view the webpage.


Tagged Awards Dinner
Friday, December 20, 2013

Reflections of an Intern

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Blogpost by our Fall 2013 intern, Keiana Smith-McDowell. A native Ohioan (O-H…), Keiana is in Washington, D.C. studying Journalism in Georgetown University’s MPS program.

Today is the last day of my Fall internship at the National Press Foundation.

As a journalism major, I’ve always placed my focus on internships that are writing intensive, that will help me build my portfolio with a diverse range of clips. But this time, I went for something a little different, telling myself learning more about programs that make journalists better would without a doubt make me a little more well-rounded in the field.

I was right.

Journalism is not as easy as many may think. It is not a spectator’s sport. As in most professions, there are principles we have to follow, elements to learn and try to live by. There’s an innate sense of speculation we journalists have that separates us from the rest. We like digging, uncovering, and at times exposing. But to do research and reporting properly, we need training. There are always questions to be asked and answered, additional information to be gained; and the National Press Foundation provides this… and it’s free. I know that I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to continue my journalism education/training in graduate school… but I also know that if I hadn’t been able to, NPF would have been a refuge of sorts. I can attend all the programs my heart desires -- free -- and apply the knowledge learned from peers (both seasoned and new) to my own work.

Collaborating, networking, and educating are a few ways the NPF make journalists better.

(Btw, I like to emphasize free because well…who doesn’t like free!)

I’ve learned many lessons during my time in “the other side of journalism.” I learned the work that goes into reaching out to journalists, the importance of nurturing relationships and the logistics behind putting on programs both inside the beltway, nationally and internationally. I got to sit with former journalists and learn very important editing tips (very funny ones at that), that will be of help as I move on to have other internships and jobs.

Early on, I watched our conference room fill up with journalists and I was impressed and amazed at the young faces attached to organizations like Al Jazeera, Associated Press, NBC News, POLITICO, CQ Roll Call and more. It was great to see people so close to my own age so professionally established. At an NPF Board meeting, I sat at the conference table with Tom Rosenstiel – the man, the myth, the LEGEND! He co-wrote the j-students’ Bible, The Elements of Journalism. I was given the opportunity to offer my opinion on the future of journalism (which just between us, I thought was awesome!).  I’ve worked with an amazing team that’s dedicated to everything they do and set out to accomplish. We ate well (really well), laughed loud, and in the process all learned something new from one another.

But now it’s December 20th and my time has come to an end. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into back in August, but I’m glad I took the leap. The NPF has some exciting things to come and I’m happy to have been a part of the inception. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds, although I know it will be great!

To Bob, Jessica, Linda, Jenny, and Reyna: Your hard work and genuine efforts do not go unnoticed. Thank you for the strides you make. I am grateful for this opportunity; I’ll miss you all and promise to keep in touch!

And to interns to come… let’s just say you’re in for a treat!

-Keiana Smith McDowell, NPF Intern Fall 2013


Tagged About NPF
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NPF Sponsors 2 journalists to participate in the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists

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This fall the National Press Foundation sponsored two participants to attend the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists. Eric Morath of The Wall Street Journal and Kate Davidson of POLITICO,  both pictured here with NPF Director of Operations Jessica Jean-Francois, attended lectures for four days at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School.

“The Wharton Seminars were fantastic opportunity to break away from the daily grind and focus on what makes the economy and companies tick,” Morath said. “The world-class instruction gave me more confidence in my reporting and allowed me to return to my beat with a list of story ideas.”

Business, Finance, Real Estate and the Economy were taught by Wharton professors including Susan Wachter, Olivia Mitchell, Mike Useem, Brian Bushee, Mauro Guillen, Christopher Geczy and Jennifer Blouin.

“The Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists provided an unbelievable opportunity to meet some of the best and smartest sources in the finance world, and to see them from a student's perspective, rather than in a 15-minute interview,” Davidson said. “The sessions were a snapshot of their typical curriculum, and we never felt like they were giving us the "lite" version. I was also humbled by the caliber and diversity of my fellow classmates -- some of the top journalists in the world, covering everything from energy to Silicon Valley to the gambling industry.”

For more information about applying for next year’s Wharton’s Seminars for Business Journalists and the National Press Foundation fellowship, please CLICK HERE 

See some recent stories by Kate Davidson

See some recent stories by Eric Morath

Tagged Awards
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