Looming Public Pension Crises Bring 22 Journalists Together to Learn Techniques to Better Cover Thorny Issue Affecting More and More States

May 20, 2011

SABEW, McCormick Foundation host Phoenix institute June 1-3

PHOENIX, May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Looming crises in the funding of the nation’s public pension systems and how the media can better cover them will be the focus of a high-caliber reporting institute for business journalists here June 1-3.

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers, with the generous support of a $40,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation and assistance and guidance from the Poynter Institute, will provide 22 journalists with intense training and important tools to cover this thorny issue as it affects public employees and taxpayers in their home states.

Twenty-two journalists from 15 states and the District of Columbia were specially chosen to gather at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Ten speakers/discussion leaders in this important public policy development will guide the learning process. They include David Crane of Stanford University; Lynn Turner, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s former chief accountant and now managing director at Glass, Lewis & Company, a proxy advisory firm; and Ron Snell, the National Conference of State Legislatures’ public pensions expert.

Other speakers include:

  • Arizona Republic reporter Craig Harris, whose coverage in December of Arizona’s troubled public pension system won the Toner Award given by the Newhouse School of Syracuse University.
  • Chicago Tribune reporter Jason Grotto, whose reporting in November focused on the acute nature of the issue in Chicago and Illinois.
  • Mary Williams Walsh, who covers public pensions for The New York Times and is considered the leader on the national beat.
  • David Milstead, formerly of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, who has developed training programs on the issue. He is helping to shape the Phoenix program.
  • Keith Brainerd, research director of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.
  • John Christie, publisher of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, whose seminal work at a Maine non-profit startup, has set the agenda in his state.
  • Kirk Adams, outgoing House speaker at the Arizona Legislature, who spearheaded reform legislation at the recently concluded session.
  • Paul Matson, director of the Arizona State Retirement System.
  • Steve Doig, journalist, professor and data expert at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University.

For more information:


For more information, contact Warren Watson

602-496-5186 (o), 765-702-8824 (c);watson@sabew.org

SOURCE Society of American Business Editors and Writers

Source: newswire

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