Learn how to better cover elections through free online course through the Knight Center

Trusting News invites you to improve your election coverage this year by learning how to center your reporting on your community instead of focusing on the horse race with this free course from the Knight Center.

The course, organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas in partnership with The Solutions Journalism Network will be held from March 25- April 21, 2024. During the course, students will learn how to reinvent elections and campaign coverage to serve communities better and strengthen democracy. 

The course is for anyone (reporters, editors, students and aspiring journalists) who is dissatisfied with traditional coverage of politics, elections and democracy and wants tools and strategies to increase trust and engagement, reduce polarization, and employ solutions journalism to help communities address problems and hold politicians to account.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Craft a strong mission statement that clearly articulates how you and/or your newsroom approach coverage of elections and democracy.
  • Engage deeply with your audiences to learn what they want politicians to be talking about, in a way that’s reciprocal, not extractive.
  • Identify and report strong solutions stories that help communities solve problems and hold politicians accountable for addressing them.
  • Produce campaign stories in ways that build trust and reduce polarization rather than increase distrust and divides.

Trusting News will be providing training and tools to help you articulate your approach to covering elections by guiding you through how to create a mission statement for your coverage and answer basic questions about how you cover politics (including which races you decide to cover or not cover, how you fact-check, how you work to be fair and more). Our team will also be providing tips on how to eliminate polarization in your coverage. Using our tools, newsrooms have learned to pay careful attention to word choice, story framing and source selection to avoid contributing to polarizing narratives around politics.

We hope you will join us by registering here.

The course is free and asynchronous. This means you can complete the course at your own pace, completing activities and participating in discussions as your schedule allows. The course will include a combination of video lectures, readings, discussions, and quizzes, along with some opportunities for interactive learning via discussion forums and live office hours. 

The live interactions, including the office hours with the instructors, will be offered March 25th- April 21st, 2024. If you do not participate during those dates, the sessions will be recorded for viewing and access later.

We hope you will join us by registering here.

This English-language course will be led by the following team of instructors:

  • Jaisal Noor, Democracy Initiative manager at The Solutions Journalism Network, leads the Advancing Democracy Fellowship, assisting newsrooms in improving political coverage. He’s reported for outlets like Democracy Now! and The Atlantic and supports US Democracy Day for pro-democracy journalism. 
  • Jennifer Brandel, Co-founder & CEO of Hearken, is an award-winning journalist who founded and led the ground-breaking audience-first journalism series Curious City at WBEZ Chicago.
  • Lynn Walsh, Emmy Award-winning journalist and Assistant Director at Trusting News, has over 15 years of experience in investigative, data, and TV journalism and is a former national president and ethics chair for the Society of Professional Journalists.
  • Julia Hotz, Solutions Journalism Network’s Fellowships Manager, created and leads SJN’s LEDE Fellowship and Complicating the Narratives (CTN) Fellowship and now reports for “The Connection Cure.”

lynn@trustingnews.org | + posts

Assistant director Lynn Walsh (she/her) is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked in investigative journalism at the national level and locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. She is the former Ethics Chair for the Society of Professional Journalists and a past national president for the organization. Based in San Diego, Lynn is also an adjunct professor and freelance journalist. She can be reached at lynn@TrustingNews.org and on Twitter @lwalsh.