McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute- Follow the Money: Fraud and the Affordable Care Act

mccormick logo2011 Iraq/Afghanistan War Veterans:  Battle on the Homefront What- Follow the Money: Fraud and the Affordable Care Act is a workshop designed to teach participants where to look for fraud connected to the massive new government program, how to uncover it, and how to present the findings in a compelling and understandable way.

When- June 15-18, 2014

Where- The New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University

Cost- The cost of the program is generously covered by a grant from The McCormick Foundation. Hotels, airfare, meals and tuition will be covered by the grant. Incidentals and spending money is not covered.

Who- Application is only open to journalists reporting within the United States.

Requirement- To participate in this training you'll need to secure an agreement from your editor that he/she will meet with you after the workshop to discuss a plan for coverage of fraud associated with the affordable care act.

Application- Click here to apply

Deadline- April 15, 2014

Details- Obamacare is destined to be THE major story of 2014 and one of the major issues of the mid-term elections. With trillions of taxpayer dollars at stake it's imperative for journalists to approach this topic with a watchdog mentality. Understanding where fraud might occur and how to uncover it within a very complex program requires specialized training. Reporters need to understand how insurance companies can manipulate the system for their own benefit, how individuals can scam the system, the limitations of government oversight, which documents will be crucial to investigating fraud in the program, how to analyze documents, and much more.  


David Donald is data editor at the Center for Public Integrity, where he oversees data analysis and computer-assisted reporting. His work has ranged from an investigation into the top sub-prime lenders behind the financial meltdown to the under reporting of campus sexual assault to the methods Medicare providers have used for years to overcharge the government healthcare program. Prior to the Center, he served as training director for Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, conducting training sessions in the United States and internationally for thousands of journalists. He is the recipient of the Philip Meyer Award for the best journalism using social science methods, the James K. Batten Award, a Peabody Award, the Dart Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism Washington program and at Savannah State University in Savannah, Ga.

Byron Harris has been a news reporter for more than four decades, primarily with WFAA-TV in Dallas. As an investigative reporter, he has been noted for his work with two George Foster Peabody Awards, as well as six DuPont Columbia Batons, including the only Gold Baton ever awarded to a local commercial television station. He has received four Edward R. Murrow Awards, three Gerald Loeb Awards for Business Reporting, the National Press Club Award for Consumer Reporting and an Aviation and Space Writers National Award. He has written for Texas Monthly, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. Harris received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Al Tompkins is the Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. For almost 10 years, thousands of people a day read his online journalism story idea column “Al’s Morning Meeting” on  Tompkins is the author of the book “Aim for the Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters,” which was adopted by more than 75 universities as their main broadcast writing textbook.  He has co-authored four editions of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s “Newsroom Ethics” workbook. Tompkins joined Poynter’s faculty from his job as news director at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn. For 24 years, he worked as a photojournalist, reporter, producer, anchor, assistant news director, special projects/investigations director, documentary producer and news director.

Fred Schulte is a senior reporter at the Center for Public Integrity. He is a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, most recently in 2007 for a series on Baltimore’s arcane ground rent system. Schulte’s other Pulitzer-nominated projects exposed excessive heart surgery death rates in veterans’ hospitals, substandard care by health insurance plans treating low-income people and the hidden dangers of cosmetic surgery in medical offices. He spent much of his career at the Baltimore Sun and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Schulte has received the George Polk Award, two Investigative Reporters and Editors awards, three Gerald Loeb Awards for business writing and two Worth Bingham Prizes for investigative reporting. The University of Virginia graduate is also the author of Fleeced!, an exposé of telemarketing scams. More about Fred Schulte