Goldschmidt Data Immersion Workshop in Washington, D.C.

SABEW’s 2020 Goldschmidt Fellowship data immersion workshop will be Jan. 13 through 17 in Washington, D.C. Fellows will learn from the government professionals that gather and analyze the nation’s economic data.

This is the seventh year of the workshop, which is funded by a grant from the Chicago-based Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation.

The week-long event will include:

• Federal Reserve
• U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
• U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
• U.S. Census Bureau
• Investment Company Institute
• Congressional Budget Office and other agencies
• FOIA training, tracking down hidden data and more!

Seventeen applicants will be selected as fellows. Out-of-town participants will receive stipends of up to $500 (depending on need and location) toward food and travel costs. Five nights of lodging and breakfast will be provided at the new AC Hotel south of DuPont Circle. Washington-area fellows will receive $75 to offset costs. Participants or their employers must cover any additional expenses. Attendance at all sessions is required.

Employers are expected to give the participants time to learn and not require work during the week. The workshop seeks reporters or editors of all experience levels. All applicants must be SABEW members.

The workshop will focus on understanding how the government uses data, and participants will be able to speak directly with those who compile and manage the statistics. Journalists will talk with experts at Census, BEA and BLS and explore the large cache of data each agency produces, as well as understand its importance to readers.

Previous fellows praised the program as highly useful. “Hardly a week goes by when I don’t draw on that experience,” said Paul Edward Parker, a business reporter for the Providence Journal and a 2014 Goldschmidt fellow.

The workshop will be led by Marty Steffens, SABEW chair at the University of Missouri, and Kevin G. Hall, SABEW past president and chief economics correspondent and senior investigative reporter for McClatchy Washington Bureau.

Steffens has organized more than 100 workshops, many for SABEW, since she became an endowed chair in 2002. Hall was part of the 2017 Pulitzer-winning team that dissected the Panama Papers.

“Business reporting is a process of continuing education,” Steffens said. “To do the job right, reporters need immersion training, not just spot training. The training is intensive, hands-on and classroom-style.”

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