Early Childhood Reporting Institute: Covering Trauma, Resilience and the Developing Brain

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The Dart Center is offering a four-day global reporting institute for journalists on early childhood development, trauma, and resilience June 28 - July 1 at Columbia Journalism School in New York City. The application deadline has passed.

For journalists around the world, children are often at the forefront of reporting, on beats ranging from education and crime to refugees, conflict and international public health. Quite simply, children are the news - whether as the subjects of stories, the targets of social policies, or the victims of family violence, natural disaster, or war. Yet too often, reporting overlooks crucial innovations in the scientific understanding of early childhood, the impact of trauma on developing minds and the policies that promote resilience and growth in the face of violence, stress and upheaval.

To foster more effective reporting on vulnerable children, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of Columbia Journalism School, is launching the Early Childhood Reporting Initiative: Covering Trauma, Resilience and the Developing Brain. This new series of workshops, supported by a consortium of international foundations, will provide journalists around the world with the knowledge, skills and resources to incorporate emerging science and policy on early childhood development into their coverage.

The first Global Reporting Institute will be a four-day program at Columbia Journalism School in New York City June 28 to July 1, 2018. Subsequent workshops are planned for: Amman, Jordan; Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; Mumbai, India; and Rio di Janeiro, Brazil.

The first globally-themed institute – open by application and limited to 25 journalists from around the world – is designed for reporters on any beat touching the first seven years of life, whether schools or health, war or social policy, neighborhoods or refugees. It will focus on advancements in neuroscience and their implications for child development, concentrating especially on vulnerable children living in extreme poverty and unstable environments.

The program, based on a pilot workshop held at Columbia in 2017, will also address national and international policy on health, education and related fields. Other topics may include the building blocks of brain development, impacts of stress on early brain development, successful intervention models and the influence of technology.

This interactive workshop will include panels and presentations by leading neuroscientists, economists, and child development experts, as well as journalist-to-journalist seminars on how to translate these issues and themes into meaningful stories and relevant, captivating news coverage. The curriculum aims to share knowledge, encourage deeper reporting and foster lasting relationships between journalists and international researchers, scholars and practitioners. Speakers include:

  • Keynote: Nadine Burke Harris, MD, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Center for Youth Wellness
  • Keynote: Lynne Jones, OBE, FRCPsych, PhD, Course Director, Mental Health in Complex Emergencies, International Institute for Humanitarian Affairs, Fordham University; Consultant, World Health Organization
  • Jennifer Anderson, Reporter, Quartz
  • Marta Rubio Codina, PhD, Senior Economist, Child Development Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank
  • John Woodrow Cox, Enterprise Reporter, The Washington Post
  • Theresa S. Betancourt, ScD, Salem Professor in Global Practice, Boston College School of Social Work; Director, Research Program on Children and Adversity, Boston College
  • Sally Grantham-McGregor, MD, Emeritus Professor of International Child Health, Institute of Child Health, University College London
  • Cassie Landers, EdD, Professor of Population and Family Health, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Joan Lombardi, PhD, Senior Advisor on Global Child Development Strategies, Bernard van Leer Foundation
  • Dana Charles McCoy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Charles Nelson, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Neuroscience and Psychology, Harvard Medical School; Professor of Education, Harvard University; Professor in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education in the Teachers College at Columbia University
  • Hirokazu Yoshikawa, PhD, Courtney Sale Ross Professor of Globalization and Education, NYU Steinhardt; Co-Director, NYU Global TIES for Children Center

Up to six selected participants will receive micro-reporting fellowships of $500-$1000 USD to pursue stories following the program on one or more of the institute topics. Journalists from across the media spectrum with a minimum of three years’ professional experience are eligible to apply.

Roundtrip international or domestic travel, three-four nights of hotel lodging, ground transportation and most meals will be covered for the 25 selected participants.

The application deadline for the June 28 - July 1 global workshop being held at Columbia Journalism School has passed.

This three-year initiative has been underwritten by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Jacobs Foundation, the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation and The Two Lilies Fund.