CHICAGO – In partnership with WBEZ Chicago, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy will host a unique professional development symposium training 30 Chicago journalists to be more effective and accurate interpreters of the abundance of data, polling, and academic research available in today’s news climate.

Applications are being accepted through November 8 for the Foundations of Evidence in Data Journalism program, which will be held December 9 and 10 and will provide reporters with the skills to effectively process and evaluate quantitative sources of information.

“Journalists today have access to more quantitative information than ever before that, if properly understood, can reveal new discoveries and breakthroughs, measure effectiveness, and identify important trends in the communities we serve,” said Tracy Brown, managing editor for WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station. “We’re thrilled to be part of an in-depth program that taps in to Harris Public Policy’s expertise to help journalists receive training to assess and interpret data, and importantly, more effectively use data in their reporting.”  

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita
Ethan Bueno de Mesquita

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, Sydney Stein Professor and Deputy Dean at Harris, and Anthony Fowler, Associate Professor, will lead the symposium’s in-class instruction that will rely upon a mix of lectures, case studies, pertinent real-world examples, and group activities.

“Our hope is that participants leave the program with an understanding of the core principles they need to improve the use of data across their newsrooms,” said Bueno de Mesquita. “The program will teach methods to separate credible from non-credible evidence, distinguish causation from correlation, and avoid common pitfalls in interpreting quantitative evidence.”  

Anthony Fowler
Anthony Fowler

The symposium will take place in the Sky Suite of Harris’s state-of-the-art home, The Keller Center, in December.

Participation is open to working reporters, editors, producers, and other journalists. Preference is considered for journalists generating news content for or from the Chicago-area media market. Applicants should include a short statement of support from their associated news outlet that confirms the applicant files stories for the outlet and that all efforts will be made to clear the applicant’s schedule to participate in full-day sessions on December 9 and 10. 

There will be three application rounds with deadlines as follows:

  • Early Action: September 30, 2019
  • Round One: October 25, 2019
  • Round Two: November 8, 2019

For more information and to submit an application for the program, visit Foundations of Evidence in Data Journalism.

About the UChicago Harris School of Public Policy

For more than three decades, the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy has been driven by the belief that evidence-based research, not ideology or intuition, is the best guide for public policy. Guided by this exacting perspective, our exceptional community of scholars, students, and more than 3,000 alumni take on the world’s most pressing problems using the latest tools of social science. As one of the largest professional schools at the University of Chicago, Harris Public Policy offers a full range of degree and executive education programs to empower a new generation of data-driven leaders to create a measurable social impact throughout our global society. This is Harris Public Policy: Social Impact, Down to a Science.

About WBEZ Chicago

WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station, serves the community with fact-based, objective news and information. WBEZ’s award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding. In addition to its local and national news programming, WBEZ Chicago is home to a growing portfolio of popular podcasts, including the “Making” series of Making Obama and Making Oprah; 16 Shots: a podcast about the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald; Nerdette; and Sound Opinions. WBEZ Chicago has a legacy of innovation as the birthplace of nationally acclaimed programs such as This American Life, and Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! and the ground-breaking podcast, Serial.

Download the WBEZ app, available in the App Store and Google Play. Learn more about WBEZ Chicago and its award-winning programming and on-demand digital content at wbez.org or on Facebook or Twitter.