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Covering the U.S. Visa System and Its Flaws

About This Course

More than 9 million people a year legally enter the U.S. There are dozens of types of visas in the U.S. system, deeply affecting nearly every community and many U.S. industries.

With the continuing concerns over immigration, journalists need the resources and knowledge to report on the visa programs that allow some to pay their way in and force others to wait years for a change in status.

This Webinar will cover student visas, worker visas and lesser known visas like the investor visa, which gives immigrants residency in exchange for an investment in the U.S. economy.



What Will I Learn?

  • How to find reports, audits and investigations that will tip you off to visa issues and scandals and give you context for your reporting
  • How to analyze national and regional databases that can be localized for your reporting
  • How to develop story ideas that can jumpstart your work
  • How to keep up with the latest issues through following websites, social media and other journalists’ work
  • How to find and evaluate the right experts and community groups to interview

Who Should Take this Course?

Reporters, editors and producers in any medium who need to cover immigration, visa and workplace issues in their area or who are periodically assigned stories involving visa programs including student visas, work visas or investor visas.

Course Instructor

Brant Houston

Brant Houston is the Knight Chair of Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, teaching investigative and advanced reporting. Houston became the chair after serving for more than a decade as the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a 4,000-member organization, and as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Before joining IRE, he was an award-winning investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 17 years.

Houston also is the author of three editions of the textbook, Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide, and co-author of the fourth edition and fifth edition of The Investigative Reporter's Handbook. Currently he is working on projects involving nonprofit journalism, ethnic media newsrooms and new technologies for newsgathering. You can follow him on Twitter at @branthouston.


Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.

This $30 course is free thanks to the generous support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

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See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.