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Covering the Budget Crisis in Your City or State

About This Course

It’s happening everywhere. Governments big and small are trying to cut spending but still provide basic services. To cover that story, you need to know how to read and analyze a budget, how to dissect a union contract and how to generate stories that will stand out.

Research Aids

Story Examples

What Will I Learn?

  • The basic elements of budgeting
  • How to analyze your city or town’s budget
  • How to critically examine union contracts
  • How to track stimulus funds and assess whether those dollars were spent wisely

Who Should Take this Course?

Journalists and others who cover issues related to local and regional government budget cuts.

Course Instructor

Joe Bergantino

Joe Bergantino is the co-founder, co-director and senior investigative reporter of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Bergantino has been a national and local investigative reporter for almost 30 years. He spent most of his career as the I-Team Reporter for WBZ-TV in Boston. He also did investigative reporting for WPLG-TV, the Washington Post-owned TV station in Miami, and spent five years as a correspondent for ABC News where he reported for World News Tonight, Nightline and Good Morning America.


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.

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