• State on inequality

    How local policies matter
  • All Expenses Paid

    Fully Funded Fellowships by Ravitch Program
  • The Politics of Budgets

    Why Mayors Make Dumb Decisions
  • Understanding Pensions

    and Health Care Too
  • Better Fiscal Reporting

    On State and Local Issues


The Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program was the best week of journalism I’ve had in a long time, and perhaps ever. Resources for news training are extremely scarce in my part of the country, as is time, so attending the all-expenses paid program was like winning the lottery.”




The pandemic has made it clear how coverage of local economies needs to be improved. The Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program at the Newmark J School will launch a new three-day seminar from June 16 to June 18 on how to cover local economies for both those who have attended previous sessions and those who are new to the program.
The application is here:
Specify you are applying to the economic seminar.
As always, the Ravitch program will pay all expenses. It will be in-person. Attendees should plan to arrive on Tuesday June 15 and can depart after 5 pm on Friday June 18. Under current social distancing rules, the limit is 20, although the numbers may be expanded if social distancing rules are relaxed.
Wednesday June 16
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
The first Friday of every month, the national economic reporters write about the latest numbers on jobs and unemployment as a way to take the pulse of a local economy. The same numbers are available for states and cities (two weeks later) and local reporters can do the same to keep track of the local economy. Greg David
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Covering small business. Small businesses make up the overwhelming number of businesses in most communities. But coverage is unsophisticated (to be charitable). This session delves into how to cover small businesses skeptically, how to do both trend and individual company stories and where to get the numbers. Cara Eisenpress.
4 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Debrief and story ideas session. Greg David.
Thursday June 17 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Covering unions and worker issues. It’s an old story that unions are losing clout in American. But the Biden administration is out to change that and so are both traditional unions and a host of new worker organizations. This session will tackle both the big picture and all the sources that are available. Michael Grabell of ProPublica.
1 pm to 4 pm Covering Real Estate
Real estate is the bread and butter of local business publications. This session will explain the many data points available to improve residential coverage and how to cover commercial real estate and how to integrate it into broader economic coverage.
4 pm to 5 pm: Debrief and story discussion for Friday. Greg
Friday June 18
Each attendee will produce a story for their outlet, which Greg will edit, followed by a debrief about 3 pm


The Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program is accepting applications for the session to be held Aug. 8 – Aug. 13. The session for June 6-11 is filled.

The session will cover the traditional topics of budgets, bonds, pensions and tax incentives as well as a deep dive into the pandemic and how it has affected local governments.

An estimated 20 slots are available for August, although the number may be increased depending on guidelines

The application is here: https://ravitch.journalism.cuny.edu/application.

Acceptance for August will accept qualified applicants on a first-come, first in basis.

As always, the program will pay all your transportation, hotel and food expenses. You are only responsible for personal expenses.

Any questions, just email greg.david@journalism.cuny.edu


The Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York  provides advanced training in state and local fiscal issues through week-long and weekend programs emphasizing in-depth knowledge of key controversies, overcoming reporting challenges and improving storytelling. It will help reporters stay on top of breaking issues through its email newsletter and website, and create a network of reporters covering the beat. The Ravitch Program is funded by generous grants from Richard Ravitch, long-time New York civic leader.