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SABEW offers all-expenses-paid seminar on covering public pensions June 1-3

The Arizona Republic public pensions Craig Harris

Craig Harris notes that public pensions cost $1.4 billion a year in a video introduction to his Arizona Republic series: "Public Pensions, A Soaring Burden."

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers is offering up to 20 all-expenses-paid fellowships to attend a seminar on covering public pensions in Phoenix June 1-3.

The training is supported by a $40,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation. It will be held at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where SABEW is headquartered.

Interested journalists should email Warren Watson, SABEW executive director,  or call 602-496-5186.

Two journalists whose newspapers separately published their work on the issue, Craig Harris of  The Arizona Republic and Jason Grotto of the Chicago Tribune, will be among the speakers. Harris recently won the first Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting for his coverage of public pensions in Arizona. Also speaking is Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism at Arizona State.

David Milstead of SABEW, a Denver journalist who has developed seminars on public pensions, is helping to formulate the program.

The Pew Center on the States, a nonprofit that focuses on state policy issues, has estimated that a $1 trillion gap exists between what the states are setting aside for public employees’ retirement benefits and how much those benefits will cost.

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