Originally recorded on May 25, 2023
About the webinar:
In 2023, one of the biggest stories journalists across the country will be covering is the millions of dollars being distributed from settlements of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies. These are dollars that city, county, and/or state policymakers will be charged with spending to mitigate the harms of the opioid epidemic in communities big and small. But this story won’t come and go. Over the next 18 years, local journalists will be tasked with covering how the money is spent and holding their community leaders accountable for their choices.
In this training, journalists are provided with a brief history of the lawsuits and the subsequent settlements from which this money is being distributed. We review the resources that already exist to help you cover these stories, review the questions you should be asking now, discuss how solutions-focused stories can benefit your community and look to the future – with story ideas and sources that can help you continue to cover this developing story.
Whether you’re the only reporter in your newsroom or one of many, this training will help journalists at any level tackle these critical stories today.
About the presenters:
Jonathan JK Stoltman is co-director of Reporting on Addiction and Director of the Opioid Policy Institute. In 2019, he completed his PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from West Virginia University and has worked as a researcher focusing on opioid addiction treatment for the past decade. Jonathan’s academic work has appeared in leading journals and at national conferences. Their current work focuses on addiction stigma, the media, and digital approaches to addiction treatment.
Ashton Marra is the co-director of Reporting on Addiction and the executive editor of its founding partner 100 Days in Appalachia, a 2021 national Edward R. Murrow award-winning nonprofit digital publication. There, she oversees the work of a team of editors, contributors and reporters across Appalachia to create content by Appalachians for Appalachians. Ashton is also a teaching assistant professor in the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, where she teaches news writing, video storytelling and community-focused journalism. She’s spent more than a decade working as a professional journalist for both public media and commercial news outlets, on local, statewide and national platforms, including NPR and ABC News.