Miami Law Joins Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and UM School of Communication to Train Probing Journalists


The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and the University of Miami School of Communication have announced a new partnership to train students to produce in-depth news reports, investigative stories and other news content. The partnership includes an internship program for journalism students in the School of Communication's Department of Journalism and Media Management and collaborations with students from the University of Miami School of Law, whose casework could lead to stories that expose injustice.

The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, known by the acronym FCIR, moved its headquarters to the School of Communication in January but will remain independent from the school.

"It's really exciting to think about the kind of projects our students will be able to get involved with," said Dr. Terry Bloom, Chair of the Department of Journalism and Media Management. "Investigative work can be eye-opening to a young journalist, and with mentoring and assistance from FCIR, our student reporters will be equipped to dig deeper into important issues for our state."

The Department of Journalism & Media Management offers a curriculum that combines classroom and hands-on experiential learning with digital technologies. Students practice skills they have learned in the classroom and by working in student-run media, including the campus newspaper, The Miami Hurricane, cable TV channel UMTV and radio station WVUM 90.5. UM journalism students have won important awards for their work, including an Emmy and honors from The Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Broadcasting Society. The department's faculty includes noted scholars and working professionals who have excelled in the industry.

"This partnership is exciting for both law students and FCIR," said Jill Barton, a Lecturer in Law and a former reporter for the Associated Press. "Miami Law students will now be able to work side by side with investigative journalists. Lawyers and journalists value many of the same skills, including researching, interviewing, and storytelling, so a collaboration is natural. Miami Law students are already investigating and writing about civil and criminal legal issues. By receiving additional guidance from the experienced journalists at FCIR, our law students will conduct investigations and write articles that will have even more impact."

"We're thrilled to partner with the University of Miami and call its Coral Gables campus home," FCIR Associate Directors Trevor Aaronson and Mc Nelly Torres said in a joint statement. "Having the University of Miami as a partner will strengthen FCIR's accountability reporting and educational mission."

"From the start, education has been integral to the mission of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting," added Sharon Rosenhause, president of the FCIR board of directors. "We're excited about working with the dynamic programs and journalism and law students at UM."

Founded in 2010, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit, digital and bilingual news organization. The staff of journalists at FCIR is dedicated to producing investigative stories that expose corruption, waste and injustice. The organization produces multiplatform stories on topics including education, immigration, government and criminal justice. Funded in part by entities such as the Oklahoma-based Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, FCIR partners with traditional news media throughout the state, including Florida's NPR stations, newspapers such as the Miami Herald and The Ledger of Lakeland, television stations such as NBC Channel 6 in Miami, and ethnic and Spanish-language news outlets.

Last year, FCIR received honors from the National Headliner Awards, the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Contest, the National Awards for Education Reporting and the Green Eyeshade Awards.

Click here for a list of FCIR special reports.