Today is deadline to register for Nov. 15 Covering Substance Abuse and Recovery journalism workshop in Ashland

From Al Cross, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
TODAY is the deadline to register for Covering Substance Abuse and Recovery: A Workshop for Journalists, to be held in Ashland on Nov. 15. Space is limited. Details and registration are here.

The workshop has been designed with rural journalists in mind, because research at Oak Ridge Associated Universities has found that the stigma still attached to drug abuse keeps people from seeking help. “The increasing news media reports of opioid-related overdoses and crimes has led many to overlook the fact that prevention programs are working and that many people are entering treatment and living in active recovery,” ORAU said in a report on its study.

Sharon Burton, publisher and editor of the Adair County Community Voice and KPA Vice President, is one of the featured speakers

It also said local news media could help by reporting more success stories from people in recovery. “We think stigma also discourages some news outlets from reporting on substance abuse and recovery, and that’s why we’re holding this workshop,” said Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which publishes The Rural Blog.

“We have a national-quality lineup of reporters who have won Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage, a weekly newspaper editor-publisher who has tackled the subject head-on, a recovering addict who writes a newspaper column about his experiences, and several experts on the subject,” Cross told editors in an email this week. “We don’t know of another such workshop having been held anywhere, and we want you to be part of it.”

The workshop will be held at the Marriott Delta Downtown from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 15. Early arrivals have an informal gathering at the hotel the night before, and a special room rate of $109 is available through today. The registration fee is $60.
Cross wrote, “As we planned this workshop, I thought of one of the best-known lines from the play Death of a Salesman: ‘He’s not the finest character that ever lived. But he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.’ Let’s pay attention to these people and their problem, and help solve it.”

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