McGraw Hill Markets Reporting Program


The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) offered two online courses in English and Spanish on intriguing topics such as how to plan for retirement, understanding your 401(k), stock and bond markets, mutual funds and private and public companies. These courses were available to U.S. journalists who reported in minority communities. The online courses took place from October 22, 2012 through December 16, 2012. All applicants were asked to propose a project that they developed throughout the length of the course. A mentoring period to help participants finalize their projects took place from December 17, 2012 until January 25, 2013.

The courses were open to Spanish-speaking and English-speaking journalists working within minority communities in the United States. Participants learned how to effectively cover consumer and marketing finance issues including topics ranging from credit and lending, housing and mortgages to retirement planning and investing.

Xavier Serbia with participants from last year's Personal Finance Reporting Program.

The Spanish course was led by Xavier Serbia, the editor-in-chief and founder of Xavierserbia.com. Serbia is a personal finance syndicated columnist and has written for various Hispanic media outlets. He has extensive professional experience with ICFJ, serving as the lead trainer during last year's McGraw Hill Personal Finance Reporting Program.

The English course was led by Chris Roush, who teaches business and economics reporting at the University of North Carolina and has written six books, including two about business journalism. Roush has also previously served as an online course trainer for ICFJ's programs.


The program was divided into three parts:

  • an eight-week online training on financial markets and consumer business

  • a six-week online mentoring period, during which participants produced stories to publish them in the media

  • a three-day field trip to New York City, where selected participants had the opportunity to meet and interview with notable financial experts.

At the end of the online courses, three participants recieved a McGraw Hill Markets Reporting Award and cash prizes of US$2,000, US$1,000 and US$500.

For more information, please contact Tom Albrecht at talbrecht@icfj.org.

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