The Poynter Institute is a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists. You can reach us by phone at 727.821.9494.

‘Poynter Pitch’ Official Rules

OFFICIAL RULES
Pitch to Poynter Contest

These rules are for the “Pitch to Poynter” Contest (“the Contest”), with entry into the Contest beginning Friday, October 1, 2010 at 11:05 a.m. Eastern Time and ending Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time. Entry into the Contest constitutes the entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these rules, terms and conditions.

ELIGIBILITY

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Purchase will not improve chances of winning. The Contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry, except that employees of The Poynter Institute, Times Publishing Company, their affiliates and subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, contest prize suppliers, and participating advertisers and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter or win. “Immediate family members” means parents, siblings, spouses, children, grandparents and grandchildren, whether by current or past marriage, remarriage, adoption or cohabitation, and anyone living in the same household, whether related or not. The Poynter Institute’s determination as to eligibility is final and binding.

HOW TO ENTER

All entries must be received on or before 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 13. Only one entry per person is permitted. To enter the contest, upload a YouTube video tagged “poynterpitch” by 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 13 that describes the news product or service you’re building. Keep the video to under three minutes. Tell us the basics of your business idea: 1) The problem/opportunity you seek to address 2) Your solution, or your idea 3) Who else is doing this 4) Your planned revenue streams, and 5) The skills and credentials of you and your team. E-mail your video to pitch@poynter.org with a link to the video.

The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

In order to be considered, entries must be received by the time and date stated above. The Poynter Institute (“Sponsor”) is not responsible for late, lost, incomplete, misdirected, damaged, garbled, jumbled, illegible or ineligible entries or for any computer, online, telephone, cable, network, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunctions or failures, or any human or technical errors that may occur. Sponsor is not responsible for any other problems or errors in modes of transmission of entries. The use of any scheme, program or device to automate entry is prohibited. Any attempt by any entrant to tamper with or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest will, in the Sponsor’s sole discretion, result in disqualification. All decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding.

All entries become the property of the Sponsor. Each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that the Sponsor may use information submitted to contact Entrant and/or to offer Sponsor’s products or services.

PRIZES

Two (2) Winners will be selected, whose ideas best advance the journalistic ideals of The Poynter Institute (“standing for journalism, serving democracy”). Each Winner will spend up to two (2) weeks during the Winter of 2011 at Poynter Institute located in St. Petersburg, Florida where they will receive guidance on their journalism and business idea. Each Winner will also receive up to $10,000 worth of services in such areas as contracted accounting, legal, research and / or promotional work, plus coaching and mentoring by Poynter faculty and Poynter’s Ford Fellows in Entrepreneurial Teaching. The total value of all Prizes to be awarded shall not exceed $20,000 ($10,000 per Winner) to be used for contracted accounting, legal, research and / or promotional services.

No alternative Prize, cash or other substitution is permitted except in the event of Prize unavailability. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a Prize or Prizes of equal or greater value. Prizes are not transferable or assignable by the Winner, and may not be redeemed for cash.

Any federal, state and local taxes, fees, and surcharges, and any necessary or appropriate insurance, are the sole responsibility of the Winner. The Winner agrees to pay all such taxes, fees, and surcharges.

The Sponsor will provide up to $1,500 per week per Winner for transportation and living expenses, based on actual costs. Winner agrees to hold the Sponsor and Sponsor’s subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents harmless from any and all liability for damages or losses of any nature incurred in connection with the Prize, including but not limited to transit to and from any destination in connection with the Prize.

NOTIFICATION OF WINNER

The Poynter Institute will review all entries and identify Contest Finalists, who will receive a questionnaire via email or secure link on or before Friday, October 15, 2011. The total number of Contest Finalists will be based upon the caliber of the entries, to be determined at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Finalists must submit their answers to the questionnaire via email or a secure link on or before 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 21, 2011. Winners will be notified by email or telephone on or before Wednesday, October 27, 2011.

If any Winner does not respond to the notification within twenty-four hours after notification by email or telephone, or any Winner does not meet all eligibility requirements including signing the Affidavit and Release referred to below, an alternate Winner will be selected from the Contest Finalists. Each Winner must produce adequate proof of identity, such as a driver license or photo I.D. card, in order to be awarded the Prize.

AFFIDAVIT AND RELEASE

The Winners will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and General Release, which includes an affirmation of eligibility, a release and waiver of legal claims, and consent to publicity. Failure to complete and sign the Affidavit of Eligibility and General Release will result in forfeiture of the Prize and its award to another Finalist.

CONTEST JUDGES

Judges for this Contest (and mentors for the Winners) are Bill Mitchell, leader of news transformation and entrepreneurship at Poynter, Wendy Wallace of Poynter’s entrepreneurship faculty and Poynter’s two Ford Fellows, Mark Briggs, co-founder of Serra Media and author of the books “Journalism 2.0″ and “Journalism Next,” and Jeremy Caplan, visiting professor in entrepreneurial journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York and former reporter for TIME and Newsweek.

WINNER’S LIST

For a list of Prize Winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope before November 15, 2010 to: Wendy W. Wallace, Entrepreneurship Faculty, 801 Third Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law.

By entering the Contest, the entrant, for him/herself and for his/her heirs, executors, administrators, assigns and anyone else claiming by or through him/her, waives, covenants not to sue and fully releases and forever discharges any and all rights, claims or causes of action whatsoever that he/she may have against Sponsor arising directly or indirectly out of entrant’s participation in the Contest. For purposes of this waiver and release, “Sponsor” includes Poynter Institute and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents. This waiver and release covers, without limitation, any damage, liability, cost, attorneys’ fees and expenses whatsoever, whether known or unknown and whether foreseeable or not.

Sponsor reserves the right to make changes in the rules of the Contest, including the substitution of a Prize of equivalent value, which will become effective upon announcement.

Sponsor is not responsible for typographical or other errors in printing, the offering, or the administration of the Contest or in the announcement of the Prize.

SPONSOR

The Sponsor of the Contest is the Poynter Institute, 801 Third Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Copyright 2010 The Poynter Institute. All Rights Reserved. Read more

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Wednesday, Oct. 06, 2010

Poynter’s NewsU and Knight Program in Media and Religion Offer New E-Learning Course

St. Petersburg, FL (Oct. 7, 2010) — Poynter’s e-learning project, News University, and the Knight Program in Media and Religion at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, announced today the launch of a new e-learning course on religion coverage designed for general assignment reporters, independent journalists and others who do not primarily cover religion as a beat.

The course, “Religion, Culture and Society: Getting Beyond the Cliches,” is offered free of charge, thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation. The e-learning module addresses the need to integrate informed and intelligent writing about religion into all areas of news coverage, as demonstrated by recent hot-button topics such as Glenn Beck and the growth of the Tea Party movement, revisions to the social studies curriculum in Texas public schools, the debate over Park51 and renewed tensions around Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

As specialty beats such as religion are cut back in mainstream news media — and as online news and opinion websites grow — there is an increased need for savvy and sensitive treatment of religious ideas, trends and personalities by journalists across the board.

In addition to editors, producers and reporters, the self-directed e-learning course also will serve journalism educators seeking to integrate modules about religion into reporting and writing classes. The course includes interactive learning, best practices and online resources. It specifically addresses the intersection of religion with such subjects as politics, science, the environment and foreign affairs.

The need for enhanced understanding of religion’s role has never been greater, said Diane Winston, Knight Chair in Media and Religion at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. “The recent Pew Forum survey revealed that Americans’ religious knowledge is poor to middling,” Winston said. “The e-course is an effective way for reporters to enhance what they know and make an impact on listeners, viewers and readers.”

Howard Finberg, director of interactive learning at The Poynter Institute, said the course is an important addition to the curriculum of Poynter’s NewsU. “It’s imperative that all journalists and journalism students know something about religion in today’s world,” he said. “This course addresses a key need for continuing education.”

For more information, go to www.newsu.org/courses/religion-culture-society
 
About Poynter’s News University
Poynter’s News University (www.newsu.org) offers training to journalists, journalism students, teachers and the public through more than 150 interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s website, (www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

About the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism is a national leader in education and scholarship in the fields of communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. With an enrollment of more than 2,200 students, USC Annenberg offers doctoral, graduate and undergraduate degree programs, as well as continuing development programs for working professionals, across a broad scope of academic inquiry. The school’s comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the core skills of leadership, innovation, service and entrepreneurship and draws upon the resources of a networked university located in the media capital of the world.

Contact:
Howard Finberg, Director of Interactive Learning
The Poynter Institute
727-821-9494
hfinberg@poynter.org

Diane Winston
Knight Chair in Media and Religion
USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
323-336-1851
dianewin@usc.edu

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Poynter to Assist McCormick Foundation with Specialized Reporting Institutes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The McCormick Foundation has selected Poynter to administer its 2011 Specialized Reporting Institutes (SRI) program, the popular series of intensive journalism workshops designed to provide subject-specific expertise and practical skills to working journalists. 

McCormick looks to Poynter to share its 35 years of training experience to increase the impact, effectiveness and visibility of the events. The $340,000 grant will cover Poynter’s costs and fund six to eight SRIs next year, one of which will be hosted by Poynter.

“The Institute’s experience, reach and resources, including our e-learning site, News University, enable us to enrich these important on-the-ground events,” said Poynter President Karen B. Dunlap. “We look forward to working with McCormick and next year’s SRI program hosts to help journalists cover stories that serve democracy.”

Clark Bell, the foundation’s journalism program director, said Poynter is the perfect choice to manage the SRI series.

“Poynter has conducted a number of our journalism trainings in the past, and we’ve always been highly satisfied with the results,” Bell said. “The organization’s knowledge, customer service and digital capabilities will only enhance the impact of the SRI program.”

Under the new partnership, Poynter will work with McCormick to create an online application process for organizations applying to host SRIs. Poynter will work with selected SRI hosts to create a custom training resource page on the News University website and to help measure outcomes of the events.
 
Typically, SRI hosts receive grants of $35,000-$50,000. An SRI is organized and administered by a non-profit host, which convenes a diverse group of 15-20 journalists, often from small to mid-sized news organizations, for a program lasting two to three days. Participants represent all media platforms, and grant funds cover all or most of participants’ travel, lodging and tuition.

The goals of a Specialized Reporting Institute are to:

  • Identify key sources and resources on the topic.
  • Develop story ideas for today, tomorrow and six months from now.
  • Enable reporters to meet like-minded colleagues for tips and support, during the training and beyond.
  • Build confidence for those new to the topic and help those more familiar to see new possibilities
  • Provide training and professional development to reporters working for smaller organizations, including community and ethnic media.
  • Share the learning with new tools and technology and by urging newsroom participants to host training for colleagues when they return home.

“I commend McCormick for the SRIs. They have long brought valuable information, insights, context and contacts to journalists,” Dunlap said. “In this digital era, when quality content must find its audience, Poynter is proud to be able to take the lessons of each SRI online, beyond the on-site walls, and reach thousands of journalists, academics, students and other content creators.”

About The Poynter Institute
Poynter trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and other citizens in the areas of multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s News University (www.newsu.org) offers interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities. Poynter’s website, (www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

About the McCormick Foundation
The McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Through its grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, museums, and civic outreach program the Foundation helps build a more active and engaged citizenry. It was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit www.McCormickFoundation.org.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Wendy Wallace, faculty, wwallace@poynter.org
; Jessica Sandler, marketing director, jsandler@poynter.org 
Phone: 1-888-POYNTER (1-888-769-6837)

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Friday, Oct. 01, 2010

Have a Journalism Startup Idea? Pitch it to Poynter

The ingredient list for a journalism startup once began with ink, presses and trucks. Now the recipe often starts with a domain, a niche and a strategy. The decline in launch costs has helped inspire a boom in journo startups. But just because it’s easier to start something doesn’t mean it’s easier to succeed.

What many journalism entrepreneurs need most is a path to sustainability. The Poynter Institute can help, thanks to 35 years of journalism training experience and a generous grant from the Ford Foundation.

Make your pitch to Poynter.

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Enter Poynter’s competition for online startups and you could win the Poynter Promise Prize. Two winners whose ideas best advance the journalistic ideals of The Poynter Institute (“standing for journalism, serving democracy”) will receive up to $10,000 each in contracted accounting, legal, research or promotion work, plus coaching and mentoring by Poynter faculty and our Ford Fellows in Entrepreneurial Teaching.

Winners will spend up to two weeks this winter at Poynter in St. Petersburg, Fla., receiving guidance on their journalism — and business — idea. Then, over the next six months, we’ll continue to coach the venture.

We’re looking for projects that would benefit most from incubation and whose progress might yield insights for other journalism startups around the country. Your business must already have initial funding, even if it is your own money. You must have an idea for a sustainable business model. You must be willing for Poynter to share our work together so that this project can be both a laboratory and a showcase for lessons learned.

Enter your pitch today. Here’s how:

Create a video by Tuesday, Oct. 12, that describes the news product or service you’re building. E-mail pitch@poynter.org with a link to the video. Include in your message the name of your project and your name and contact info.

Keep your video to under three minutes and tell us the basics of your business idea:

1) The problem/opportunity you seek to address
2) Your solution, or your idea
3) Who else is doing this
4) Your planned revenue streams
5) The skills and credentials of you and your team.

Poynter will review all entries and identify finalists, who will receive a follow-up questionnaire by Friday, Oct. 15. Finalists must submit their answers by Wednesday, Oct. 20. Winners will be notified by Wednesday, Oct. 27. Send any questions you may have to pitch@poynter.org.

Judges for this competition (and mentors for the winners) are Bill Mitchell, leader of entrepreneurial journalism programs at Poynter, Wendy Wallace, a member of Poynter’s entrepreneurship faculty, and Poynter’s two Ford Fellows, Mark Briggs, co-founder of Serra Media and author of the books “Journalism 2.0″ and “Journalism Next,” and Jeremy Caplan, visiting professor in entrepreneurial journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York and longtime Time Magazine contributor. 

Let Poynter put you on the path to business and journalistic success. Make your pitch today. Be among the first to win the Poynter Promise Prize.
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Thursday, Sep. 09, 2010

Poynter’s NewsU Introduces New Certificate Program

St. Petersburg, FL (September 8, 2010) – Poynter’s e-learning project, News University, announced today the launch of its new Certificate Program, which is designed to help editors, publishers and educators assess a participant’s understanding of the journalism industry’s essential skills and best practices. In addition, the certificates can also be used by individuals interested in enhancing their skills and demonstrating a level of proficiency.

Individuals earn a certificate by successfully completing the assessments in a curriculum track of Poynter NewsU e-learning modules. Poynter NewsU currently offers three certificates, Understanding Journalism, Basic Reporting and Writing Skills, and Multimedia Basics. It also plans to launch additional certificates in the coming months.

“Many individuals are seeing opportunities to supplement their income by writing for both traditional media companies and the new content providers,” said Howard Finberg, director of interactive learning at The Poynter Institute. “These certificates allow users to brush up on their skills and show how much they know. For editors and publishers, these certificates offer a tool for finding the best candidates in a crowded marketplace.”

In addition to editors and professionals, Poynter NewsU believes educators may also find the certificates a valuable resource, both as a preassessment tool to gauge the skills of new students or throughout a semester to supplement other teaching materials. Poynter NewsU plans to offer custom certificates, which would allow professors and newsroom editors to create a combination of NewsU modules and assess the proficiency of their students and/or contributors. This custom certificate program is being tested this fall at the University of South Florida and Kent State University.

For more information about the Certificate Program, visit http://www.newsu.org/resources/certificates

About Poynter’s News University
Poynter’s News University (www.newsu.org) offers training to journalists, journalism students, teachers and the public through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities.

About Poynter
The Poynter Institute trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s website, (www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

Contact:

Howard Finberg
Director, Interactive Learning
hfinberg@poynter.org
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Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

Help Poynter Select 35 Influential People in Social Media

As a part of our 35th anniversary, Poynter is celebrating the intersection of journalism and technology. We know there’s a wide range of expertise out there, and we want your help in identifying those who have left a lasting mark through their work. Help us select 35 influential people in social media — both in and outside of journalism.

We’ve shared some people who have influenced how we think about social media at Poynter, and now we’d like you to tell us who has influenced you. From now until Tuesday, Oct. 5, you can use either Facebook or Twitter to nominate someone and vote for others by commenting on, “liking” and/or retweeting posts about others who have been nominated:

Facebook: From your Facebook page, write a note or status update with the name of a person and the reason why you think this person is influential. Then, make sure you are a fan of Poynter or Poynter Online. (You must be a fan of the page to tag a post.) Finally, tag Poynter or Poynter Online in your post by typing “@Poynter” or “@Poynter Online” in your note or status update.

Twitter: In 140 characters, tell us who you you think has been influential to social media and why. Make sure to include the “#p35″ in your Tweet. Search for this hashtag on Twitter, and check back on this article page, to see some of the nominees.

When determining who makes our final list of 35, we will look at your nominations, comments and the number of “likes” or retweets each nominee gets. We’ll also consider other factors, including the impact and significance of the contribution. So, someone who was an early adopter and has a long track record of using social media would be as likely to make the list as someone who has had one substantial contribution. Spacer Spacer

On Friday, Oct. 8, we’ll start to share the names of the people we’ve selected. We’ll hear from some of these influential people at our tweetup on Wednesday, Nov. 3, and during our Social Media Day on Nov. 5. You can join us either at Poynter or online via our live video stream for both events.

(Here’s a tweet that you can use to share with your followers: “I’ve shared with @poynter someone who has influenced how I use social media. I’d like you to share who’s influenced you. http://journ.us/35influencers”) Read more

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Friday, Aug. 27, 2010

Since the Seminar: “The Gulf Oil Disaster, Covering What’s Next”

Journalists covering the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill considered new angles and new information at Poynter training in New Orleans. Here’s a sample of what has come out of “The Gulf Oil Disaster: Covering What’s Next,” Aug. 23-25, a specialized reporting institute funded by The McCormick Foundation.

Poynter links

Others’ links

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Monday, Aug. 23, 2010

Shape Poynter’s New Website, Coming in November

Poynter is known as a school that teaches journalism excellence; Poynter Online is known for Romenesko. To better serve people looking for our teaching or our media news, we are recreating our website.

As Poynter celebrates its 35th anniversary in November, we will be launching a new Media News site, along with select microsites under the Poynter.org umbrella to better communicate how the Institute serves journalism.

At the very top of the prototype we invite you to preview, you’ll see parent-level navigation that, once functional, will direct users to places where they can learn more about:

  • Poynter’s mission, history, faculty, facility and events
  • Poynter’s on-site and online training
  • Ways to donate and support our work

(You’ll see the same type of navigation in the prototype’s footer.) The microsites referenced in the parent-level navigation are still under development and will launch at the same time as the Media News site in a few months.

The new Media News microsite prototype has been structured to leverage Poynter’s unique strengths and to respond to consistent user feedback (less clutter, more focus, keep helping us solve problems). The new Media News site will make it easier to understand how journalism is changing, with the latest news and analysis from Romenesko, Al’s Morning Meeting, Mobile Media, our business writers; and easier to learn the skills you need to shape journalism’s future.

What we’re testing

On the prototype, we’re providing just a sampling of material that would appear in each section. We want you to assess whether the content belongs where you found it and whether it is what you expected. You’ll see some of your favorites, like Jill Geisler’s “What Great Bosses Know” series and Roy Peter Clark’s “Writing Tools.” You’ll see some placeholder copy as well.

Our primary objective with this pre-alpha wireframe site is to determine if users understand our content organization. Can you find the content you want? Does the flow make sense? Is there confusion because your favorite content isn’t where you intuit it should be?

What’s coming

  • We have plans for integration of social media, APIs and real-time conversation tracking. That will all be available when we launch in November.
  • The site will also have: job listings, search, sharing tools, RSS feeds, e-mail newsletters, and more.
  • Ads are placed on the prototype simply to show we will still have them; actual sizes and placements may vary.

This is a work in progress and we want your feedback before we develop it further. For now, treat the prototype site as a wireframe, a skeleton on which we’re hanging content so you can see it.

Resist the urge to offer your thoughts on colors or type or image size; we’re not ready for that feedback yet. We’ll start designing the site after we finalize the overall architecture and you’ll have a chance to weigh in then.

Open platform

You may have noticed that the prototype was built using WordPress, with a theme we purchased and will refine and design so that it matches the overall look and feel of the new Poynter.org. We expect to publish on a more open, flexible, fast platform than we do currently, to simplify both our production and your use. We plan to eliminate registration, while retaining accountability for commenting, with a sign-in tied to your Facebook profile or a similar form of ID.

We are researching options for plugins and third-party tools and we may soon list the options we’re considering so we can crowdsource best practices.

Help us help you

The site’s goal is to serve anyone pursuing journalism excellence — newsroom journalists, journalists outside traditional newsrooms, and people interested in developing journalism skills, even if they are practicing in allied or unrelated fields.

We hope Poynter.org remains a place you come to learn, and a place you leave feeling smarter, increasingly optimistic and more capable of shaping journalism’s future.

After you’ve had a chance to use the prototype a bit, please fill out this short survey to tell us about your experience. Or, you can e-mail feedback to Julie Moos, director of Poynter Online. Read more

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Wednesday, Aug. 04, 2010

NewsU Survey Finds Educators Are Integrating E-Learning Into Curriculum

St. Petersburg, FL– Poynter’s News University recently announced that more than 75 percent of educators surveyed are integrating e-learning into their classroom curriculum. And of those who responded affirmatively, more than 60 percent ranked it as extremely important to classroom teaching.

More than 625 educators participated in the online survey, which examined how teachers are combining classroom teaching with online learning, such as self-directed courses, Webinars, tutorials and instructional videos.

“Journalism educators, just like journalists, must deal with the new digital world with more innovation and different tools to train today’s students,” said Howard Finberg, director of interactive learning at The Poynter Institute. “The results validate what we’ve seen at NewsU, which continues to show growth and great evaluations among students and teachers, in addition to professionals across media platforms.”

In addition to viewing online training as an important tool in the classroom, 70 percent of educators said that online training is very relevant to their classroom teachings. A majority also believe that their students value online training, both in terms of importance and relevance.

“One of the great values of e-learning programs such as NewsU is its grounding in professional, real-life examples. Add ‘interactive’ and ‘expertise’ to the mix and students respond to training that matches their digital lifestyle,” said Finberg.

The survey also found that 57 percent of respondents believe that online training has made them a better teacher. Respondents had an opportunity to explain their answers in more detail, and the following are some of those responses:

  • “The modules help me to be able to relate the information to what others are saying and to refer to work being done elsewhere more directly. Connecting more dots is important and adds to classroom lectures/presentations. I can also cover more material more quickly — a surprise, actually.”
  • “Finding and then incorporating these materials in the syllabus helps me organize my exercises and related exams earlier. Better organization helps me craft a stronger semester.”
  • “E-learning tools allow students to learn at their own pace, access information on their own time, and apply the information to specific projects.”

Seventy-seven percent of the educators who responded to the survey teach at the college undergraduate level, followed by graduate level (19 percent) and high school (2 percent). Of those who haven’t incorporated e-learning into the classroom, a majority cited cost and lack of relevance to the subject matter as primary reasons.

Finberg will present the results of the survey during a session at the AEJMC conference in Denver on August 5 at 5 p.m. The session is open to all AEJMC attendees and will be in Tower Court A at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

About NewsU
Poynter’s News University (www.newsu.org) offers training to journalists, journalism students, teachers and the public through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities.

About Poynter
The Poynter Institute trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s Web site (www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Poynter Awarded McCormick Grant for Gulf Oil Workshop

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Thanks to a new grant from the McCormick Foundation, The Poynter Institute will lead a three-day Specialized Reporting Institute (SRI) to help journalists learn how to tell the stories they are likely to be writing for years to come following this summer’s BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The SRI, “The Gulf Oil Disaster: Covering What Comes Next,” will be presented in partnership with The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, PolitiFact, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and Loyola University’s Center for Environmental Communication. The workshop will be held at The Times-Picayune, beginning August 23 and will be free to as many as 20 journalists.

“Poynter seeks to use multiple platforms to develop high-impact training and journalistic resources that will help reporters and editors provide compelling coverage of this complex and far-reaching story now and in the coming year,” said Poynter President Karen B. Dunlap. “We are pleased to partner with the McCormick Foundation on these important skills-building conferences.”

Later in August, Poynter and McCormick pair up again to host an SRI focused on investigating local government on a budget.

“Poynter is America’s premier journalism continuing education and research organization,” said Clark Bell, the McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program Director. “Karen and her staff have done a terrific job in elevating the performance of our Specialized Reporting Institute series. Poynter is a trusted and valued partner.”

Poynter’s Al Tompkins, an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, will lead the “Gulf Oil Disaster” workshop during which numerous topics will be addressed, including long-term dangers to marshes and beaches, the future of oil drilling in the Gulf, how to keep audiences engaged in the story, how to use government databases to investigate the stories ahead and the use of social media among journalists and activists to gather information from the public.

“We believe we can provide the most value to participants by helping them cover the next phases of, among other things, the legal, political, economical and environmental aspects of this story,” said Tompkins.

Additionally, Poynter’s News University, the institute’s e-learning portal, will host a Webinar on August 24 with Dr. Bob Thomas of the Loyola University Center for Environmental Communication. Poynter Online will provide coverage of the program as well.

For more information or to apply for “The Gulf Oil Disaster: Covering What Comes Next,” please visit www.poynter.org/10OilDisaster.

About The Poynter Institute
Poynter trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s News University (www.newsu.org) offers newsroom training to journalists, journalism students, teachers and the public through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities. Poynter’s website, (www.poynter.org) is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

About the McCormick Foundation
The McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Through its grantmaking programs, Cantigny Park and Golf, museums, and civic outreach program the Foundation helps build a more active and engaged citizenry. It was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit www.McCormickFoundation.org.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Al Tompkins, faculty, atompkins@poynter.org

Jessica Sandler, marketing director, jsandler@poynter.org 

Phone: 1-888-POYNTER (1-888-769-6837)

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