September 10, 2018

“Be open-minded and really honest with yourselves about your own thinking, legacy beliefs and roadblocks you've created yourself.” 

“Take advantage of the knowledgeable people who designed it and who are implementing it with real, live newsrooms. We all can learn something new every day, even someone like me, who is approaching 30 years in this business.”

“Be ready to work.”

This advice comes from graduates of Poynter’s first Local News Innovation Program — known as "Table Stakes" — and is particularly relevant for the 14 news organizations that embarked on year two of the intensive program last week. 

The yearlong program — which includes two in-person workshops, monthly online seminars, regular accountability check-ins and custom coaching — is Poynter’s most intensive leadership initiative. 

This year, with continued support from the Knight Foundation and oversight from new Poynter leadership faculty Cheryl Carpenter and independent consultant Quentin Hope, the program included even more instruction. 

Each organization first completed a prerequisite online course about the Table Stakes philosophy, and broadcast organizations participated for the first time. 

With a solid conceptual foundation and precedent from year one to lean on, participants in the 2018-19 program hit the ground running. Senior executives from both the editorial and business sides came together at Poynter for three days to address sustainability, digital transformation, audience engagement and accountability. Through coaching and peer-to-peer conversation, they learned how to begin driving change.

Congratulations to these organizations for committing to the Poynter Local News Innovation Program. We’re rooting for you.


Interested in following Poynter's coverage of what's happening in local news? Subscribe to Local Edition and follow our local news beat reporter, Kristen Hare.


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Mel Grau is the senior product specialist at The Poynter Institute, focusing on Poynter's training experiences and newsletters. She previously edited The Cohort, Poynter’s biweekly…
Mel Grau

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