Essential Skills for Rising Newsroom Leaders (Winter)

LOCATION: The Poynter Institute
COST: $1,395

Hey, managers: Need a shot of confidence? It’s time to let Poynter help you jumpstart your management career.

Maybe you’re an inexperienced manager just starting your new role. Or maybe you’ve got managerial experience but have had little training. In either case, you could use some tools — along with that dose of confidence.

Poynter’s popular “Essential Skills for Rising Newsroom Leaders” seminar will give you both: the tools and the confidence to lead and grow a staff of high-performing journalists.

“This seminar has reminded me why I’m doing this job, why I took the job, why I’m suited for it — and how I can get better at it! I honestly believe I will look back on this week as a defining moment in my career.”

— 2018 participant in follow-up survey

You’ll receive personalized feedback — from your newsroom — about your strengths and challenges. You’ll get help for leading your staff through the transition of becoming digital-first. You’ll get customized advice for addressing your most pressing concerns with coaching from Poynter faculty, one-on-one.

After the weeklong seminar at Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida, you’ll return home with confidence and management tools that will begin paying dividends immediately.


Cheryl Carpenter
Leadership Faculty
The Poynter Institute

Butch Ward

Butch Ward
Poynter Affiliate
The Poynter Institute

Marcy McGinnis
Professional Career Coach
Former Senior Vice President, CBS News

Alicia Stewart
Alicia W. Stewart Media

This year’s seminar will be led by Poynter’s leadership dream team: current leadership faculty Cheryl Carpenter and previous leadership faculty Butch Ward. Combined, they have decades of experience leading Pulitzer Prize-winning newsrooms, training managers around the world on ethics and business and espousing Poynter’s unique brand of personalized teaching.

Carpenter and Ward will be joined by other members of Poynter’s faculty along with some of the country’s leading news managers and innovators. Please check this page for instructor updates.

“I came into this wondering if I was ready to be a manager, but honestly, being around all these talented people who have these huge, important jobs, and seeing for myself that I can hold my own really did something for me. I’ve got this. On a more practical note, I think I learned a lot about what goes into good newsroom leadership. I love that the course was geared toward journalists because newsrooms are so different from most workplace environments.”

— 2018 participant in follow-up survey

What you will learn

  • Establish your credibility as a leader, even if you are new in your role
  • Manage people who were once your peers, friends or bosses
  • Provide feedback and coaching that will help your staff improve
  • Conduct difficult conversations that get results
  • Use your time more effectively
  • Build trusting relationships with your staff, your peers — and your boss
  • Focus your staff’s work on the audiences you serve
  • Understand how analytics can help inform your coverage and improve your staff’s work
  • Organize teams that collaborate to get important stuff done


Below is a tentative schedule for the 2019 program. Sessions and instructors are subject to change.


4:00 p.m. — “The Real Me” and the Road Ahead
7:00 p.m. — Group Dinner

9:00 a.m. — What’s Your Leadership Style? (And How’s It Working for You?)
10:45 a.m. — Your ViewPoynt Feedback: How Others See Your Leadership
12:30 p.m. — Lunch
1:30 p.m. — Why Can’t We Do Things My Way? ~ Myers-Briggs® and Management
3:15 p.m. — Leadership Lessons I Wish Someone Had Taught Me
4:45 p.m. — Wrap-up
5:00 p.m. — Adjourn

9:00 a.m. — The Power of Teams
10:45 a.m. — Becoming a Two-Track Coach: It’s All About Relationships
12:30 p.m. — Lunch
2:00 p.m. — Speaking of Important Relationships, How About Your Boss?
3:45 p.m. — Three Strategies for Telling More Meaningful Stories
5:15 p.m. — Adjourn (Evening on your own)

9:00 a.m. — Tools for Improving Your Multimedia Storytelling
11:00 a.m. — New Managers and New Ethics: The Power of the Process
12:30 p.m. — Lunch
2:00 p.m. — Retooling Your Newsroom for Digital-First
4:00 p.m. — Who’s Missing in Our Coverage—and Why?
5:15 p.m. — Adjourn (Evening on your own)

9:00 a.m. — Difficult Conversations: Getting Smarter about Conflict
10:30 a.m. — Difficult Conversation Boot Camp: Let’s Practice!
12:00 p.m. — Lunch
1:30 p.m. — Time’s Up: What Are Your Priorities?
3:00 p.m. — 1-on-1 Coaching, Writing Personal Development Plans
7:00 p.m. — Group Dinner

9:00 a.m. — Your Personal Development Plans
12:00 p.m. — Lunch
1:15 p.m. — Taking It Home
1:45 p.m. — Graduation and closing remarks
2:30 p.m. — Seminar Ends

Who should apply

New managers from digital, broadcast and print organizations. This seminar is also beneficial to experienced managers who have had little or no management training. Employees who are about to be promoted will also be considered for acceptance.

Application process

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. No letter of recommendation is required, but you will need to provide a reference. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interests and basic demographic information.


Tuition is $1,395. Travel and hotel expenses are not included. Please note that Poynter negotiates deeply discounted hotel rates at a nearby hotel.


We’d love to hear from you. Email us at