Fact-checking at the U.N., creating standards for polling and protecting yourself from legal issues

Your Weekly Training Digest from the Poynter Institute

October 2, 2019

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The U.N. General Assembly concluded Monday, and for the first time, 23 fact-checking organizations from 17 countries coordinated efforts to verify statements from the event.

Through the efforts of the Poynter-owned International Fact-Checking Network, we learned it wasn’t a world leader who sparked the most disinformation; it was teen climate activist and U.N. speaker Greta Thunberg. Hoaxes surrounding Thunberg’s family, image and activism have proliferated all over the world.

Daniela Flamini documents the multitude of international Thunberg conspiracies and corresponding fact-checks for Poynter — and looks into why the 16-year-old is being targeted with weaponized disinformation in the first place.

Strengthen your own fact-checking skills with our free short course, or check out Poynter’s other upcoming training opportunities below:

The Media Transformation Challenge (MTC) Program: A Poynter Institute Executive Fellowship

In-person seminar at the Poynter Institute, Jan. 2020 – Jan. 2021

Fellows in the executive-level Media Transformation Challenge, which began in 2007 as the Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia University, will come to Poynter in 2020 for week-long sessions and year-round coaching to improve the sustainability and profitability of their news organizations.

“Taking part in (this program) was challenging and inspiring in equal measure,” said Sue Brooks, former director at the Associated Press and MTC Fellow. “It helped turn a back‐of‐a‐napkin idea into a reality which is now generating many millions of dollars annually and gave me skills that I still use daily.”

Apply now to get the help you need to lead your media organization into the future. Deadline: Dec. 1.

Election Polling: The Good, the Bad and Raising the Bar on 2020 Coverage

George Washington University, Washington, D.C., Oct. 4

The Poynter Institute and its Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership are pleased to present a free, invitation-only workshop aimed at elevating the journalism around political polls and electoral competition and provoking ideas for fresh, fair and consequential coverage.

We are inviting about 40 pollsters, reporters, editors and academics to participate in a day of active conversations on best practices in polling. The discussions will help produce a report for wider dissemination to media practitioners and consumers. As the 2020 national and local campaigns gain traction, it is time to challenge the industry to succeed in the highest standards of journalistic and storytelling excellence. Request an invitation by Wednesday, Oct. 2.

Essential Skills for Rising Newsroom Leaders

In-person seminar at the Poynter Institute, Dec. 8-13

This popular five-day seminar will give you the tools and confidence to lead and grow a staff of high-performing journalists. This course is ideal for new managers, leaders with little formal training and/or journalists about to get promoted.

You will learn how to establish your credibility as a leader, even if you are new in your role; manage people who were once your peers; and conduct difficult conversations that get results. Cost: $1,395. Deadline: Oct. 28. Apply now.

Pay Attention: Legal Issues and Your Media Company

Self-directed course

The law reaches into every aspect of a news organization, no matter how small or large. This course aims to expose you to a wide variety of legal issues that you and your media organization need to consider throughout the news publishing process, as well as practical approaches to minimizing risk. You’ll learn about defamation, privacy, copyright, insurance and proactive best practices. Cost: Free. Watch Replay Now.


Trusting News Webinar Series
Webinar No. 2, Oct. 16 at Noon Eastern
Empower your journalism organization to demonstrate credibility and earn trust with this series of five webinars led by Trusting News founder and director Joy Mayer. Cost: Free. Enroll now.

How to Cover the Arts on Any Beat
Broadcast date: Sept. 10, 2019
This webinar will give resource-strapped journalists sustainable approaches to incorporating arts coverage in business, government, education, features and breaking news stories. Cost: Free. Watch Replay Now.

Dear Reader: Accomplish More With Your Newsletters
Broadcast date: May 23, 2019
In this one-hour webinar, you will learn how to better harness the power of a newsy daily email, from staffing it to winning loyal readers with its content and tone. Cost. $29.95. Watch Replay Now.

Covering Immigration Enforcement
Broadcast date:
 Jan. 31, 2019
This webinar presents information about the immigration system and enforcement and detention under the Trump administration. It will help reporters cover one of the top issues that is generating stories in every corner of the country. Cost: $29.95. Watch Replay Now.

Reporting on the Cannabis Industry
Broadcast date: Feb. 8, 2018
This webinar will teach you the importance of understanding the cannabis business. You will learn how to explain the terms relating to the plant, the different legal categories of the drug across the United States, and how journalists can be more accurate when reporting around cannabis. Cost: $29.95. Watch Replay Now.

The Power of Public Records
Broadcast date: Jan. 10, 2018
This webinar explores different methods you can use records to inject authority into on-the-ground reporting. We’ll also talk about what kinds of records exist and how to get them. Cost: $29.95. Watch Replay Now.