Leadership Academy

DEADLINE: Sept. 13, 2019 (Applications closed)
TEACHING DATE: Oct. 6-11, 2019
LOCATION: The Poynter Institute
COST: $1,595

Asked in a questionnaire following a recent Poynter Leadership Academy to give the seminar an overall rating, one participant simply wrote:


We’ve heard it before, and it helps explain why each October, key managers from newsrooms all over the world come to Poynter – hoping to become the leaders they aspire to be.

Leadership Academy is Poynter’s premier seminar for high-potential managers. This highly-interactive, five-day program offers participants the chance to refine their leadership styles, update their understanding of management and media trends and tools, and receive personal coaching that will accelerate their effectiveness as leaders.


Cheryl Carpenter
Leadership Faculty
The Poynter Institute

Butch Ward
Poynter Affiliate
The Poynter Institute

Catalina Camia
Editor-in-Chief and Vice President
CQ Roll Call

Katherine Green
Shyft Media

At Leadership Academy, you’ll receive personalized 360-feedback from your boss, peers and direct reports. You’ll also receive expert one-on-one coaching from Poynter faculty — and learn how to give actionable feedback to others. You’ll return home with more confidence in the strengths you have to develop your newsroom staff and better serve your audiences.

This year’s academy 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.

What you will learn

  • Adjust your leadership style to get the results you want.
  • Focus your staff’s efforts — no matter how limited your resources — on journalism that answers your community’s needs.
  • Select from the latest digital products, skills and strategies the tools that will best serve your unique challenges.
  • Innovate, collaborate and coach people in new skills and ways of approaching their craft.
  • Deliver feedback that helps your staff improve.
  • Conduct difficult conversations that get results.
  • Invest your time in activities that pay long-term dividends.
  • Be the manager staffers want to work with—and bosses want to promote.


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

4:00 p.m. — Welcome, The Real Me and The Naughton Lecture
7:00 p.m. — Group dinner

9:00 a.m. — What’s Your Approach to Leadership (And How’s It Working For You?)
10:45 a.m. — Your ViewPoynt: Feedback: How Others See Your Leadership
12:30 p.m. — Lunch
2:00 p.m. — Why Can’t We Do Things My Way? – Myers-Briggs® and Management
3:45 p.m. — Creating an Organization Where Innovation Actually Occurs
5:30 p.m. — Adjourn (Evening free)

9:00 a.m. — Why You Need to Obsess on Audience, and How to Do It
10:45 a.m. — Leadership Mall #1 and Faculty Face Time
12:15 p.m. — Lunch
2:00 p.m. — The Art of Managing Your Boss (For Your Team and Yourself)
3:45 p.m. — Becoming a Two-Track Leader: It’s All About Relationships
5:00 p.m. — Adjourn (Evening free)

9:00 a.m. — Difficult Conversations I: Getting Smarter About Conflict
10:15 a.m. — Difficult Conversations: II: Time to Practice!
12:15 p.m. — Lunch
2:00 p.m. — Leadership Mall #2 and Faculty Face Time
3:30 p.m. — Who’s Missing in Our Coverage—and Why?
5:00 p.m. — Adjourn (Evening free)

9:00 a.m. — New Managers and New Ethics: The Power of the Process
11 a.m. — Leadership Mall #3 and Faculty Face Time
12:30 p.m. — Lunch
2:00 p.m. — Time’s Up: What Are Your Priorities?
3:30 p.m. — One-on-One Faculty Coaching and Writing Great Boss Plans
7:00 p.m. — Group dinner

9:00 a.m. — It’s Your Turn: Your Personal Development Plans
12:00 p.m. — Lunch (Poynter’s treat as you finish your evaluations)
1:15 p.m. — Taking It Home
1:45 p.m. — Graduation and Closing Remarks
2:30 p.m. — Adjourn

This is a special week. Just listen to Courtney Rukan, Deputy Multiplatform Editing Chief at the Washington Post:

“The Leadership Academy slows time down for a week for a journey of self-discovery, helping you examine what you’re doing as a manager and why. Poynter’s pros help you quiet your self-doubt as you recognize (and embrace!) your strengths while identifying what you need to improve upon, and how to do it. The week is jam-packed with activities but relaxing — and a lot of fun with other journalists from around the world —because the Academy reminds all of us why we love journalism, why we got into management and the shared struggles we all go through.”

Or this from Christina Zdanowicz, Senior Producer, CNN Social Discovery:

“The one-on-one coaching from Poynter mentors was invaluable in helping me pinpoint how to keep growing as a leader. These mentors continue to be an amazing support system for me.”

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.

Who should apply

Poynter’s Leadership Academy has provided a turning point in many a journalism career. It could mark a turning point in yours.

Talented managers in digital, broadcast or print organizations who want to take their skills and careers to the next level should apply. This program is designed for high-potential people on their way up in organizations.


Tuition is $1,595. 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 seminars@poynter.org.