NewsU by the numbers (there are a lot of ewes)

Friday, April 10 is the 10th birthday of Poynter News University. In addition to other celebrations going on around Poynter, we’ve pulled together a series of lists from NewsU’s teaching and teachers the past 10 years.

In its first 10 years, NewsU has accumulated a lot of stuff: courses, users, even sheep. Here are 10 numbers that tell the story of NewsU.

1. 2 giant whiteboards

At NewsU, our best organization system is our whiteboards. Whether it’s writing down our wish list for Webinars, organizing courses or keeping track of our schedule, using the whiteboards lets us keep a quick, up to date plan that everyone can see. Or we can use it for other important things, like doodling or writing down quotes from coaches in honor of March Madness.

2. 6 staff

Though there a lot of people that help make NewsU run smoothly, there are currently six of us here on full time staff. Our team is made up of four producers -- Vidisha Priyanka, Lauren Klinger, Vanessa Goodrum and Ren LaForme; one Finberg Fellow -- Jordan Kranse (that's me); and the director of interactive learning -- Vicki Krueger. We work together to help produce, host, teach and create new courses and webinars for our users.

3. 6 languages

NewsU isn’t just active in the Unites States; we do training across the world. While not all of our courses are available in other languages, we do have many that are translated, and we are working on more. The languages we currently have available are: English, Arabic, Persian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. You can check out these translated courses here.

4. 24 public certificates
Certificates group courses together to help with the overall proficiency of a certain skill, for example, social media or photography. Users with a certificate have taken the required courses and proved their knowledge of that skill. Our most popular public certificate is our “Basic Reporting and Writing Certificate Program” and our newest is our “Poynter-Cronkite Certificate Program for Adjunct Instructors.”

5. 30 news 'ewes'

The News Ewe, the unofficial mascot of NewsU, was born out of a play on words: NewsU sounds a just like News Ewe. Howard Finberg, the founder of NewsU, tried to make the sheep the official mascot of NewsU with a logo, but he was outvoted by, as he says, “calmer, cooler heads.”

Even though the News Ewe was never made the official mascot, it lives on in the NewsU office. We have the largest collection of collection of sheep paraphernalia that I have personally ever seen. (But to be fair, I haven’t seen that many collections of sheep paraphernalia.)

News ewes.
News ewes.

6. 62 schools

We’ve worked with 62 universities and high schools to create custom learning packages to use in their classes, including schools like Columbia and Pepperdine. Though these 62 schools are the only ones with custom training packages, even more schools use individual courses in their classes. Students from more than 100 other universities and high schools have enrolled in at least one course.

7. 75 partners

NewsU partners with journalism organizations and schools around the world to create new content. We’ve created custom training programs for companies like Gannett and McClatchy. Our partners also sponsor courses to help teach skills that they think are important to the world of journalism. Some of our well-known partners include the American Copy Editors Society, the Knight Foundation, the E.W. Scripps company and the Pew Research Center.

8. 262 instructors

NewsU reaches out to some of the top experts involved in the journalism field to teach courses and present Webinars. We’ve collaborated with professionals from news organizations around the country, innovators from digital leaders like Twitter and Facebook, teachers from schools with top-notch journalism programs and pros from right here at Poynter.

9. 1,223 courses

The NewsU course list is full of awesome courses with a wide variety of topics. Our courses come in several different formats, so there’s different ways to learn. Here’s the break down of our number of courses: 277 Webinars, 260 self-directed courses, 147 online group seminars, 113 seminar snapshots, 20 NewsU tech courses, seven video tutorials, 15 broadcasts, 88 certificate programs, nine tutorials, 282 digital course packs and four master classes. You can check out a full listing of courses here.

10. 259,052 users

The user count for NewsU grows every day. Many users enroll in more than one course; the average is about three courses per user. There are users enrolled from 246 countries. Our users range from high school students to seasoned journalists who have been in the industry for a long time.

Related: NewsU was funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Join NewsU’s birthday Webinar on April 10, featuring some of the best lessons, tips, tricks, hacks and bits of knowledge from 10 years of e-learning.

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