Poynter Receives Grant from Knight Foundation to Strengthen Local Journalism with Digital Transformation Training and Expanded Coverage of News Innovation on Poynter.org

Grant expands groundbreaking work of Knight-Temple “Table Stakes” in three-year Poynter program to assist news organizations in applying the project’s insights and best practices

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Feb. 13, 2017) – The Poynter Institute, the global leader in journalism, has received a three-year $881,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to strengthen local journalism through its teaching of digital and cultural transformation. The Poynter Local News Innovation Program will be centered on the best practices that have evolved during the first year of the Knight-Temple “Table Stakes” project.

Building on the discoveries made by the newsrooms that participated in the 2016 Table Stakes project, Poynter will design a program to guide and coach newsrooms through a process of transformation. The program is part of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, designed to expand the team-based change-management approach of the initial project to newsrooms of varying size and type.

Each year of the program, Poynter will offer intensive teaching and coaching to up to 20 local news organizations of varying sizes, geographies and ownership models. The training for each cohort will include in-person conferences, online seminars and virtual coaching throughout the year. Details and application information about the program are available at poy.nu/localinnovation.

“This project puts Poynter at the center of teaching one of the most critical issues facing journalism today,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “We are honored to work with the Knight Foundation and the project partners to articulate, promote and amplify the best practices in media innovation and transformation.”

“This project is rooted in collaboration. Bringing together major news organizations and experts in technology, journalism and other areas, it recognizes the importance of a concerted, strategic effort to address the challenges that local news organizations are facing in the digital age,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. “This next phase will help to create a model for the digital transformation of news organizations that can be shared across the country, helping local journalists better connect with their audiences and develop new innovations in storytelling.”

To accelerate digital and cultural change, all media organizations and journalists around the country will have access to the key takeaways of the Knight-Lenfest project through a series of online courses and robust coverage via a new Local Innovation channel on Poynter.org. The channel, and a companion newsletter, Local Edition, will chronicle the transformation of the business and editorial strategies of newsrooms across the country. The grant allows for increased staffing of Poynter.org to support these initiatives.

Poynter also will incorporate the lessons of the project into other programs offered by the Institute, including its annual workshop for educators, Teachapalooza, and its leadership seminars.

Other partners in the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, under the direction of Douglas K. Smith and Quentin Hope, include Temple University, the University of North Carolina and the American Press Institute.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute’s website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

Contact: Tina Dyakon
Director of Advertising and Marketing
The Poynter Institute


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