Poynter is a thought leader

Founded in 1975, Poynter is an inspirational place but also a practical one, connecting the varied crafts of journalism to its higher mission and purpose. From person-to-person coaching and intensive hands-on seminars to interactive online courses and media reporting, Poynter helps journalists sharpen skills and elevate storytelling throughout their careers.

Developing journalism’s leaders

As news organizations transform to meet audience demands, their leaders face new challenges amid diminishing resources. Poynter offers numerous, intense seminars throughout the year to coach newsroom leaders on setting priorities, handling difficult conversations and bringing out the best in their teams. We rely on 360-degree feedback to help leaders find ways to improve. And we coach participants on their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (R), fostering insight into how they interact with people and information and how to appreciate the approaches of others with different styles. Our leadership faculty writes about the topic, do custom teaching for newsrooms and other organizations, and offer workshops on leadership, including popular seminars for:

Ethics and fact-checking

Poynter’s guidelines for ethical newsroom decision-making are the standard for policies used by many newsrooms and organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists. As the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and LeadershipInternational Fact-Checking Network, PolitiFact and MediaWise, we’re the global authority on trust, transparency and accountability journalism.

PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning website first created to cover the 2008 presidential election by the then-St. Petersburg Times, became a division of Poynter in 2018. It is the country’s largest full-time fact-checking website, has partnerships with newsrooms in a dozen states and has published more than 16,000 fact-checks on its Truth-O-Meter.

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) is dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide. More than 60 fact-checking organizations on six continents participate in IFCN’s work and sharing of best practices, and more than 30 organizations have passed the vetting process to become signatories to its Code of Principles for Fact-Checkers.

As part of a major digital information literacy initiative funded by Google.org, Poynter’s new MediaWise project is the first large-scale fact-checking project created by and for American teens. It will help more than 1 million teenagers learn to tell fact from fiction online.

Strengthening local news companies

Local news coverage is vital to the life of a community, yet many medium and small news organizations are deeply challenged by the business changes posed by digital transformation and fragmentation of advertising models.

Through Poynter’s Local News Innovation Project, we work with dozens of local newspapers to share the leadership and digital sustainability lessons of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative. Our in-person gatherings, online workshops and personalized coaching sessions help participants grow revenue and become audience-centric, digitally-savvy newsrooms.

Even the smallest newsrooms, individual journalists and freelancers benefit from Poynter’s digital tools project. We train journalists to use digital tools to transcribe audio, create instant timelines, story maps and more.

Reporting and storytelling

Each year, Poynter trains over 100,000 journalists from more than 70 countries in person and online. Since the start of our online education initiative in 2005, we’ve taught journalists in virtually every country in the world.

Poynter’s award-winning faculty teach core skills such as writing, reporting and editing to help journalists build the foundation of powerful storytelling. They lead discussions on ethics and leadership, preparing journalists for the challenges of an increasingly connected world. They also teach timely, relevant topics, such as covering the opioid crisis or using drones in reporting. When journalists attend a session with Poynter, they leave feeling energized, prepared and supported.

Advancing newsroom diversity

Newsrooms too often do not reflect the communities they serve, contributing to a lack of trust in the media and disadvantaging newsrooms that struggle to connect with their audience. This lack of diversity in the workplace specifically harms female journalists and journalists of color. They face entrenched power dynamics, a lack of representation, discrimination and harassment.

Poynter designed curricula to confront these issues and directly support a new generation of journalism leaders.

Our 2018 Leadership Academy for Women in Media received more than 600 applications for 28 positions. To meet demand, we expanded our teaching by adding two additional academies for women journalists, as well as one-day immersive workshops in New York City and Los Angeles. By 2022, more than 500 people have transformed their careers through the Leadership Academy for Women in Media.

There are even fewer people of color in media’s leadership ranks. We train journalists of color to rise above these circumstances and thrive through our Leadership Academy for Diversity in Media and The Power of Diverse Voices: Writing Workshop for Journalists of Color.