July 8, 2010

The Poynter Institute has named Mark Briggs and Jeremy Caplan as Ford Fellows in Entrepreneurial Journalism Teaching.

As part of a new Poynter initiative in entrepreneurial journalism funded by the Ford Foundation, Briggs and Caplan will teach in Poynter seminars and NewsU courses, will write for Poynter Online and will mentor start-up initiatives.

Both will teach next week at Poynter in Bottom Line News: Creating Sustainable Journalism Start-ups, a seminar for 20 participants from around the country. Sessions will include training in such areas as the innovation process, business basics, technology, social marketing and legal and ethical issues.

Briggs, who also serves as director of digital media at KING 5 TV in Seattle, co-founded Serra Media, a technology company that connects local publishers with interactive applications aimed at serving and growing local audiences. Previously, he ran online operations at the Tacoma News Tribune and the Everett Herald. He has authored two books, “Journalism 2.0” and “Journalism Next,” and is at work on a volume exploring entrepreneurial journalism.

Briggs is a graduate of Gonzaga University in Spokane and holds a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Caplan, in addition to his role at Poynter, is a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York and has taught at St. John’s University and at Hunter College. He is a former reporter for TIME and Newsweek, and served as senior associate editor at Yahoo! Internet Life. An accomplished violinist, Caplan conducted a video interview/duet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma for TIME.

Caplan is a graduate of Princeton University and holds master’s degrees from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and the Columbia Business School.

Briggs and Caplan report to Bill Mitchell, who leads Poynter’s entrepreneurial journalism program, and to Stephen Buckley, who is dean of faculty.

“One of the most important elements of successful entrepreneurship is assembling an effective team,” Mitchell said. “Mark and Jeremy bring to Poynter a range of experience and expertise that will enable us to get off to a fast start helping journalists and others create sustainable media ventures.”

Poynter’s work in entrepreneurship includes two week-long training programs focused on producing quality journalism on emerging platforms while generating sustaining revenue. The institute will also create an online entrepreneurial course to serve as a continuing, accessible source of training. And Poynter will work with one or more journalism start-ups, helping entrepreneurs build their enterprise and highlighting lessons learned along the way.

Poynter’s efforts in this area are made possible by a $750,000 grant from the Ford Foundation. Ford has joined forces with Poynter to address the need for research and training provoked by the changes sweeping traditional journalism and emerging forms of content creation and distribution. In addition to entrepreneurship, the grant funds Poynter’s work with the emerging media sector known as the Fifth Estate, a group that includes bloggers and others who provide news, information and analysis to fellow citizens.

Poynter is using the grant to help journalists and non-journalists alike make sense of the news and to create the new ventures consumers will need to inform themselves in a well-functioning democracy.

About The Poynter Institute

Poynter trains journalism practitioners, media leaders, educators and citizens in the areas of online and multimedia, leadership and management, reporting, writing and editing, TV and radio, ethics and diversity, journalism education and visual journalism. Poynter’s News University offers newsroom training to journalists and journalism students through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities. Poynter’s website is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Contact information

Bill Mitchell, faculty, bmitch@poynter.org

Jessica Sandler, marketing director, jsandler@poynter.org

Phone: 1-727-821-9494

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Jessica brings to the Institute more than 20 years of experience in journalism and public relations. She began her career in broadcasting, working on-air in…
Jessica Blais

More News

Back to News