September 9, 2010

St. Petersburg, FL (September 8, 2010) – Poynter’s e-learning project, News University, announced today the launch of its new Certificate Program, which is designed to help editors, publishers and educators assess a participant’s understanding of the journalism industry’s essential skills and best practices. In addition, the certificates can also be used by individuals interested in enhancing their skills and demonstrating a level of proficiency.

Individuals earn a certificate by successfully completing the assessments in a curriculum track of Poynter NewsU e-learning modules. Poynter NewsU currently offers three certificates, Understanding Journalism, Basic Reporting and Writing Skills, and Multimedia Basics. It also plans to launch additional certificates in the coming months.

“Many individuals are seeing opportunities to supplement their income by writing for both traditional media companies and the new content providers,” said Howard Finberg, director of interactive learning at The Poynter Institute. “These certificates allow users to brush up on their skills and show how much they know. For editors and publishers, these certificates offer a tool for finding the best candidates in a crowded marketplace.”

In addition to editors and professionals, Poynter NewsU believes educators may also find the certificates a valuable resource, both as a preassessment tool to gauge the skills of new students or throughout a semester to supplement other teaching materials. Poynter NewsU plans to offer custom certificates, which would allow professors and newsroom editors to create a combination of NewsU modules and assess the proficiency of their students and/or contributors. This custom certificate program is being tested this fall at the University of South Florida and Kent State University.

For more information about the Certificate Program, visit

About Poynter’s News University
Poynter’s News University ( offers training to journalists, journalism students, teachers and the public through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities.

About Poynter
The Poynter Institute 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 website, ( is the dominant provider of journalism news, with a focus on business analysis and the opportunities and implications of technology.


Howard Finberg
Director, Interactive Learning

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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

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