April 1, 2015

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.

NewsU International has courses in six different languages and English-language e-learning forms the basis for certificates internationally. Here’s a look at how people around the world are learning with us:

Native Language Courses:

NewsU has several course offerings in Arabic, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Indonesian.

The courses are not just simple translations of the English-language courses. The courses are localized to include examples and illustrations that are relevant to that audience. The courses are full of interactive and multimedia tools to aid learning all over the globe. The 23 courses that have been translated range from social media strategies to climate change to entrepreneurial training for bloggers. We have about 2,500 users enrolled in various self-directed courses.

Online Group Seminars (OGS):

With its partnerships with international agencies like European Journalism Centre, PPMN, International Center for journalists (ICFJ), International Press Institute (IPI), Egypt Media Development Program and grants from the State Department, NewsU has been able to offer hybrid teaching opportunities. In these six- to 10-week courses, part of the learning is online through video sessions, online readings and interactive exercises, and some with face-to-face in-person seminars.

Some of these online group seminars were translated and offered in the local language in Indonesia using the expertise of local journalists to better facilitate the teaching.

From time to time, groups of journalists have visited the Poynter Institute for in person seminars like “Strengthening Your Journalism” for Turkish journalists. Participants in this project were required to take four self-directed courses to earn a Poynter NewsU certificate. NewsU received 56 applications for this program and ultimately 16 journalists were awarded fellowships to attend an intense four-day in-person seminar in St. Petersburg, Florida.


About 20 percent of NewsU’s 325,000 registered users come from outside the U.S. Countries with the most users include Canada, Australia, England, India, Philippines, Brazil, China, Germany and the United Kingdom. NewsU also has registered users in such places as Mayotte, Faroe Islands, East Timor and Liechtenstein. In total, NewsU reaches 247 places, including countries, dependent territories and constituent countries of sovereign states. (It is an internal joke at NewsU that we have users in more places than Google counts as countries.)


NewsU also offers certificate programs that combine e-learning courses with assessments. Media organizations and schools use these to offer continuing education in skills, innovative trends and the craft of journalism. We reach hundreds of people through certificate programs like Zimbabwe Women Journalists Mentoring Program and the journalism skills certificate for a large media company in India.

In-Person teaching:

The NewsU crew actively supports programs at the Poynter Institute by teaching in the in-person seminars held in St. Petersburg for foreign journalists, Edward R Murrow Fellows and State Department visitors by lending their expertise in multimedia, social engagement, innovative tools and technical advances.

Related: NewsU was funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Coming up, there are two ways you can join the NewsU birthday celebration. Share a story about how NewsU e-learning has transformed your journalism, and come to 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.

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.

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