Poynter Producer Project (September 2021)

$499.00

Apply Now
September 20, 2021– October 16, 2021

Poynter Producer Project (September 2021)

This hallmark Poynter program — now entirely online — will help TV producers tell stronger stories and make tough calls on deadline.

Overview

  • Beginning the third week of September 2021, you’ll join a lasting community of other ambitious producers.
  • Tune in every Tuesday and Thursday of this all-virtual, four-week seminar for practical tips you can use right away.
  • Learn from Poynter’s longtime broadcast faculty, Al Tompkins, as well as special guest instructors.
  • When you’re done, you’ll leave with new strategies and skills to help you level up in your broadcast career.
  • Members of AAJA, NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA or NLGJA — 50% tuition scholarships are available, thanks to the Scripps Foundation.
  • The deadline to apply is Aug. 23, 2021.

$499.00

Apply Now

Learning Outcomes

You will learn:

  • How to find stories that others miss
  • How to find a focus for your story
  • How to write clear, clean copy
  • The keys to writing teases and show opens that attract and hold viewers
  • A framework for making ethical decisions on deadline
  • Ways to lead even when you do not have formal authority
  • How to better navigate news coverage involving race and bias
  • Strategies for managing newsroom trauma and stress

$499.00

Apply Now

Overview

  • Beginning the third week of September 2021, you’ll join a lasting community of other ambitious producers.
  • Tune in every Tuesday and Thursday of this all-virtual, four-week seminar for practical tips you can use right away.
  • Learn from Poynter’s longtime broadcast faculty, Al Tompkins, as well as special guest instructors.
  • When you’re done, you’ll leave with new strategies and skills to help you level up in your broadcast career.
  • Members of AAJA, NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA or NLGJA — 50% tuition scholarships are available, thanks to the Scripps Foundation.
  • The deadline to apply is Aug. 23, 2021.

Training five or more people?
Check out our custom training.

Making stories work involves more than just teases and live shots. This eight-session, four-week online seminar will help you expand your expertise as a TV producer with new writing, storytelling, coaching and ethical decision-making skills.

Here’s what some recent graduates said about their experience:

“The Poynter Producer Project reignited the passion for what I do and made me a better producer in every way. I learned to be a better newsroom leader, which led to a promotion to Executive Producer.” — Jim Bob Breazeale, KEYE, Austin, TX

“The Producer Project gave me perspective on managing workflow and egos — both of which are vital with political coverage.” — Brian Calfano, KOLR TV

“The course was a meaningful experience and excellent networking opportunity.” — Sara Shyiak, CTV

The Poynter Producer Project is long on practicality and low on theory. Poynter Senior Faculty Al Tompkins and a five-star lineup of visiting professionals will sharpen your writing and ethical decision-making skills, stretch your leadership muscles and increase your value to your newsroom. This course will energize you and expand your professional contacts.

The Poynter Producer Project is a cornerstone seminar at Poynter. Over the two decades that we have offered this specialized training for TV newscast producers, many of our graduates have gone on to become executive producers, news directors and top managers for stations and broadcast corporations. Poynter graduates also work at network and cable news organizations and at local TV stations across America and around the globe.

Questions?

If you need assistance, email us at info@poynter.org.

This all-virtual, eight-installment seminar will unfold over four weeks, each Tuesday and Thursday at noon Eastern time, beginning Sept. 21, 2021. Each session will last 60-90 minutes. We will also host an open house on Monday, Sept. 20.

Week 1

  • Sept. 20: At our virtual open house get-together, we will show you how our learning system works and answer questions about the seminar. You will meet your classmates, some of whom you are likely to know for years to come.
  • Sept. 21: Al Tompkins will teach you how to “write visually” even when you do not have a lot of visuals to work with. You will discover the concept of “story frames” and you will learn how to use three words that will laser-focus stories. You will learn the importance of a concept called “The Ladder of Abstraction,” which sounds complicated but is a simple way to be sure every story is both interesting and meaningful.
  • Sept. 23: Al Tompkins will show you how to know “what goes where” in a story. Where should you put the “best video” and how can you keep a lead from repeating what the reporter says opening a live shot. You will also learn the secret of “word order,” which will make every sentence more powerful while making it easier for anchors to read cold copy. And you will discover the power of natural sound, not as a decoration but as a vital element of visual journalism no matter the story length.

Week 2

  • Sept. 28: Matthew Hilk will detail the essential role of a producer in breaking news. Matt’s background as a producer, news director and now at CNN means he lives for big breaking news. He will show you how he juggles logistics, content and the demands of news anchors while the whole world is watching.
  • Oct. 30: Kelly McBride will provide you a framework for ethical decision-making when time is tight and the bosses are busy. We will pay special attention to how we cover policing and crime, and Kelly will offer alternatives that get beyond meaningless and sometimes harmful spot news coverage to produce more useful enterprise coverage of crime.

Week 3

  • Oct. 5: Doris Truong will help you navigate race and bias in your daily coverage. Doris teaches in newsrooms around the country, helping journalists recognize how their own biases influence their journalism and their station’s content.
  • Oct. 7: Lori Walden will give you a framework to help you manage your boss and manage your career path. Lori comes to this teaching with a background as a local news producer, then news director and now General Manager.

Week 4

  • Oct. 12: This session is all about teases, leads, packaging and presentation. We’ll talk about how to attract and hold viewers without compromising journalism. You will learn eight “key motivators” that should guide every lead and tease you write. PLUS: Five things your meteorologist wishes every producer knew.
  • Oct. 14: Al Tompkins and Sidney Tompkins will lead a session about managing newsroom stress and trauma. Sidney is a licensed mental health counselor with more than 40 years of clinical experience. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and federal law enforcement. Now Sidney and Al work with newsrooms around the world as they navigate the pressures that newsrooms, and especially producers, face.

The deadline to apply for this four-week program is Aug. 23, 2021.

Who should apply

This seminar is aimed at newscast producers and associate producers. Of course, we welcome executive producers from smaller markets, and we welcome educators and dedicated college students who have producing experience and expect to work as professional producers.

We want applicants to commit to attending all eight sessions when we present them live. Knowing that news sometimes gets in the way of learning, we record each session if you miss one or you want to review what you learned in the live session.

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. No letter of recommendation or reference is required. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interest and basic demographic information.

We strongly encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. If you are a member of AAJA, NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA or NLGJA, 50% tuition scholarships are available, thanks to the Scripps Foundation. To receive the discount code, note your membership on your application and email us at info@poynter.org.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 23, 2021.

Cost

The cost is $499, which includes tuition for the four-week online group seminar and coaching.

Thanks to generous support from the Scripps Foundation, members of AAJA, NABJ, NAHJ, NAJA and NLGJA may apply for a 50% tuition scholarship. If you are a member of one of these associations, please note it on your application.

If you would like to defer payment please use the code 2021producers at checkout. We will contact  you to pay the balance of your tuition if you are accepted into the program.

Instructors

Lead Faculty

  • Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty, Broadcast and Online
    Al Tompkins
    Senior Faculty, Broadcast and Online
    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around...
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Guest Faculty

  • Matthew Hilk
    Vice President/News and Domestic Managing Editor at CNN
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  • Kelly McBride
    Senior Vice President and Chair of Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership
    Kelly McBride is a writer, teacher and one of the country’s leading voices when it comes to media ethics. She has been on the faculty...
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  • Sidney Tompkins (LMHC)
    Licensed Mental Health Counselor
    Sidney Tompkins is a licensed Mental Health Counselor who brings more than 40 years of clinical experience to her teaching. She is also a retired...
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  • Doris Truong
    Director of Training and Diversity
    As director of training and diversity at Poynter, Doris Truong is responsible for overseeing in-person training — at the institute and in newsrooms — as...
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  • Lori Walden
    President and General Manager, KOAT TV, Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Read More

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