Become a dominant player in your market and change the game for your news organization with Poynter’s Table Stakes program.
This will be the sixth year of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation-funded and Poynter-facilitated initiative to accelerate digital transformation and sustainability in local news. More than 60 newsrooms across the United States have realized their performance challenges through Poynter’s program since 2017, while also adapting to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing business model changes.
Table Stakes partner programs include Arizona State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Poynter’s team of experts — led by Quentin Hope and Kate Myers — specialize in transforming small to medium-size news organizations, with a focus on family-owned, Black-owned or independent newspapers and public media organizations.
During Poynter’s yearlong program, we combine in-person gatherings, regular online group seminars, peer group support and personalized coaching sessions to hold you accountable and help your entire organization succeed. You’ll also experience transformation alongside other news organizations of different sizes and from different regions; they will serve as a sounding board, motivator and source of inspiration.
This level of accountability and guidance is part of the reason that transformational change continues after the program concludes.
“Our #FactsArentFree team, which we formed and named during Table Stakes, still meets weekly to work on our digital subscription strategies,” said Liz White Notarangelo, publisher and executive vice president at the Record-Journal in Connecticut, which participated in Poynter’s 2019-2020 program. “We continue to use the skills we learned in Table Stakes, and it set us up for additional opportunities, as we were accepted into the (Meta Journalism Project) Accelerator Program.”
Terry Williams, president and chief operating officer at The Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire, reported a similar experience. The teams he set up in 2019 and 2020 during Poynter’s Table Stakes program continue to meet today to increase the amount of online engagement at the 220-year-old paper.
“We ended 2019 at 1.4 million in circulation revenue. We expect to end this year at 1.8 million,” said Williams in 2021. “Now for us, we’re a small operation, that’s really significant growth for us. … I’m a huge advocate for Table Stakes. It’s been a game changer for us.”
Since the Anchorage Daily News participated in Poynter’s Table Stakes program — twice, from 2017 to 2019 — Alaska’s most-read newspaper has become a much more audience-driven operation.
“Going through Table Stakes helped us identify gaps within our organization so we could continue building out our team in a strategic way that makes sense not only from an editorial standpoint, but from a financial point of view as well,” said Vicky Ho, managing editor at Anchorage Daily News and one of Poynter’s Tables Stakes coaches. “And we’ve continued to embrace an iterative approach to various experiments or initiatives.”
Table Stakes also spurred Ho and her team to seek out partnerships to grow capacity. The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica were awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a project called Lawless, focusing on sexual violence and law enforcement in Alaska. That was the result of a yearlong collaboration between the newsrooms, and the partnership with ProPublica has continued.
Change the game for your organization. Apply for Poynter’s 2023 Table Stakes program by Nov. 18, 2022.
Questions about Poynter’s Table Stakes program?
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