A Journalist's Guide to Covering the Future of Work

A Journalist's Guide to Covering the Future of Work

August 10, 2018
Teaching Date
Sept. 27-28
The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, FL
Free (travel scholarships may be available)


The Future of Work Depends on Powerful Storytelling

Due to a severe talent shortage and increased automation in America, statistics suggest nearly 50 percent of the workforce may be unemployed in less than 20 years. 

The impact of rapid advances in technology is being felt across all business sectors, from data analysis to cyber security to manufacturing to health care. Jobs are changing, much faster than we could have predicted. The demand for highly-skilled workers is growing. Thousands of jobs are going unfilled. Numbers alone cannot create the change in the workforce we need to ensure a prosperous economy for businesses and workers. 

We are talking about real people, real businesses and real futures. These are our employers, employees, consumers, friends and family. We need to tell their stories, urgently. 

The goal of this workshop is to help journalists educate themselves and their local communities about the future of the workforce in their region—and be part of the solution. 

Interested in the other dynamics impacting the future of work? Check out our complementary teaching, "Covering Equity in Education After High School."


In Poynter’s "A Journalist's Guide to Covering the Future of Work," we will explore how storytelling is an important part of bringing businesses, workers, the government, and academia together to explore solutions to the talent shortage in America. Journalists will learn to report transparently as they explore critical questions about the education system, economy and workforce. By the end of the workshop, journalists will be able to frame strong stories and amplify issues, as well as solutions, to the challenges of creating a robust workforce. 

The workshop is free, thanks to support from the Lumina Foundation.

In this two-day workshop, journalists will: 

  • Understand the concepts behind the issues facing the future of work
  • Examine the future of work and modify the lens through which they view job stories
  • Use storytelling to connect the skills gap problem and solutions to the people who need to learn about it most
  • Ask relevant questions in their own communities, to determine if businesses, governments and schools are preparing for the future of work
  • Look specifically at how post-high school education and training can prepare people for this future
  • Find data with indicators on the future or work, understand it and build solution-based stories around it


Who Should Apply

Working journalists on any platform who want to contribute to the success of the future of the workforce. Attendees will be part of the solution after getting a full working understanding of the challenges we face as automation and technological change rapidly disrupt the economy and the future of work. Business, education, community, city and general assignment reporters and editors will find particular value in this workshop. Freelancers are invited to apply, but you must be actively covering issues related to the workforce.


Tentative Schedule

Thursday, Sept. 27

  • Welcome
  • Nobody Can Predict the Future of WorkKeynote speaker is Satyam Panday, Senior Economist, Global Economics and Research, S&P Global Ratings Services
  • Break
  • Every Story Is A Jobs Story: Hari Sreenivasan, Anchor and Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour 
  • Lunch
  • Finding the Jobs of the Future Stories in Data: Brandon Busteed, Partner at Gallup and Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Credentials*: Roy Swift, Executive Director, Workcred
  • Trending: Future of Work: Allen Blue, VP Product Management and Co-Founder at LinkedIn

Friday, Sept. 28

  • The Workforce of the FutureKarin Norington Reaves, CEO, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership; Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation; and Maria Flynn, President and CEO, JFF
  • Lunch
  • Show and Share 
  • Closing Remarks 


* Credentials 101: Non-traditional certification programs are gaining exponential popularity and employers are seeking applicants with "credentials" in lieu of degrees or in addition to traditional degrees. Credentials play a major role in post-high school education and training to prepare people for the changes coming to the future of their work. What makes a good credential? How are programs vetted and what credentials are highly sought after by major employers? How do they compare with degree programs in cost and applicability? Are they expensive? Just how popular are they, where are the stories, and what do you need to know to report on non-traditional degrees? The Workcred group will present the basics and outline the vision of a labor market which relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development.


This workshop is supported by:


Lumina Foundation

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