Poynter’s News University Launches a Bigger, Better and Bolder New E-learning Site

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News University, The Poynter Institute's e-learning site, unveils a new design and enhanced features.

Less than a year after putting in place a plan to re-imagine what online journalism and media training can deliver, Poynter’s News University (http://www.newsu.org) is proud to announce the launch of its new Web site, a bigger, better and bolder NewsU. The improved e-learning site introduces a streamlined design and enhanced features for all of its key audiences including journalists, educators, students, media professionals and the general public.

“This relaunch is an important step forward for Poynter and our e-learning site, NewsU, as the Institute finds new ways to train journalists, students and the public across many different platforms,” said Dr. Karen Dunlap, president of The Poynter Institute. “With the changes in the media industry, it’s important for Poynter to respond by recognizing what we do well and enhancing it but also by seeing where we can offer and deliver more value to key constituents.”

NewsU partnered on the project with Aten Design Group (atendesigngroup.com), an interactive design company based out of Denver, Colo. On Aten’s recommendation, the new site is based on Drupal, an open-source content management system. “Drupal's modular architecture, flexible design capability and incredibly active community make it ideal for building powerful, sustainable solutions,” said Justin Toupin, Aten’s principal and creative director. “Drupal also provides robust support for multi-language content, a key consideration for NewsU International.”

NewsU International, a project developed in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), is one of the new initiatives that will be supported by the new site. The project will transform many of NewsU’s training modules into other languages and cultures.

Features of the new site include more courses in a variety of formats, enhanced search capabilities, an intuitive recommendations engine and more teaching resources. “Over the years, we’ve received a lot of feedback from users on how to make NewsU even better,” said Howard Finberg, director of interactive learning at Poynter’s NewsU. “We’ve incorporated many of those recommendations into the new site, and we’re excited about the opportunity it gives Poynter to expand its offerings and reach new audiences.”

Poynter’s NewsU was created by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2003 for the purpose of developing an e-learning center for journalism training. In addition to the Knight grant, NewsU has received significant funding from other foundations and journalism organizations, including the Harnisch Foundation, the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the Suburban Newspapers of America Foundation, American Society of News Editors and the Radio Television Digital News Foundation. Other financial support has come from Internews, J-Ideas at Ball State University, the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University, the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Columbia University, the Knight Digital Media Center, GuideStar and the James M. Cox Jr. Center at the University of Georgia.

You can access the new site at http://www.newsu.org, which includes a guided Flash tour of all the new features. For more information, contact Howard Finberg or Justin Toupin.

About The Poynter Institute
Founded in 1975 in St. Petersburg, Fla., The Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders, future journalists, journalism teachers and citizens. The Institute stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse and it promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft. The Web site of The Poynter Institute, http://www.poynter.org, highlights media news and information. Poynter’s News University (http://www.newsu.org) offers online journalism training to journalists, educators, students and the public through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities.

About Aten Design Group
Aten Design Group (atendesigngroup.com) is an interactive design company based in Denver, Colo. Since opening in 2000, Aten has worked with some of the world’s best-known cultural heritage and humanitarian organizations, designing interfaces that tell stories and connect with users. Aten is a multi-disciplined agency experienced in designing with Web standards, creating entertaining online games, developing Flash applications and interfaces, and implementing robust content management systems.

Contact:
Howard Finberg, Director, Interactive Learning
The Poynter Institute’s News University
Phone: 1-888-POYNTER (1-888-769-6837)

Justin Toupin, Principal and Creative Director
Aten Design Group
Phone: 303-831-0448

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