The Poynter Institute Receives Boost to Transform Journalism Education Through E-Learning

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$1.4 million grant from Knight Foundation to News University e-learning program adds digital transformation modules and multiple languages.

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This second Knight grant to NewsU is a major vote of confidence in the work of our faculty and staff, our partners and our diverse and expansive user base

The Poynter Institute announced today that it will use a $1.4 million, five-year grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to help transform journalism education by expanding the world's most successful and innovative journalism e-learning site. Launched in 2005 with a prior Knight Foundation grant, NewsU provides interactive, inexpensive courses to journalists at all levels of experience and in all types of media.

The grant will help NewsU expand in four key areas:

  •     Enhance the skills and digital abilities of journalists,
  •     Find new ways to teach and inspire journalists as well as those without access to formal journalism training,
  •     Increase news literacy, and
  •     Use the Internet to deliver training in innovative and effective ways.

Specifically, NewsU plans to offer new courses to help journalists and others make the transition to a digital world, shift its current content management system to a Web 2.0 platform, deliver course content in multiple languages, and create e-learning modules on news literacy for the general public.

"More than 73,000 participants have enrolled in NewsU courses since its introduction, vastly exceeding initial expectations and making NewsU the top distance learning destination for journalists and others interested in journalism," said Howard Finberg, director of interactive learning at The Poynter Institute. "We are excited about taking NewsU to the next level and reaching journalists around the world."

"This second Knight grant to NewsU is a major vote of confidence in the work of our faculty and staff, our partners and our diverse and expansive user base," said Karen Dunlap, president of The Poynter Institute.

"New technology is transforming journalism," said Gary Kebbel, director of journalism programs at Knight Foundation. "Journalism education cannot meet the training needs of today's journalist without using that same technology. We hope this grant helps anyone learn to use new platforms to pursue the fair, accurate, contextual search for truth." He added, "Every community in this democracy has a core need for information that creates shared experiences that unite us."

NewsU was launched in 2005 to help journalists understand and adapt to the digital revolution. Through partnerships with more than 25 journalism organizations, the online site has developed and introduced more than 65 interactive learning modules that can be taken anytime and anywhere.

About The Poynter Institute:
Founded in 1975 in St. Petersburg, Fla., The Poynter Institute (http://www.poynter.org) is one of the nation's top schools for professional journalists and media leaders, future journalists and journalism educators. Poynter offers training throughout the year in online and multimedia; reporting, writing and editing; leadership and management; TV and radio; ethics and diversity; visual journalism; and journalism education. Poynter's News University (http://www.newsu.org) offers training to journalists, journalism students and others through interactive e-learning modules and links to other journalism education and training opportunities.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950 the foundation has granted more than $300 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of expression. Knight Foundation focuses on ideas and projects that create transformational change. To learn more, visit http://www.knightfoundation.org.

Contacts:
News University/The Poynter Institute
Howard Finberg, Director, Interactive Learning
Phone: 1.727.553.4371
E-mail: hfinberg @ poynter.org

Marc Fest, vice president of communications
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Phone: 1.305.908.2677
Email: fest @ knightfoundation.org

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