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St. Pete Times owner Poynter gets $1.4-million grant

We're so inundated with bad news about journalism, it feels like Christmas in July to write story about a journalism organization getting more money.Newsu_logo 

But the Poynter Institute's online NewsU program just scored a $1.4-million grant from the Knight Foundation to continue its awesome work offering training through cyberspace to journalists trying to retool -- or even "tool" in the first place -- for an ever-changing digital news landscape.

I was at a recent meeting of thinkers at Poynter where we talked about the notion that every journalist nowadays -- whether they're working for a big company like Times Publishing or for themselves -- is more an independent entitity than ever before. You have your own brand name to establish and maintain, and your own platforms to feed, whether they're owned by someone else or not.

NewsU seems a great way to get a leg up on that kind of training and thinking. And my opinions are not influenced at all by the fact that the Times is owned by Poynter, or that I think NewsU director Howard Finberg is a great guy. Really.   

Here's the release:

Poynter Receives Boost to Transform Journalism Education Through E-Learning

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

St. Petersburg, Fla. - July 8, 2008 - 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 e-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."

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:48pm]


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