Poynter President Tim Franklin Unveils New Strategic Direction

Focus on Digital Innovation, International Expansion, Custom Teaching and Thought Leadership to Transform Journalism For The Future

May 20, 2014, 08:00 ET from The Poynter Institute

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- At one of the most critical times in journalism's history, The Poynter Institute's president, Tim Franklin, has launched a new mission for the Institute, outlining Poynter's key role in media transformation. It includes the development of Bridge Lab, a digital hub for linking innovative strategies and ideas to practical applications in newsrooms and classrooms.

"To build on Poynter's rich legacy as an engine of innovation in the industry, we will undergo the same profound transformation as that reshaping the media landscape," said Poynter President Tim Franklin. "We will act as a transformative bridge between journalism's core values and the technology-driven and audience-centered journalism of today."

Goals for this new direction include a re-designed and expanded digital presence, significant growth in international efforts and expanded custom-teaching initiatives and new partnerships that help media companies, journalists and educators meet the newest and most daunting media challenges.

"This is as exciting and motivating a vision for Poynter and the journalists we serve as anything I've experienced in 35 years at the institute," said Roy Peter Clark, Poynter vice president and senior scholar. 

To advance this vision, Poynter will redesign its digital footprint, beginning with Poynter Online — its popular journalism and media news blog.

With an improved design, additional mobile offerings, and greater optimization, Poynter Online will offer media news and the context for understanding that news. It will address the complex, changing needs of audiences.

The re-designed Poynter.org will feature the Bridge Lab — an important new digital laboratory for dialogue and learning devoted to best practices and key initiatives for media professionals and educators transitioning into new content building, delivery systems and audience engagement initiatives.  The Bridge Lab, set to debut later this year, will drive the conversation about the practical application of innovation for news organizations at every step of transformation and growth.

Also important to Franklin's new strategy is a critical expansion in Poynter's international training and professional engagement, according to Howard Finberg, Poynter's Director of Business Development.  Poynter's work in helping emerging democracies, newly developed free societies and transformative news cultures will grow through additional resources, new technologies and new partnerships.

Poynter's global outreach efforts will continue to increase. They'll include more in-person seminars abroad that offer state-of-the-art training to growing the cadre of journalists in more than 220 countries who use its e-learning site, NewsU, in 6 languages.

"News University extends the power of Poynter teaching to audiences around the world through our e-learning platform," added Vicki Krueger, Poynter's Director of Interactive Learning. "Through a combination of strategic partnerships with media organizations and courses on cutting-edge tools and techniques, NewsU continues to reach and teach journalists, educators, students and anyone interested in the craft and values of journalism."

Poynter will also grow its role in connecting educators to rapid changes in the industry. 

"For 16 years college educators have told me their single biggest fear is that they will get left behind by fast moving technology changes in journalism," said Al Tompkins, Poynter senior faculty for broadcast and online. "They want to stay relevant while teaching core skills. That's what Poynter does, we bridge new ways of doing journalism with core values of truth-telling, ethical decision-making, clarity, relevance and accountability."

To address the urgent and critical needs of journalism and media education, Poynter will launch several new initiatives to build a dialog between Poynter faculty, university deans and faculty and high schools.    

"Our path as a global leader in journalism means we must teach people in different ways, extending the 'Poynter Experience' and what it means," Franklin added. "We'll teach people online, on the phone and in person. Poynter will take its teaching wherever our journalists, educators and students need us to be. Our new tag will be, 'Experience Poynter Everywhere'."

In looking at re-shaping Poynter's sustainability, Franklin outlined the importance of a mature philanthropic plan to garner private and corporate support, as well as the use of fundraising events to build affinity, financial support and awareness of the Institute, including an annual Gala.

Through these transformative efforts and others to come, Poynter will play a pivotal role in the disruption, evolution and endurance of journalism and democracy across the world.

About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is an international leader in journalism education, and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world's largest online journalism curriculum in 6 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 290,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute's website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world's top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

Kim Tobin
Marketing Communications Strategy Manager
The Poynter Institute

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