ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Poynter Institute's e-learning project, News University (NewsU), announced today that it has registered its 250,000th user, marking a significant milestone for a program founded on the principles of flexible, focused and affordable journalism training.
Over the last eight years, Poynter has created an online learning environment that recognizes the need for 'just-in-time' training for diverse audiences. NewsU, with its more than 275 training modules in four languages, offers the world's largest online journalism curriculum.
Two hundred and fifty thousand registered users is not the only number that reflects the significant contribution NewsU (www.newsu.org) is making to journalism training. With users in more than 200 countries, Poynter NewsU has achieved a global impact that wasn't anticipated at its conception in 2005. Today, 14 percent of NewsU users are from outside North America, with India ranking behind the U.S. and Canada in number of users followed by Australia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.
"NewsU is the perfect complement to the rich, in-person teaching that is Poynter's hallmark," said Poynter President Karen Dunlap. "We are committed to helping anyone learn anywhere at anytime. NewsU's self-directed and online group courses, Webinars, video tutorials and much more move us to our goal."
Poynter NewsU was created and initially supported with two five-year grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Those grants allowed for the creation of many of the free or low-cost training modules. Additional partners have supported other training for journalists and others. And a grant from the Harnisch Foundation supported the development of the studio from which NewsU broadcasts more than 50 Webinars and online seminars a year.
NewsU features more than 275 different training modules, which include Webinars, self-directed training modules, online seminars, tutorials and seminar snapshots. Among the most popular offerings are:
Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More
Five Steps to Multimedia Storytelling
The Lead Lab
News Sense: The Building Blocks of News
Language of the Image
In addition to core writing, editing and reporting courses, hallmarks of Poynter's teaching, NewsU also has been at the forefront of training on some of the most important media trends, including digital tools, social media and entrepreneurship. The Digital Tools Project, a partnership of the American Press Institute and Poynter, funded by Knight Foundation, offers a catalog of tools journalists can use in their newsgathering and publishing as well as a series of free Webinar tutorials. And NewsU is looking for partners to create new courses in data visualization, investigative reporting and plagiarism.
NewsU's success is evident in feedback from users. In a recent survey of NewsU users, 75 percent said that half to all of the course content was useful and 62 percent said that the course helped them get better at their job or class work. Seventy-one percent would recommend NewsU to a colleague or a friend, while 80 percent are likely to extremely likely to take another course.
"We rely on our users to help us shape NewsU," said Vicki Krueger, director of interactive learning at The Poynter Institute and the author of NewsU's most popular course, Cleaning Your Copy. "They are the reason for our success."
Beyond the growing course list, user feedback also has led to the creation of a wide range of unique tools and custom programs. The Journalism Certificate Program and Digital Course Packs provide a way to develop and evaluate skills for professionals and students. Using a combination of courses and tools, Poynter NewsU recently has expanded its custom training partnerships to the McClatchy Company, in addition to programs with the European Journalism Centre, DuPont Corporation and HSN. NewsU also has offered more than 600 training tips delivered daily via Twitter and Facebook.
About Poynter and Poynter News University
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 disclosure. 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, with more than 250 interactive courses and 250,000 students. 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.