Poynter’s News University, world’s largest online journalism learning platform, to promote journalism talent with $758,000 from Knight Foundation

Press Release

June 28, 2016


New funding will support News University redesign to engage new audiences and provide journalists with digital age training

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.  — June 28, 2016 — To promote the growth of talent, leadership and learning in journalism, The Poynter Institute will remake its News University platform with $758,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. New funding will allow Poynter to build a mobile-friendly platform that is more responsive to the needs of its audiences. 

Related Link

"Poynter Institute reinventing NewsU for next generation and new realities of journalism" by Vicki Krueger on Knight Blog, 6/28/2016

The new plan marks the first major upgrade to News University in seven years. The redesigned site will offer on-demand and mobile-tailored courses. It will apply digital training techniques using games, interactive hands-on practice and video. Poynter will also explore ways to integrate News University with its news site, poynter.org, making it easier for people to learn about its in-person, online and corporate training partnerships, as well as its in-depth coverage of the media industry.

Through the process, Poynter will further expand its teaching to non-journalists who would benefit from learning about writing, communication, leadership, critical thinking, audience development, social media and more.

“By connecting the dots of Poynter’s expansive body of work to support excellence in journalism and democracy, Poynter will be the largest single resource for working journalists throughout their career,” said Poynter President Tim Franklin. “In today’s complex and evolving digital landscape, the demand for continuing education has never been greater. This new platform will allow Poynter to continue its tradition of innovation in journalism education.”

“In the digital age, journalists are required to constantly update their skills and keep up with a fast-changing media landscape,” said Shazna Nessa, Knight Foundation director for journalism. “News University can be an essential partner in this goal. With an updated design and a platform built with the needs of its audience in mind, it can help expand talent in the field, and ensure that the next generation of leaders are equipped to meet 21st century information demands.”

Support for The Poynter Institute is part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to expand digital journalism training opportunities, support emerging leaders and strengthen the network of people working to advance the practice of journalism. Knight also supported a relaunch of the e-learning project in 2009 with $1.4 million, including the development of News University International.

Poynter’s News University launched in 2005 with $2.8 million from Knight Foundation. In the last 11 years, News University has served more than 370,000 people and offers 400 interactive course modules with training in seven languages. In 2015, class enrollments at NewsU reached a record of more than 102,000 people.

More than 50 organizations have partnered with Poynter to create e-learning programs and courses including American Press Institute, Gannett, Google, McClatchy and Radio Television Digital News Association, as well as international programs on behalf of the European Journalism Center, Turkish Media Association, International Center for Journalists and International Press Institute.

For more information, visit newsu.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. They believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

About The Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global 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 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 370,000 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.


Tina Dyakon, Director of Advertising and Marketing, The Poynter Institute, 727-553-4343, [email protected]

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]