How You Can Support the Future of Journalism — and Poynter

Journalists are confronting challenges and embracing new opportunities like never before.

In their newsrooms, reporters, producers, editors and news directors are creatively navigating a rapidly changing media ecosystem, reaching shifting news audiences in new ways and on platforms that are still evolving. In corporate suites, media executives are experimenting with new business models to support the vital journalism news organizations provide.

Outside their newsrooms, journalists are coping with diminished access to government information, and increasingly distrustful sources. At the same time, they’re redefining how they tell stories.

And in journalism classrooms, educators are working diligently to keep pace with change, preparing students for a media world that will change drastically by the time an incoming freshman graduates.

These are just a few examples of why the work of The Poynter Institute, whose mission is dedicated to serving journalism as a cornerstone of democracy, has never mattered more than it does today. And, that’s why Poynter is changing its strategic mission.

As we evolve to better serve the demands of journalists on their budgets and on their time, to enhance understanding for the change that swirls around us and to train newsrooms in all forms of storytelling, your support is critical and urgent.

Our new mantra is “Experience Poynter Everywhere.” We’re still teaching in St. Petersburg, but we’re increasingly working around the globe both in person and online to improve skills in such areas as digital storytelling, reporting, leadership and ethics. We’ve conducted sessions in four countries in the last five months. More than 300,000 registered users in 200 countries now use our e-learning platform, News University, in six languages.

We’re training journalists at many of the nation’s leading media organizations, including McClatchy, Scripps, NPR, CBS Corp. Station Group, The Associated Press and others.

We’re enhancing knowledge of major issues in journalism, from a recent forum in New York City about the impact of the Web on the media industry to a symposium at the National Press Club in Washington about women leaders in newsrooms.

We’re developing new initiatives to help journalism educators and students, from primers on writing to how to tell stories on smart phones. Universities including Columbia, Arizona State, Indiana, Wisconsin and Louisiana State have signed up.

And is producing more original content than ever from our reporters and faculty to help provide understanding of what’s happening in journalism. Poynter reporter Kristen Hare was on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri, chronicling the media’s coverage of that story. The readership of our site is growing significantly.

As journalists face new challenges, Poynter plays a critical role in helping them seize these opportunities. Your support strengthens our mission to provide excellent journalism and the public awareness necessary for an informed electorate and a strong democracy. I hope that you will consider a gift to the Institute to advance journalism during this time of profound transformation.

Tim Franklin