Council of Presidents to Link Journalists to Training Programs

By Gest, Ted | The Quill, September 2001 | Go to article overview
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Council of Presidents to Link Journalists to Training Programs


Gest, Ted, The Quill


Opportunities for journalists to get mid-- career training are on the rise, but where can they be found and how extensively will news organizations support them?

A coalition of journalism organizations is pursuing projects to address both issues. The Council of Presidents of National Journalism Organizations, whose 35 members include SPJ, is laying plans for a Web site that would include descriptions and links to all training programs nationwide. SPJ has proposed to host the site, which will be discussed at a council meeting this October in Milwaukee.

The idea is to create a central place where editors, broadcast news executives, and journalists of all kinds can locate a wide variety of training programs. The council launched the project after several of its members noted the lack of coordination among training providers.

If the project proceeds as planned, journalists seeking training will be able to search on the site for subjects of interest, such as copy editing or health reporting. They then will be able to read a description of relevant training programs, their location, time, and cost, and to link to the Web site of the sponsoring organization. The council hopes that the site will be ready by early 2002.

Quill's July/August 2001 issue discussed "No Train, No Gain," published by the Freedom Forum on the basis of a survey taken in 1992-93. The study concluded that "almost all journalists want training, and they want it far more frequently than it is being provided." Nearly a decade later, there is no doubt that more training is available.

Not only is it provided by established entities such as the Poynter Institute and American Press Institute, but membership groups such as the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Association of Health Care Journalists, and Criminal Justice Journalists offer training to writers and editors specializing in various beats.

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