API and Knight Foundation Partner to Improve Newsroom Training

Reston, VA — The American Press Institute has received a $225,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to extend its “Train the Trainer” initiative to strengthen in-house newsroom training.

Three groups of 20 trainers from diverse media organizations will be invited to participate in API’s “Train the Trainer” program. During the intense, three-day experience, participants will learn how to enhance training content and to bolster their presentation skills, allowing them to better engage, educate and motivate newsroom personnel.

“`Train the Trainer’ is the best way for media organizations to leverage the knowledge they gain at API and other professional learning institutions,” said Andrew B. Davis, president and executive director of API. “Effective presentation skills are truly a knowledge multiplier.”

The first offering will be held October 24-27 at the American Press Institute. Two other programs will be offered in Spring and Fall 2005.

Alan Weiss, a renowned management consultant, author and educator, returns as this year’s faculty chair.

This is the second round of API “Train the Trainer” programs funded by Knight Foundation. Forty newsroom trainers participated in the first programs, which were held in May and October 2003. 

 API proposed the “Train the Trainer” program in response to a Knight-funded study that revealed lack of training — not pay and benefits — as the greatest source of frustration for U.S. journalists.

“The growing arena of newsroom training needs champions — and API will help provide them — not just this year, but into the future,” said Eric Newton, director of journalism initiatives at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The “Train the Trainer” program zeroes in on issues that mean the difference between merely adequate and truly inspirational workplace training. Topics include:

• Applying adult-learning principles

• Breaking down barriers to full participation

• Enhancing “delivery dynamics,” from tone of voice and inflection to stance and hand gestures

• Diffusing difficult personalities and conflict to ensure a smooth training process

• Preparing for, encouraging and responding to questions, and becoming a better listener along the way

• Using creative techniques to design engrossing presentations and high-impact visual aids.

Participants also will have an opportunity to work in small groups to discuss ways they can enhance training content.

Information about the “Train the Trainer” initiative and the application process for the October program may be obtained at: www.americanpressinstitute.org/04/trainer.

About Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities. Its signature work is its Journalism Initiatives Program. Through 2004, the foundation had approved more than $220 million in journalism grants.

About the American Press Institute

The American Press Institute is an independent, not-for-profit 501c(3) educational center with headquarters in Reston, Virginia. Founded in 1946 as the leadership-development and training arm of the news industry, the Institute offers about three dozen weeklong residential seminars annually for professionals in all newspaper departments. These programs have been attended by more than 35,000 women and men from all newspaper departments, from broadcast and new-media operations, magazines and schools of journalism. The Institute also offers training online and develops intensive on-site learning programs for individual media companies. API’s Media Center is a worldwide leader in helping the news industry devise strategies and tactics for improving online content and revenues.