First Participants in Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative Announced

The Poynter Institute has announced the names of twenty-one news organizations selected to participate in its new Poynter Local News Innovation Project.

Part of the  Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation-funded project selected news outlets in sixteen states — including Alaska Dispatch News, the Detroit Free Press, the Lawrence Journal-World, the New Hampshire Union Leader, The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), the Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa), the Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon), and the Tampa Bay Times — to participate in the three-year initiative, which will include conferences, online seminars, and personalized coaching. With the aim of fueling innovation, collaboration, and cultural change through all aspects of their operations, participating organizations will be expected to have senior representatives from both the news and business sides involved in various aspects of the program. In addition, key takeaways from the sessions will be made available through a series of massive open online courses (MOOCs), a new Digital Transformation Channel on, and programs offered by the Poynter Institute.

"Local communities need responsive, credible news sources more than they ever have," said Butch Ward, who is heading Poynter's part of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative. "To deliver on that need, news organizations — especially in this very challenging business environment — must dramatically expand their capacity to compete digitally. This program can help them do that."