Center for Cooperative Media announces free Poynter Institute training for displaced New Jersey journalists

Being a successful journalist today requires an almost entirely different set of skills than it did even just five or 10 years ago. The needs of our audiences, the technology, the expectations of consumers – it's all changing so quickly. Keeping up requires vigilant listening, it requires trying new things, it requires learning from your colleagues and it requires a lot of training.

In the wake of journalism layoffs in New Jersey, the Center for Cooperative Media has partnered with the respected Poynter Institute to provide training to displaced journalists in our state, in an effort to keep experienced news and information providers working in our ecosystem.

We are pleased to launch the training today. Click here to visit our page on Poynter's News University (News U) website, through which you can register for News U and take our courses. We are providing FREE access to two full certificate-level programs and several webinars that normally require a fee, as well as access to a well-rounded group of Poynter's free courses, curated to be most relevant to folks in New Jersey.

Poynter's News U is an innovative online media training program, including 300 free and low-cost courses. NewsU got its start in 2005 with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and currently has more than 350,000 users, according to Poynter's website. Among the self-directed training courses we are providing for free to qualified Jersey journalists*:

Certificate programs 

  • Building Your Brand on Social Media: A Poynter Certificate ($150 value)
  • Public Relations Brand Building: Communications Professional Certificate ($150 value)


  • Making a Side Hustle Work for Your Journalism Career ($30 value)
  • Tools for Mobile Journalism ($30 value)
  • When a Staff Isn’t a Staff: Managing Freelancers ($30 value)
  • Six Traits of Successful Entrepreneurial Journalists ($30 value)
  • Becoming an Entrepreneurial Journalist: From Idea to Implementation ($30 value)

Free Courses(These courses are open to anyone; there is no promotional code needed. I would highly recommend these courses to many of our NJ News Commons partners!)

  • Avoiding Plagiarism and Fabrication
  • The Community Journalism Series: Contributing to a Local Publication
  • Getting It Right: Accuracy and Verification in the Digital Age
  • Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More
  • Solutions Journalism in Every News Room
  • Whose Truth? Tools for Smart Science Journalism in the Digital Age
  • Reporting on Mental Health Conditions and Suicide
  • Reporting on Sexual Violence
  • Introduction to Investigative Reporting
  • Understanding and Interpreting Polls
  • Innovation at Work: Helping New Ideas Succeed
  • Developing a Successful Journalistic Blog

So what does it mean to be a "qualified New Jersey journalist" so that you get the free promo codes? Although Poynter gave us a wonderful discount since the Center for Cooperative Media is a grant-funded program at a state university, we paid for a limited number of seats, and I want to make sure we first help as many laid-off, bought-out, or looking-for-work colleagues as possible. After that, we'll open the training up to other Center partners working in the Jersey media scene.

Our goal is to max out these training sessions with Jersey journalists. If you want to participate, start by filling out this short survey to send me  your contact info. If you qualify with the first group of laid-off/bought-out/displaced folks, we'll send you the promotional codes right away so you can register for News U. Otherwise, we will be in touch and hopefully can share the promotional codes within a few weeks.

This training is being made possible thanks to the support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation

This program appears to be the first of its kind in the nation (if you know of others, please shoot me an email, I'd love to connect!), and I hope it's not the last. There are a lot of talented and smart journalists leaving newsrooms all around this country, at a time when real, verified, authentic, investigative news is more important than ever. How do we keep these folks in this industry?

Hopefully, this program is one piece of that larger, important conversation.

Stefanie Murray is the director of the Center for Cooperative Media. Contact her at or 973-655-3879.  About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University.

The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit