ICFJ and Poynter to Launch News University International

Aug 32009

Worldwide initiative will start with interactive, e-learning courses for Iranian journalists

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and The Poynter Institute have announced a partnership to create a multilingual News University International. The initiative will customize Poynter's News University e-learning courses so that they are culturally and professionally relevant for international users. The first modules will be produced in Persian.

The partnership builds on NewsU's unparalleled online-learning expertise and ICFJ's global reach and vast experience in training journalists around the world. NewsU offers more than 65 self-directed, interactive courses for journalists, bloggers and journalism students, on topics ranging from multimedia storytelling to ethical decision-making. ICFJ has worked with 55,000 journalists in 176 countries around the world.

The first five courses will be designed for Iranian journalists and focus on building multimedia skills. ICFJ and Poynter will work with a variety of local partners and together seek funding for additional courses, in languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Russian.

Given the demand for better journalism education in developing nations, this initiative has the potential to reach a wide range of journalists, journalism students and anyone interested in journalism-based skills, such as writing, editing and multimedia. Courses can also supplement on-the-ground media training as well as enhance the skills and standards of citizen journalists and bloggers.

"Poynter and ICFJ each bring unique contributions to the table in this enterprise," said Karen Brown Dunlap, president of The Poynter Institute. Adds NewsU Director Howard Finberg: "Our combined strengths will come together to create an incredible resource for international journalists of every type."

"NewsU International has the potential to reach journalists whether they're in Tehran or Tijuana," says ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. "We can successfully use digital technology to offer quality journalism courses practically anywhere in the world."

The International Center for Journalists, a non-profit, professional organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, ICFJ has worked directly with more than 55,000 journalists from 176 countries. Aiming to raise the standards of journalism, ICFJ offers hands-on training, workshops, online training, seminars, fellowships and international exchanges to reporters and media managers around the globe.

ICFJ also runs the International Journalists' Network (IJNet), the world's premier resource for the media assistance community. IJNet, available in six languages, aims to help connect journalists with the opportunities and information they need to better themselves and raise journalism standards in their countries. To learn more, visit www.ijnet.org.

The Poynter Institute is dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses. It stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse. It carries forward Nelson Poynter's belief in the value of independent journalism. For more, visit www.poynter.org.

Begun in 2005 with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Poynter's News University currently has more than 111,000 registered users, including 15 percent from outside the United States. It is committed to providing interactive, inexpensive courses that appeal to journalists at all levels of experience and in all types of media. For more, visit www.newsu.org.