Journalists need more training.
They know it. Their bosses know it. But training, a force that at once accelerates change and eases the difficulty of it, is not keeping pace with the challenges of an industry that is changing rapidly and radically.
Investing in the Future of News, a new survey of more than 2,000 American journalists and news executives, finds nine in 10 journalists say they need more training and nine in 10 newsroom executives agree. The executives – typically among the most experienced and knowledgeable journalists – also admit they need more training themselves.
This hunger to learn – crossing multiple topics, from craft skills training, including new media, to ethics and legal affairs to management – is not surprising. The digital revolution has upended journalism. The speed at which information moves – and the new ways people consume it – is transforming what journalists need to know and do.
The key to this transformation is strategic training in America’s newsrooms. Since 2003, training and research projects that comprise Knight’s $10 millionNewsroom Training Initiative have worked with journalists and news executives.These projects demonstrate that training linked to actionable goals andencouraged by forward-looking leadership drives innovation and audienceappeal by improving newsroom culture and news content.
The new poll suggests a divide in the news industry.
The good news: Three in 10 news organizations say they are doing more training today than five years ago.
The bad news: The other end of the bell curve also is growing.
Overall, training in the news industry hasn’t changed in the five years since Knight funded “Newsroom Training: Where’s the Investment?” Then, as now, the No. 1 source of dissatisfaction among working journalists is the lack of training.