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TMP Fellows take in Poynter expertise

North America | TMP Professional Development

SIXTEEN JOURNALISTS from 14 countries have successfully completed The Media Project’s inaugural Coaching and Leadership Workshop conducted February 13-17, 2012, at The Poynter Institute in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

“The workshop included key training exercises and leadership theory to help the Fellows grow as leaders as they return to the challenges of practicing journalism in newsrooms around the world,” said Media Project CEO Arne Fjeldstad.

The weeklong workshop is part of a Fellowship program conceived by The Media Project to develop leaders with a personal commitment to promote excellence and integrity in the practice of journalism in the face of diverse opinions and difficult political climates.  The goal of the Fellowship program is to train journalists dedicated to ethical decision-making and leadership values so that they in turn may practice a journalism that informs and inspires citizens of all nations and faiths to think critically about the complex world in which they live.

Jill GeislerThe 2012 Fellows began their week at Poynter with a discussion on the state of journalism in each of their countries.  Poynter Dean of Faculty Stephen Buckley led the conversation focused on which journalism values they believe are at stake and which journalism values they believe are challenged.  Fellows were then asked how they hope to use the coaching and leadership skills they learn at Poynter to benefit the quality and independence of journalism.

Poynter’s Leadership and Management expert Jill Geisler led the 2012 Fellows through a series of coaching and leadership techniques and insights.  Geisler’s teaching is based on 26 years of newsroom experience and years of research into coaching and leadership best practices.  Geisler customized her daily workshop sessions to address the international diversity of the 2012 Fellows.

“It is humbling to be in their presence, especially those who practice journalism in the face of personal risk.  Not every country believes in a free and independent press,” said Geisler.

Sinar Harapan Senior Editor and 2012 Media Project Coaching and Leadership Fellow Kristanto Hartadi of Indonesia said he plans to implement what he learned during the Poynter workshop in his newsroom’s training program.  Hartadi said coaching and leadership skills are “a tool to improve the quality of journalists” which is “part of our effort to maintain and take care of democracy.”

Poynter’s Broadcast and Online expert Al Tompkins engaged the Fellows during a lively session on critical thinking designed to help them navigate the ethical issues they encounter in the diverse cultural climates in which they practice journalism.

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