Poynter's Jill Geisler trains at GateHouse Media News & Interactive Division in Downers Grove, Ill. on Tuesday March 6, 2012.
It's easy in tough times — and we surely have faced them in recent years — to push things like training to the side and out of the budget.
I am happy to be able to say that the GateHouse News & Interactive Division hasn't done that. Much of that recognition goes to my predecessor, Brad Dennison, for ensuring we made training a priority over the last few challenging years.
His belief — and one I seconded — was that as we were navigating new waters of social media, digital publishing and drastic new demands from print readers on format changes like alternative story formats, we had to be in
front of newsrooms, giving reporters and editors tools and insight that would help them meet reader needs.
This year is no different. In fact, our training efforts will be intensified.
This week, you may have read that Jill Geisler from the Poynter Institute was offering training for our 15 regional editors on how to navigate their new roles of coordinating coverage and initiatives in their regions. The sessions were terrific and the tools those editors now possess will be so valuable in their new roles.
That's training for a small group of editors. We have much more on tap.
Jean Hodges, our senior director of content, has formulated a plan that will, once again, put training in front of all our newsrooms. The plan helps move the organization forward with more involvement from reporters with social media, addresses tighter writing and new story telling formats. It will hit on the importance of video and other digital strategies, as well and set our newspapers up for successful central desk launches.
One of the most significant projects this year is training around the transition from Zope to Saxotech and we have tapped Anne Raih to lead that effort. Anne has been deeply involved in CMS training for the last year and will be a great asset as we navigate through that transition. Our CMS training will have several layers and the success of that training will translate directly to our digital movement and a seamless transition to central desks for our papers. It's extremely important.
Jean will be sharing more details about our training programs the closer we get to launching — which will be later in the spring — but the point of this post is to stress that training has been a staple of what we have provided for our newsrooms and will continue to be so as we navigate through this year. We are committed to putting tools in front of journalists and providing them guidance that will help improve their story telling and reporting techniques.
David Arkin is Vice President of Content & Audience for GateHouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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