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Core Skills for the 21st Century Journalist

About This Course

Key findings in Poynter's 2014 report, Core Skills for the Future of Journalism, show that professional journalists lag behind educators and others in rating the importance of multimedia and other digital storytelling skills.

Poynter's Howard Finberg and Lauren Klinger will discuss the findings about the value that journalists, educators and others place on 37 key skills, attributes and knowledge areas.


Click here to download Core Skills for the Future of Journalism.

What Will I Learn?

  • What kind of knowledge, attitudes and personal skills are important for a journalist
  • What kind of newsgathering skills, technical, production and multimedia skills are needed now to be successful
  • What kind of changes in attitudes, education and hiring processes are needed so you can attract the best talent

Who Should Take this Course?

Educators, reporters, editors, producers, hiring managers and anyone interested in the future of journalism and core skills.

Course Instructors

Howard Finberg

Howard Finberg

Howard I. Finberg is the director of business development at The Poynter Institute and creator of Poynter's NewsU. Finberg looks for new training partners and handles the business development aspects of Poynter's international teaching. He also looks at new revenue opportunities, mostly related to Poynter training.

Finberg joined the Institute in 2003 after serving as its Presidential Scholar in 2002. His task was examining technology’s impact on media and how new technologies might be integrated into Poynter's teaching and publishing. Prior to joining Poynter he founded and ran The Digital Futurist Consultancy ( Among his clients are the McClatchy Company, MediaNews Interactive, The San Francisco Chronicle, Hearst Interactive, Freedom Communications, the Houston Chronicle and the Newspaper Association of America. He also served as a senior fellow at The American Press Institute’s Media Center. Finberg was a corporate vice president at Central Newspapers, prior to its sale to Gannett Corp., where he managed the company's Internet and technology investments and provided strategic and operational guidance for the company’s print and online efforts. He served as a director at Phoenix Newspapers, Inc., which publishes The Arizona Republic. At The Republic, Finberg led the creation and launch of the award-winning online service, Arizona Central ( on the Web and on America Online in early 1995.

Finberg was honored as the Newspaper Association of America “New Media Pioneer” in 2000. He also held senior newsroom management positions at The Republic, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune, and he worked at the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Examiner and The New York Times. Finberg established the Chicago Tribune’s graphics desk, one of the country’s first such operations, and was the founding editor of the country’s first syndicated newspaper graphics service.

A former teacher at Northwestern University and San Francisco State University, he is the co-author of Visual Editing: A Graphic Guide for Journalists (Wadsworth Publishing, Belmont, Calif.), a college-level textbook about newspaper design, informational graphics, illustrations and photography. He has also been a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has served as a judge for a number of website competitions.

His personal Twitter handle is @hif

Lauren Klinger

Lauren Klinger

Lauren Klinger is an interactive learning producer at Poynter News University. She holds master's degrees in American politics from the University of Pittsburgh and mass communications from the University of South Florida. She taught mass communications and journalism courses at the University of Tampa and USF Tampa before joining the NewsU team. She is a contributor to and the co-author of Poynter's 2013 white papers, the Future of Journalism Education 2013 and Core Skills for the Future of Journalism.


The Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote community engagement and lead to transformational change.

This $30 course is free thanks to the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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