INN Kicks Off Training Program for Community News Leaders

Jessica Plautz/Investigative News Network

Members of INN and Block by Block attend CJET in Los Angeles in October 2012.

We are very pleased to welcome to Los Angeles today more than 30 leaders of independent news organizations from across North America to INN’s first Community Journalism Executive Training (CJET). This educational program is designed to help strengthen the businesses of both nonprofit and for-profit publishers serving regional, local, hyper-local and topical communities.

CJET is a collaboration of the Investigative News Network, Block by Block and the Knight Digital Media Center at USC Annenberg. We are able to host this program thanks to the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Patterson Foundation and the McCormick Foundation. The program is based on the Block by Block Super Camp — a training and mentoring program for publishers produced by KDMC and supported by the Patterson Foundation.

CJET is focused on helping established, independent publishers evolve their business plans to meet the needs of their markets, even as traditional newsrooms continue to struggle with their own business models.

Community news leaders will be paired with mentors with track records of success in media operations. Together, they will gauge where their business plan is and where it should be, explore different opportunities for revenue, determine how to measure their success, and develop an action plan for the next 100 days.

Over the next two days, participants will also hear from industry leaders on what’s working now, and what’s next. This program is much more than a conference of ideas. By the end of Saturday’s program, our trainees will be ready to return to their organizations with concrete steps to strengthen their operations.

We will follow up with the participants after 100 days to gauge the effectiveness of their planning. That data will help us tailor future educational and training programs to the particular needs of these vibrant and essential publishers.

To follow some of the topics and discussions at the conference, follow the hashtag #CJET on Twitter.