Starting Poynt (Sept. 2021) – Poynter

Being a new leader is full of challenges, even when you have access to in-person mentorship and on-the-job training. In a mostly or partially remote environment, however, stepping into a management role for the first time is even more difficult. It can be isolating, overwhelming and fraught.

This two-part online seminar from Poynter’s esteemed leadership team — Cheryl Carpenter and Butch Ward — is designed specifically for new and aspiring newsroom managers dealing with the challenges of remote work during the pandemic and beyond.

For five collective days in September, you’ll spend four hours each day learning from Poynter faculty, coaches and your peers. You will focus on developing five foundational skills:

  1. Self-awareness: You will review feedback from your direct reports, boss and peers and then form an action plan for improvement. You will understand your communication preferences and how that impacts your leadership style.
  2. Diversity and inclusion: You will learn how the power of listening can help overcome unconscious bias.
  3. Team-building: You will learn how to provide better feedback and manage performance, even remotely and even with your friends.
  4. Ethics: You will practice using a framework for ethical decision-making so you can feel more confident next time an issue arises on deadline.
  5. Coaching: You will learn the principles of coaching and understand how to get the best work out of your team.

As part of the seminar, you will have the opportunity to get one-on-one feedback from a Poynter coach during a private coaching session. You’ll also develop a growth plan for yourself, test it and then return to the group three weeks later to refine it. You’ll leave with an understanding of your gifts and potential for growth as a leader in your organization. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll leave with a new support network of fellow managers from around the country who will help you continue navigating your new role.


If you need assistance, email us at [email protected].

Who should apply

This seminar is designed for managers with two years or less of experience in leadership at a news organization. We will focus on practical, day-to-day skills that managers need to succeed in their roles. Participants should have at least one direct report or manage big projects or products that involve multiple people.

Application process

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. No letter of recommendation or reference is required. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interest and basic demographic information.

The deadline to apply is Friday, July 30, 2021.


Tuition for this two-part online seminar is $399. It includes a 360-degree feedback report, a communication style assessment, five days of live instruction, a private 45-minute coaching session and ongoing peer group support.

In order to complete your application, we will require authorization of payment. Your card will not be charged until you are accepted into the program. Upon acceptance to the program you will receive an email notification and your credit card payment will be processed.