To help newsrooms struggling with staff shortages, the New York Press Association will begin offering training to community members interested in covering news for their local paper this summer.
Ongoing business pressures, including drops in advertising and subscriber revenue as well as increases in production costs, have led to substantial reductions in staffing in most newsrooms across the country. But many editors say hiring reporters to fill existing openings has become increasingly difficult.
Supplementing existing coverage with trained community correspondents will help newspapers fill gaps in existing coverage, especially in small towns. The training will give participants basic guidance to build upon on the job under the supervision of editors.
The four-part online program will focus on journalism basics such as ethics, accuracy in reporting, interviewing techniques and writing clearly. To earn certification, participants must complete all four sessions and pass a written test. The training is being offered free through NYPA’s member newspapers.
“We’re not aiming to replace traditional journalists with this program,” said Judy Patrick, the association’s vice president for editorial development. “We’re working to expand local news coverage and build on our industry’s longstanding tradition of community correspondents.”
The online training will be offered four times a year; the first sessions will be July 10-13. Registration is open through July 7 by contacting email@example.com.