Last year, we announced our partnership with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), to launch a new program to teach Facebook tools for journalists across the country. The program is an extension of the Facebook Journalism Project’s ongoing efforts to provide tools and trainings for newsrooms and journalists.
Since the launch of the program, more than 2,000 local journalists have been trained on how to use Facebook for reporting and storytelling and how to connect with their audiences — including Live, Groups, video, insights and safety features. This program has engaged newsrooms and journalism organizations in more than 25 states, with more trainings planned in the coming months.
Tasha Stewart, senior manager of engagement at WCPO in Cincinnati, who received a training in their newsroom in October, found it valuable because “It helps you thinking about different ways of telling stories. It’s also good to learn the different Facebook tips and tools so you can grow comfortable using them and have that in mind as you are creating content.”
In January, we announced a $300 million investment in local news, with one key area being a focus on supporting local journalists and newsrooms with their newsgathering needs in the immediate future. Newsrooms who have received trainings via the program have told us that utilizing Facebook and Instagram in their day-to-day work is top of mind for them as well.
“As a freelancer, I’m using Facebook almost exclusively to find assignments and markets, to seek out sources, and to better disseminate my work and drive readership. When I was in a newsroom full-time, paying attention to Facebook analytics was a vital and constant part of the job description,” said Elizabeth Donald, who organized a training on behalf of the St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in January.
As part of FJP’s mission to collaborate with the news industry in support of a more informed community, the trainings offer a valuable understanding on connecting, building, and leveraging your audience for effective storytelling.
“For SPJ, the importance of this kind of training for SPJ members and our other colleagues is tremendous because it broadens the audience and encourages diversity of people and voices, and it simply helps journalists do their jobs better,” Alison Bethel McKenzie, executive director of SPJ, said.
One year in, we also heard from SPJtrainers who wanted to share the best practices and takeaways they’ve observed. To learn more about their experiences, click here.
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If you’re interested in signing up for a training for your specific newsroom or organization, visit this request form.