Are you an early-career reporter looking to level up? We’re here to help.


My first year as a Miami Herald reporter was a master class in newspaper journalism.

I learned how to ask sharp questions by listening to colleagues work the phones.

I learned how to pull public records by accompanying a veteran reporter to the clerk’s office.

I learned how to structure stories by watching an editor rearrange my copy.

It was organic and spontaneous. I observed what the best reporters and editors did and tried to do it myself.

I mean no disrespect to my journalism school, which gave me an excellent foundation and propelled me to a top-tier internship. But my first 12 months at the Herald took my reporting and writing to a new level and boosted my confidence in a meaningful way.

While that kind of experience used to be the norm, newsrooms have undergone a radical transformation in the last few years. More reporters and editors have hybrid work schedules that allow them to work at least part of the time from home. That newfound flexibility has been a boon to working parents and work-life balance. But it has also meant that rookie reporters don’t have the same access to the veterans in their newsrooms. There are fewer spontaneous interactions at the coffee machine, and asking a senior colleague for advice over Slack can be awkward or intimidating.

Enter Reporter’s Toolkit, a new virtual seminar from the Poynter Institute led by three seasoned journalists, yours truly included.

While we can’t replace interactions with your colleagues — and wouldn’t ever want to — we’re here to guide early-career reporters looking to level up. Over the course of six weeks, we’ll share our best tips on covering a beat and generating smart story ideas. We’ll talk about how to stay organized. We’ll get into the weeds on interviewing, especially when it comes to vulnerable sources. And we’ll give you practical strategies on how to focus and structure your stories.

You can expect a two-way street. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss ethical decision-making, your relationship with your editor and the complexities of newsroom politics. You’ll get one-on-one coaching, too, and the opportunity to have frank, personalized discussions with industry leaders.

Our goal is to empower you with the skills, connections and confidence to thrive on your beat and in your newsroom. You’ll discover your superpowers and build a roadmap to turbocharge your career moving forward.

On a personal note, I’m excited to connect with early-career reporters about the craft of journalism. There’s something powerful about coming together to discuss how and why we do what we do, at any stage of our careers. It makes all of us better.


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