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PINF concludes its first Professional Development Programme

The Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) has been working with independent publishers throughout the summer as part of its first Professional Development Programme.

Grantees of PINF’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund were invited to participate in the programme, designed to help publishers work together on some of the most pressing challenges facing small, independent news providers in the digital age.

How can independent public interest publishers maintain meaningful relationships with their communities when those communities are suffering the combined effects of lockdown, recession and polarisation? How can we turn readers into subscribers – and still serve those readers who can’t afford to pay? And how can small publishers prove their worth to advertisers who are seduced by the targeting capacities of Facebook, Google and other platforms?


Some of the attendees of the 'Community Engagement' session.

The programme included 6 sessions, held over Zoom, covering the following themes: digital news trends, community engagement, reader revenue, advertising, podcasting and fundraising with the help and insight of industry experts.


Guest speakers included:


Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism; Dominic Young, CEO & Founder, Axate; Sebastian Esser, Founder, Steady; Alex Clark, Founder & CEO, PressPatron; Harriet Kingaby, Co-Chair, Conscious Advertising Network; Damon Reeve, CEO, the Ozone Project; Michael York, Director, Ethical Media Sales and Marketing; Alicia Bell, Organising Manager, Free Press; Cierra Hinton, Director of network-building and operations, Press On & Executive Director, Scalawag; Fraser Nelson, Vice-President of business innovation, The Salt Lake Tribune; Isabelle Roughol, PINF Trustee, former international editor, LinkedIn & host of the podcast Borderline; Bernard Achampong, Founder & Director, Unedited Stories; David Floyd, Co-fouder & Managing Director, Social Spider; Sameer Padania, head of Macroscope; journalism adviser, NESTA Future News Pilot Fund & newsletter editor, Journalism Funders Forum.


"In this, our first leadership programme, we discovered new challenges and witnessed the power of independent public interest news journalists working together. It was a fantastic experience, and – we are sure – the starting point for further programmes and projects." Jonathan Heawood, Executive Director.

Highlights and key learnings from each development session are now available on our Resources page.


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Public Interest News Foundation is a registered Charity No. 1191397. Registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 12320800. Registered office at 16-18 New Bridge Street, London, United Kingdom, EC4V 6AG.