PINF Leadership Programme – Autumn 2021

The Public Interest News Foundation is pleased to announce its Autumn 2021 leadership programme for independent news publishers.


Please note, applications for the programme have now closed.



The eight-week online programme - running from late September to late November - aims to provide inspiration, knowledge and confidence for leaders of independent news publishers. It also aims to create a community of peers who can call on each other for ideas, advice and best practice.

The programme will have a particular focus on issues of financial and social sustainability. Topics will include:

  1. What does sustainability mean and look like in public interest news?

  2. How can you develop a leadership style that fits with your values and strengths?

  3. How can newsrooms build audience engagement online? How can they develop a brand?

  4. What business models exist to support public interest news? And what are the tensions between content, community and commerce?

  5. How do you create and nurture an inclusive, healthy newsroom culture?

  6. How can you best explain your mission and work with partners, funders and the public to make it happen?

  7. How can you encourage innovation, creativity and resilience? What can you learn from an innovation sprint?

  8. What’s next for public interest news? How can we prepare for uncertainty in future?

The sessions will typically be accompanied by a guest speaker. Speakers at previous PINF workshops have included:

  • Alicia Bell, Organising Manager at Free Press;

  • Bernard Achampong, Founder and Director of Unedited Stories;

  • Cierra Hinton, Director of network-building and operations at Press On and executive director at Scalawag;

  • Fraser Nelson, vice-president of business innovation at The Salt Lake Tribune;

  • Isabelle Roughol, entrepreneurial journalist, former international editor for LinkedIn and host of the podcast Borderline; and

  • Nic Newman, Senior Research Associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ).

The course will involve working in small groups, one-to-one peer coaching, and you’ll each bring a specific challenge to work on throughout the course.


The course will be delivered via eight 2.5-hour weekly online sessions from Tuesday 28 September, through Tuesday 23 November (with no session on 26 October) - plus light reading or occasional coaching sessions in between sessions.


The programme is open to UK based news publishers. The cohort will likely be made up of around 12-14 participants. 

There will be a fee of £200 to help cover speaker costs. If you can’t afford this, let us know.


The deadline for applications was 9.30am BST / GMT on Monday 26 July 2021.


Please note, applications for the programme have now closed.


If there is more interest than capacity, PINF will aim to select a diverse group of organisations in order to best create a varied and balanced cohort.


✉️ If you have any questions regarding the programme, please get in touch with us by emailing contact@publicinterestnews.org.uk