Trust 101 online course

Does your community value your journalism? Are you seen as a reliable resource, a fair provider of information and a reflection of community priorities (in election season and otherwise)? If not, what are you doing about it?

It’s no longer enough just to do good journalism and hope it gets noticed, respected and funded. Journalists must work to actively demonstrate credibility and earn their community’s trust.

The Trusting News team has designed a five-week online course that will give you research-backed strategies for earning trust in the course of your work. And thanks to grant funding, the course is totally free for now.

Participants get:

  • a better understanding of what leads to mistrust (in general and specifically for their own newsrooms)
  • techniques for combating misassumptions and responding to criticism
  • an action plan for proactively describing the mission, values and processes of their journalism to their audiences
  • coaching on how to get buy-in for the new ideas they’ll be pitching to their bosses and colleagues

Scroll down for testimonials from past students.

This class is 100% remote and is facilitated through live video classes, video recordings, a Slack workspace and a few assignments. Instructors are members of the Trusting News team. Give us a few hours a week for five weeks, and we’ll coach you while you craft a plan for your newsroom. No matter what your role is in your organization, you’ll come away with concrete strategies you can use right away. We’ll support you as you flesh out a project you’ll execute yourself or prepare a pitch for your bosses.

Questions? Email info@TrustingNews.org.

What past students have said about Trust 101: 

We invited previous participants to share how the Trust 101 course helped them and what advice they’d have for people considering applying. Here’s what they said:

“This class forced me to pull the trigger on opinion best practices I’ve been thinking about for a long time. The final project gave me a much-needed mandate and a deadline. The class also helped me wrap my mind around how to roll out these best practices to my colleagues and, more important, solicit their input and buy-in…. I believe every journalist would benefit from Trusting News training.” — Eve Samples, USA TODAY Network, Florida

“This class helped me develop a concrete social media policy that we can use in our newsroom. The course also inspired me to think more deeply about how to build relationships with our readers in a way that inspires trust and loyalty to our publication.” — Kara Fohner, Lenoir News-Tropic

“It’s given me a solid understanding of the basis of trust issues, the scope of the problem and specific strategies to use to address the problems in my own newsroom. And the work is tailored to your newsroom; it’s useful, there’s an immediate investment because you’re so connected with what you’re learning. I also appreciated how much of the class is devoted to solutions that you can put into practice right away…. This is one of those special projects you need to make time for. You come out of this class with not only an arsenal of tools and understanding, but also a tangible plan to help your newsroom. It’s an investment in you and your organization that has payoffs well into the future.” — Cecily Weisburgh, The Keene Sentinel

“Everything from the research and resources provided to the one-on-one work with instructors gave me great ideas to bring back to my newsroom, and I’m excited to be able to develop better strategies to mitigate the trust issues between our newsroom and the community.” — Isaac Fornarola, Burlington Free Press

“I’ve learned so much in this class — most of all, I’ve learned that we can do really simple things in our newsrooms to build trust with our audience! I feel like I can confidently take strategies I’ve learned from this class and make changes at my own paper. I also feel confident that I can justify the implementation of these strategies to my staff and my bosses, which is another critical point.” Madison O’Connor, The State News

“Just the opportunity to talk about common-sense ways to make coverage more accessible was such a breath of fresh air given how little it factors into normal conversations in most newsrooms. I was familiar and on board already with a lot of the concepts we discussed, but this was just the boost I needed to feel confident putting them into practice. It was nice to see how many other people face the same challenges my paper does and see how newsrooms have already started to overcome them.” — Martha Shanahan, The Republican American