Media Educational Program

Media Education Program 2020


Applications are due on January 20, 2020.

This training program for 25 young Georgian journalists is designed to prepare them for the digital media area, which includes multi-platform storytelling, media engineering, convergence in the newsroom, importance and execution of fact-checking operations, and new trends in media business models. The Georgia Media Education Program is a result of the partnership between three University of Georgia Institutions (the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the New Media Institute, also part of the Grady College, and the Office for Global Engagement), the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and prestigious media outlets in the state of Georgia, which include CNN, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Red & Black, WTOC-TV Savannah, and Savannah Morning News. At these media organizations, the Georgian visitors will shadow journalists, will have practical sessions, Q$A sessions with managers and journalists, and five of them will have internships at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The program will take place between May 3 and May 23 of 2020.

The ultimate goal of the program is to foster democracy, transparent governance, and freedom of expression in the country of Georgia by supporting free and independent media.

English language skills are desirable but are not required. Interpretation and translation will be provided for non-English speakers.

The applicants have to be 35 or younger. Journalists, editors or producers employed by print, broadcast or online media may apply. The applicant must demonstrate the use of the multimedia practice as part of their professional duties. The program is also open to freelance journalists with a history of publication.

Eligibility requirement specified:

  • Recent University graduates (BA degree required) who are newcomers to the craft of digital journalism. Priority will be given to young journalists working in digital media with at least one-year working experience.
  • Applicants are required to work at media outlets registered in Georgian. Journalists and freelancers working solely at international outlets are NOT eligible.

Submit the application form either in English or Georgian Languages to

The program is funded by the Public Affairs Sections (PAS) of the United States Embassy in Georgia.

The program will include the following components:

Four five-day courses with a substantial practical component will be created and taught in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. The instructors will be New Media Institute experts and Grady College faculty. (Each of the instructors has previous experience in the U.S. digital media industry.)

Digital Media Course I

Digital fact-checking tools and their application to journalistic content. Journalists will create a codified digital verification process for analytical stories. Journalists will use various tools to practice digital fact-checking concepts. Journalists will work in small groups to fact check a specific journalistic story using both the process and tools and then reflect on the effectiveness of the effort. Journalists will identify concepts like filter bubble; homogeneity, confirmation, and popularity biases, echo chambers, social media bots, etc,. in various online and social accounts.

Digital Media Course II

Digital media business practices. Who owns what – Ownership as the key – Audience, how it breaks down. – Global v. Local content models – Global v. Local ad revenue models, plus subscription. Training in new media: multimedia trends and techniques, integrated newsrooms. Participants will explore new media and how it is used in journalism. Mobile journalism; cheaper and easier but less professional? – What counts? What does the audience notice or care about? – Converged newsrooms…. That aren’t. Should they be?

Elements of Media Engineering

These sessions provide an introduction to designing and developing web sites that function effectively with multiple platforms (desktop, mobile, etc.), and to coding with JavaScript.

Elements of Audio-Visual and Media Arts

Session 1: Introduction to traditional graphic design topics such as color, composition, and typography; introduction to design controls on Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Session 2: Introduction to traditional graphic design topics (cont.). Session 3: Introduction to the basics of interaction and user experience design. Session 4: Introduction to the basics of interaction and user experience design (cont.).

The last session of each course will be devoted to assessment/evaluation. This evaluation will help us identify the best candidates for internships at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Four days of training sessions will be held at the Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Developing journalism’s leaders

As news organizations transform to meet audience demands, their leaders face new challenges amid diminishing resources. The course relies on 360-degree feedback to help leaders find ways to improve. It fosters insight into how they interact with people and information and how to appreciate the approaches of others with different styles. Three topics that will also be addressed are women journalists and rising newsroom leaders.

Ethics and fact-checking

Poynter’s guidelines for ethical newsroom decision-making are the standard for policies used by many newsrooms and organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists. As the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, International Fact-Checking Network, PolitiFact and MediaWise, Poynter Institute is the global authority on trust, transparency and accountability journalism. PolitiFact is the country’s largest full-time fact-checking website, has partnerships with newsrooms in a dozen states and has published more than 16,000 fact-checks on its Truth-O-Meter. The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) is dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide. More than 60 fact-checking organizations on six continents participate in IFCN’s work and sharing of best practices, and more than 30 organizations have passed the vetting process to become signatories to its Code of Principles for Fact-Checkers.

Reporting and storytelling in the digital era

In this course, the participants will learn or improve core skills such as writing, reporting, and editing to help journalists build the foundation of powerful storytelling. They will learn about ethics and leadership, and about how to get prepared for the challenges of an increasingly connected world.

Strengthening local news companies

Local news coverage is vital to the life of a community, yet many medium and small news organizations are deeply challenged by the business changes posed by digital transformation and fragmentation of advertising models. Through Poynter’s Local News Innovation Project, the institute has been working with dozens of local newspapers to share the leadership and digital sustainability lessons of the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative. The course helps participants grow revenue and become audience-centric, digitally-savvy newsrooms. They are trained on how to use digital tools to transcribe audio, create instant timelines, story maps and more.

Sessions will be organized at the following media organizations:

  • CNN – The role of traditional media in the digital era. Journalism ethics.
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution – How a newspaper company has developed a new business model to respond to challenges of the digital revolution. Five three-days internships will be hosted at AJC.
  • The Red & Black – The role of student newspapers in American culture and society. How to transition from print to online dailies.
  • WTOC-TV., Savannah – The role of local and regional television stations in the United States.
  • Savannah Morning News – Principles on investigative journalism in local and regional media.