2010 Knight-McCormick Leadership Institute

Knight Digital Media Center fellowship opportunity – deadline March 31. Details below. -mia


March 04, 2010

Calling for the best and the brightest leaders in the emerging news ecosystem

Our 2010 Knight-McCormick Leadership Institute will offer tailored training and intensive coaching to 20 fellows who are innovating and pushing transformation both inside and outside traditional newsrooms. March 31 is the deadline to apply yourself or nominate someone you believe is qualified.

Are you leading transformational change in news media? Keep reading.

The 2010 Knight-McCormick Leadership Institute is a new program by KDMC, one that reflects our awareness that new faces and forms of leadership dot the landscape of news and that intensive training, coaching and collaboration can help their endeavors be even more successful.

“There are new players on the field, new news organization leaders who are taking risks and showing a willingness to try new models of information in the public interest at a time the old models are failing fast,” KDMC Director Vikki Porter. While the institute doors are open to the editors of traditional newsrooms that have been the center’s focus in recent years, Porter said the Institute will look at a much wider pool of leaders.

“We still want to help newspaper editors who are battling the odds and working to transform their newsrooms. But now the doors are open and we want to bring in leaders of news organizations – not necessarily “newsrooms” of the legacy past – who might be online only, or who are creating new networks of organizations and info providers looking to satisfy communities’ news needs big and small,” Porter said.

The curriculum is open too. It will be tailored to those who are chosen to participate. KDMC’s partnerships with the USC’s Marshall School of Business enable it to bring considerable business, strategy and entrepreneurship expertise to its programs. The institute will consist of two on-site sessions six months apart with intensive coaching and virtual convenings in between.

We’re being deliberately vague about who might qualify because we’re not sure we have all the answers about what leadership looks like in our exciting news ecology. It will take more than a good idea for a start up (KDMC offers the News Entrepreneur Boot Camp < http://www.knightdigitalmediacenter.org/seminars/archives/news_entrepreneur_boot_camp_2010/for those).

We want people who lead both inside their organizations (whether large, small or tiny) as well as outside extending their leadership more broadly to help the field of news and information. We want people with proven track records they’ve successfully started a project or are transforming their organization and now use the Institute to scale the project or leverage more organizational change. We want bold thinkers who like to collaborate and are willing to share what they’re learning with the field.

That said, this is not a conventional leadership program for a newsroom city editor or section editor or a producer. “We want people who have the power to lead and make the decisions that can turn an organization,” Porter said.

One possible candidate might have established a successful local or niche news site and be ready to scale it to other locations. Another might be a site operator who needs to develop more diverse revenue streams. Another might be a young operation that is financially healthy enough to add staff and expand, a transition that often proves quite challenging for an entrepreneur.

“In the end I hope we have 20 of the best news leaders most passionate about the possibilities of the new news ecology and whom we can help get to the next level of expertise by bringing them together with other diverse leaders in what we hope will be a collaborative learning environment over a six-month period,” Porter said. “I imagine and hope we will have nominations that represent a greater cross-section of the many experiments as well as the many transforming organizations then we’ve had in the past.”

*We’d like to hear from you if you believe you are a candidate or of you want to suggest someone as a candidate. We are trying to cast a very wide net so please get the word out. *

*The deadline is Wednesday, March 31. * More information here .

If you know of someone or if you believe you fit, please send a 500-word or less nomination email to Vikki Porter. Include name, news organization and title, email and phone contact information. Provide us with the specific reasons you believe we should consider this person for this unique opportunity including examples of their transformative thinking and leadership skills. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call (213-821-0071) or email vporter@usc.edu.

(The Institute is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundationand the McCormick Foundation http://www.mccormickfoundation.org/.)

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