Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Date of this Version



Published in Quill January/February 2008. Quill is published and copyright by the Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


If your newsroom is shrinking, this is the time to pour more resources into helping your staff become the best they can be. And, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Understanding staff needs is the first step in creating a staff-development program. As the top editor, decide what skills you would like to see your staff polish over the coming months or year. Then, go into the newsroom to ask the staff their needs. Keep the survey simple, so that staff members won't be turned off. With the vision and the needs in mind, use a four-prong approach to building your professional- development program. Look at your inner circle first, tapping your in-house talent. Then, explore the next ring of influence: local experts, who can be from all walks of life; move to the next ring, outside trainers who travel to your newsroom; and, the final ring, outside training.