Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Minnesota Newspapers Receiving Public Money for 'Retraining'

This is probably just the beginning. Now I can see every failing newspaper lining up at the public trough, and you know they will. Just imagine, about $700,000 to get this bunch of incompetents into the Internet age, something the rest of us managed to accomplish without a government grant.
Two Minnesota newspapers will receive a share of state grants normally given to retrain workers in manufacturing and other industries in transition.

The Duluth News Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press will work with the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication to help staff adapt to an increasingly Internet-based industry.

Minnesota Job Skills Partnership is awarding $238,000 in state funds, while the newspapers and the university will contribute about $469,000 combined, mostly by devoting staff time to training.

Paul Moe, the state program's director, said newspapers around the country are looking closely at the project as a potential model.

Kathleen Hansen, director of the university's Minnesota Journalism Center, said the grant idea came from the Pioneer Press. She said the application was unusual for a state agency more accustomed to businesses that deal in plastics or crop machinery.

"This is a very different kind of workforce group," she said.

Hansen said training will be tailored to the skills of the newsroom and advertising sales staffs at the newspapers. She said a primary goal for both departments will be getting them away from print-based thinking.

Some journalists "don't know how to start thinking about stories without thinking about what's going to be in the print newspaper," she said.

Journalists will likely study new ways of telling stories and new ways of delivering content, and perhaps get some training in using software.
Telling stories? That's what got them in this mess. How about reporting news and leave the story-telling to kindergarten teachers?

No comments: