Applications for new tuition-free Black Media Product Strategy program open

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
Photo: Lagos Techie, via Unsplash

The tuition-free program is designed for Black-owned newsrooms who want to build product strategies for digital transformation and sustainability; applications open on MLK Day until February 17, 2022.

Applications are now open for the Black Media Product Strategy program, a brand-new 6-month, tuition-free, online program to train teams from Black-owned newsrooms to build product strategies for digital transformation and sustainability. 

The program, which will run from April to October 2022, is the result of a collaboration between J+ and the Black Media Initiative at the Center for Community Media, with a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“We thought it fitting to launch this transformational program on Martin Luther King Jr. Day because so much rides on the sustainability of Black-owned media in our country. Black media provide critical coverage, center the community, and are a necessary part of the journalism ecosystem in our continued fight for justice. We believe that product thinking can help Black media thrive and grow,” Cheryl Thompson-Morton, Black Media Initiative Director, said.

The Black Media Product Strategy will serve 10 newsrooms starting in April 2022. Using our tested curriculum, our expert-led instruction and our cohort-based training methods, participants will go through a three-month training phase covering all aspects of product development in a news setting. They will then work on building their own news product prototype under the mentorship of a coach.

“We regularly see the transformational power of product thinking in our program participants and in the industry at large. A product that delivers news that people need, where and how they need it, be it a newsletter, a podcast, text-messaging campaign, a special COVID edition, or something else, is a powerful tool to generate revenue,” Marie Gilot, J+ Director at the Newmark J-School, said.

Training participants can expect the following outcomes: 

  • Gain a big-picture perspective on how product thinking can lead to digital transformation and sustainability for newsrooms
  • Learn key product development methodologies used in top newsrooms globally
  • Experiment with various design and testing tools for digital products
  • Embrace and foster a culture of data, innovation and collaboration
  • Commit to best practices for products that promote equity, instead of reproducing the inequities of the world
  • Align revenue strategies with product and mission 
  • Build and pitch a product prototype under the guidance of expert coaches
  • Create lasting, supportive relationships with the cohort members, instructors and coaches

Candidates can apply with up to three participants from the same newsroom. Applications are open now and will close February 17 at 11:59 pm EST.