Two of the four Trust 101 class sessions are pre-recorded to watch at your own convenience, and two happen live via Zoom to allow for discussion. Participants are also added to the Trusting News Slack workspace.

Why you should apply for our free Trust 101 class

Joy Mayer
Joy Mayer
Sep 18 · 4 min read

Our first five-week Trust 101 class wrapped up just a few weeks ago, and we didn’t plan to offer another one quite yet. But three things changed our minds.

  1. Interest was high. We had 68 applications for 20 spots, and we hate to miss the chance to work with so many journalists who are eager to take ownership over earning trust.
  2. Outcomes were impressive. The participants left class with concrete plans or pitches to take back to their newsrooms, based on the problems they most wanted to solve. With input from us, they’re ready to propose (and get buy-in for) things like behind-the-scenes boxes with stories, improved comment engagement and better labeling of opinion content.
  3. Reviews were outstanding. Eleven of the 18 people who took the class have so far completed an evaluation, and every one of them said it was worthwhile.

Because of those factors, we’re offering the class again right away. Our second Trust 101 course will run from Oct. 11 to Nov. 15. Learn more and apply here.

Don’t take it from us.

We invited previous participants to share how the Trust 101 course helped them and what advice they’d have for people considering applying. Here’s what they said:

“This class forced me to pull the trigger on opinion best practices I’ve been thinking about for a long time. The final project gave me a much-needed mandate and a deadline. The class also helped me wrap my mind around how to roll out these best practices to my colleagues and, more important, solicit their input and buy-in…. I believe every journalist would benefit from Trusting News training.” — Eve Samples, USA TODAY Network, Florida

“This class helped me develop a concrete social media policy that we can use in our newsroom. The course also inspired me to think more deeply about how to build relationships with our readers in a way that inspires trust and loyalty to our publication.” — Kara Fohner, Lenoir News-Tropic

“It’s given me a solid understanding of the basis of trust issues, the scope of the problem and specific strategies to use to address the problems in my own newsroom. And the work is tailored to your newsroom; it’s useful, there’s an immediate investment because you’re so connected with what you’re learning. I also appreciated how much of the class is devoted to solutions that you can put into practice right away…. This is one of those special projects you need to make time for. You come out of this class with not only an arsenal of tools and understanding, but also a tangible plan to help your newsroom. It’s an investment in you and your organization that has payoffs well into the future.” — Cecily Weisburgh, The Keene Sentinel

“Everything from the research and resources provided to the one-on-one work with instructors gave me great ideas to bring back to my newsroom, and I’m excited to be able to develop better strategies to mitigate the trust issues between our newsroom and the community.” — Isaac Fornarola, Burlington Free Press

“I’ve learned so much in this class — most of all, I’ve learned that we can do really simple things in our newsrooms to build trust with our audience! I feel like I can confidently take strategies I’ve learned from this class and make changes at my own paper. I also feel confident that I can justify the implementation of these strategies to my staff and my bosses, which is another critical point.” — Madison O’Connor, The State News

“Just the opportunity to talk about common-sense ways to make coverage more accessible was such a breath of fresh air given how little it factors into normal conversations in most newsrooms. I was familiar and on board already with a lot of the concepts we discussed, but this was just the boost I needed to feel confident putting them into practice. It was nice to see how many other people face the same challenges my paper does and see how newsrooms have already started to overcome them.” — Martha Shanahan, The Republican American

Don’t have time for the full class?

We can still help. Check out our Start Earning Trust page, subscribe to our Trust Tips newsletter and request free, one-on-one advice.

Questions? Email

Trusting News, staffed by Joy Mayer and Lynn Walsh, is designed to demystify the issue of trust in journalism. We research how people decide what news is credible, then turn that knowledge into actionable strategies for journalists. We’re funded by the Reynolds Journalism Institute, the American Press Institute, Democracy Fund and the Knight Foundation.

Trusting News

Updates from the Trusting News project team: Follow along as we demystify trust in news and empower journalists to demonstrate credibility and actively earn trust.

Joy Mayer

Written by

Joy Mayer

Engagement strategist. Director of Adjunct faculty at Poynter. Community manager for Gather. Mom to Thing One + Thing Two.

Trusting News

Updates from the Trusting News project team: Follow along as we demystify trust in news and empower journalists to demonstrate credibility and actively earn trust.

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