You should sign up for free advice from Trusting News. Here’s why and how.

Lynn Walsh
Jul 22, 2019 · 4 min read

If you follow us at the Trusting News project you’ve probably heard we offer free coaching sessions for journalists and newsrooms.

The question is: Why haven’t you signed up? Request your session here.

Who can get Trusting News advice?

I believe that solving the public’s distrust in media is going to take work from all of us. We cannot just sit back and do things how we always have. We have the ability to get instant feedback from our community and should be inviting them in to make our reporting the most accurate and diverse it can be.

So, our free, one-on-one advice is available to anyone in a newsroom. You don’t have to be in management or another specific role. You just have to want to earn trust from your community. We also enjoy talking to journalism instructors about how to incorporate trust into the curriculum.

The program was launched earlier this year, and we have coached a few dozen journalists.

What kinds of things does the coaching cover?

Our goal for the coaching program is to provide one-on-one advice to journalists and newsrooms. That advice is not generic — it is specific to you and your newsroom’s needs right now. We use the time to talk about specific problems or map out specific strategies. You can meet with us once or continue to touch base and schedule more sessions. It’s up to you and your needs.

So far, we’ve done things like …

  1. Talked to individual journalists about how to respond to criticism from users and how to defend their work.
  2. Helped newsrooms be more transparent about their reporting processes, addressing topics like how they work to be fair, how they select which stories to pursue and what ethical frameworks they rely on.
  3. Helped newsrooms develop language encouraging donations and subscriptions, along with strategies for talking more openly about how they’re funded.
  4. Talked with a community newspaper editor about how to explain to the community why it should value local journalism.
  5. Helped a newsroom prepare for an in-person event so the news team could reintroduce themselves to their community.
  6. Helped an investigative journalism group add trust-building language to stories they share with other news organizations so users have a clear understanding of where the information is coming from and who is producing the content.

It seems like there should be a catch, right?

Well, there isn’t. There’s no commitment and no hassle. And the sessions are completely free for now, thanks to funding from Democracy Fund.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up. Once you sign-up (just fill out this form) I work to connect you with a coach. In addition to myself and Joy Mayer, we have four trust coaches (read more about them and us here). All of the trust coaches are former Trusting News partners who led their teams to create some of our best examples of how journalists can work to earn trust from their community.
  2. Meet with your coach. Once connected, the coach coordinates a time that is convenient for you, and you get 30 minutes to talk with them over the phone or on a video call. During the call, you share details of what you are trying to accomplish, and the coach asks questions and makes suggestions. (If you need to vent, that is allowed too!) It’s all confidential.
  3. Receive advice. After the call, the coach provides a detailed list of suggestions that you can take back to your newsroom, forward to your boss or implement on your own.
  4. Follow up and additional coaching. Your coach will follow up with you to see if you were able to use any of the suggestions (though there’s no obligation that you do this). If you have examples of how you’ve put the ideas into practice, we would love to see them and possibly add them to the example page on our website. The coach will offer to connect again, either to further flesh out the initial ideas or to move on to other challenges.

If you still have questions or are unsure about how signing up for a coaching session may help you, send me a note:

Other ways to learn from Trusting News:

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

Advice from the Trusting News project team: Follow along…

Trusting News

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

Lynn Walsh

Written by

Emmy award-winning journalist • TrustingNews.Org • @SPJ_Tweets • @PLNU Adjunct • FOIA fighter • Digital Explorer #Sunsets #1stAmendment

Trusting News

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