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NewsTrain Faculty List



Editing / Journalism skills

Ellyn Angelotti is the Interactivity Editor of Poynter Online. Since joining the Poynter Institute in April 2007, she has taught and written about innovations in multimedia development, social networking and how news organizations connect with users through interactivity methods. Prior to coming to Poynter, she guided the development of nontraditional multimedia sports content at the Naples Daily News as the New Media Sports Editor. While attending the University of Kansas, she worked as a multimedia producer for World Online, the Web department for the Lawrence Journal-World. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Online-Broadcast Journalism and Spanish.

Jacqui Banaszynski is the Knight Chair in Editing at the Missouri School of Journalism and the Editing Fellow at The Poynter Institute. She worked as a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, most recently as Associate Managing Editor of The Seattle Times. While at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, her series "AIDS in the Heartland” won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. She was a finalist for the 1986 Pulitzer in international reporting for coverage of the Ethiopian famine and won the APSE’s top deadline reporting award for coverage of the 1988 Olympics.  She has edited several award-winning projects, including winners of ASNE Best Writing, Ernie Pyle Human Interest Writing and national business and investigative prizes. She teaches journalism in newsrooms and at workshops around the world.

Mark Briggs is an author and entrepreneur. His book "Journalism 2.0: How to survive and thrive in the digital age," was published by J-Lab and the Knight Citizen News Network in 2007. His new book, "Journalism Next,” will be published by CQPress in the fall. As CEO and co-founder of Serra Media, a Seattle-based technology company, Mark connects local publishers with interactive applications and digital platforms that power online innovations. As a speaker, teacher and presenter, he works with students and professionals throughout the U.S. and Europe to do better journalism through technology. He blogs at Previously, Briggs worked The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., and at The Herald in Everett, Wash. He was named to Presstime magazine's "20 under 40" list for 2007.

Rusty Coats is vice president of interactive at Scripps. He previously was director of strategic initiatives in Interactive Media for Media General Inc. He previously was general manager of Bay Online, the focal point of convergence efforts for The Tampa Tribune and WFLA-News Channel 8. Previously, he was director of new media for MORI Research, where he won the NAA's Online Innovator Award, which recognizes an individual whose visionary thinking and commitment to developing interactive strategies inspire others. Prior to joining MORI, he was online editor of in Minneapolis, where he was responsible for news operations and integration with the Star Tribune's print newsroom. He also was online content manager for The Sacramento Bee's and previously oversaw the creation of for The Modesto Bee, in 1996. Before that, he was a reporter for a number of newspapers, from Maine to Miami.


Randy Covington is director of the IFRA Newsplex at the University of South Carolina, a newsroom of the future jointly operated by the University and IFRA, the international press consortium.  Covington is an assistant professor in the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he teaches classes in new media as well as ethics.  For IFRA, he serves as a professional trainer and consultant, working with media houses around the world. Covington worked in local television news in the U.S. for 27 years, serving in management positions with television stations in Houston, Louisville, Boston, Philadelphia and Columbia, S.C.   His honors include a du-Pont Columbia Citation, an Ohio State Award and four Emmys.  In 1997, RTNDA/Carolinas recognized him as its news director of the year. Covington started his career in print and with newspapers in his home state of Indiana. He also has worked as a news writer for the Associated Press and in radio.

John Jackson is the online editor for, the Web site to The Roanoke Times in southwest Virginia. Before moving to Roanoke in 2003, he was an editorial producer at in Chicago. There, he coordinated coverage of the annual auto show package and produced the advice section. He previously worked as a reporter and page designer for The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City, N.C., and as a designer/editor at the College of William and Mary. He has taught online publishing courses at Radford University and Northwestern University.

Robb Montgomery is the CEO of and a new media journalist who teaches cross media workshops in more than 20 countries. He consults for several top publishing houses in Europe, North America and the Middle East on emerging media projects. He previously worked as an editor for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune where he was involved with new product launches.

Anthony Moor is lead local editor at Yahoo! in Sunnyvale, Calif. Previously, he served as Deputy Managing Editor/Interactive at The Dallas Morning News where he helped grow traffic 186% in two years. In 2008 the site was honored with RTNDA’s Edward R. Murrow Award as best non-broadcast Web site. He was editor of, a 2007 Knight-Batten Award for Innovation winner and 2006 Online News Association general excellence finalist. Before that he led the interactive staff at the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat and Chronicle. Before the Web, Moor spent 15 years in television news from Tokyo to Buffalo – but most of it reporting for San Francisco's KRON-TV. He serves on the board of the ONA and ASNE. Moor holds a B.A. degree in Astrophysics and American Civilization from Williams College.

Michael Roberts is Deputy Managing Editor Staff Development at The Arizona Republic. He is responsible for all newsroom training, serves as writing coach, edits major projects, and provides training at Gannett newspapers around the country. Since 2006, Roberts has been part of the leadership team transforming the Republic into one of Gannett's new Information Centers. In spring 2007, the conversion included over 100 training sessions on 12 required programs across the entire organization. In addition to working with newsrooms, Roberts helped create and launch NewsTrain, designed and taught API's first online seminar for copy editors, and is a regular speaker at National Writers Workshops, the Freedom Forum and regional AP and SPJ workshops.  Before coming to the Republic in 2003, Roberts was Features Editor, AME/Features-Business, and then for 10 years the Training Editor/Writing Coach at The Cincinnati Enquirer.  He also worked as a writer and editor at the Midland (Michigan) Daily News, the Detroit Free Press, and as a senior editor at two magazines. He taught feature writing at the University of Cincinnati and speaks regularly at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a master’s in training and human resource development from Xavier University 

Ken Sands, most recently innovation editor at Congressional Quarterly from 2007, previously was online publisher at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. There he was a reporter, assistant city editor, bureau chief, interactive editor and managing editor since starting at the paper in 1981. His innovative work in civic journalism and interactivity has been recognized with the Batten Award for Excellence in Civic Journalism (1998) and the APME's Convergence Award honorable mention (2002). He is a consultant with the APME's National Credibility Roundtables project, and in that capacity has tutored 75 newsrooms across the country on how to use e-mail to better interact with readers. He has led the newspaper industry in experimentation with blogging and frequently consults with newspapers and media organizations on issues related to blogging.

Lil Swanson is managing editor of the Jewish Daily Forward in New York. She previously was managing editor of the Rockford Register Star and online editor for The Detroit News. In her role there, she directed news coverage on the Web site during the day and was the key liaison between the online desk and the rest of the newsroom for breaking news and special projects. She also developed online training for reporters, assigning editors and copy editors. Most of her career was spent in print over 18 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer. She held several leadership roles, including Features editor, AME/Ombudsman and senior editor for training. She was the founding project manager of APME NewsTrain.

Keith Woods is Vice President for Diversity at NPR, National Public Radio. He previously was dean of the faculty at the Poynter Institute, where he also taught writing, reporting, editing, column-writing, coverage of race relations, ethics and diversity. He is a former reporter, city editor, editorial writer and columnist at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, La.


 Jill Geisler heads Poynter's Leadership Group. She joined the Institute in 1998 after a 25-year career at WITI-TV in Milwaukee. She reported, produced and anchored and in 1978 was named the station's News Director. Jill was the first woman in this country to head a major market network affiliate. Jill's newsroom consistently enjoyed recognition for solid journalism, including national Murrow and SPJ honors.

Kristin Gilger is assistant dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. She previously directed ASU's student newspaper, television station and web site. Before coming to ASU in 2002, Gilger was deputy managing editor for news at the Arizona Republic. Earlier, she was managing editor of The Statesman-Journal in Salem, Ore., and served in a number of editing positions at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. She also worked at newspapers in South Carolina and Minnesota. Gilger holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and mass communications from the University of Nebraska.

Edward Miller is managing director of The Newsroom Leadership Group, a coaching and consulting consortium based in Marietta, Ga., and an affiliate of The Poynter Institute. He writes "Reflections on Leadership," a weekly e-mail essay on newsroom management that is sent to more than 9,500 newspaper editors around the world. He produces leadership-development workshops in cooperation with regional newspapers around the country. He is the former editor and publisher of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., and former officer of APME and former director of ASNE.

Butch Ward is a Distinguished Fellow at The Poynter Institute. Born in Baltimore, Ward received a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame before returning home to the rewrite desk of The News American. During eight years there, he also worked as News Editor, Metropolitan Editor and Managing Editor. In 1982, Ward joined The Philadelphia Inquirer and rose through the editing ranks to become Managing Editor. In 2001, he left the newspaper and became spokesperson for Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia. He joined the Poynter faculty in January 2005, and teaches leadership, editing and other subjects. Ward has conducted training sessions and chaired panel discussions for a variety of journalism organizations, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Freedom Forum and the National Association of Black Journalists.







Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

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