The Trinity Mirror Regionals Editorial Leaders Programme will launch this month with 13 staff – most of whom are at deputy or assistant editor level – taking part.
Each will meet for three, one-week residentials over the year, with much of the rest of the course delivered over the internet.
The aim is to give ‘students’ an understanding of the challenges of multimedia and how to manage resources and editorial strategy in the digital era.
Several Trinity Mirror senior executives have been involved in developing the programme, which leads to a post-graduate certificate qualification.
Previously, Trinity Mirror Regionals has run its own in-house course for senior editorial staff, called Today’s Editor, which has seen many delegates go on to an editor’s chair within the group.
Trinity Mirror Regionals editorial director Neil Benson said: “We have always paid a great deal of attention to staff development, and Today’s Editor has been a very effective way of developing our top talent.
“However, with the industry undergoing such radical change, we felt it was time to look for a new type of programme that will equip our next generation of newsroom leaders with all the key managerial skills, allied to a strongly enhanced understanding of journalism in the multimedia context.”
The Department of Journalism at UCLan in Preston has run its own Journalism Leaders Programme since 2005, and this has been adapted and set in a Trinity Mirror context.
Interactive sessions with some of the group’s senior editorial, digital, multimedia and marketing staff have been built in, and there will also be special visits and working sessions.
Mike Ward, head of the department of journalism at the university said: “This is a time of tremendous change, challenge and opportunity for the UK’s regional newspaper industry. The need for professional development and training within the sector, informed by rigorous research and innovative practice, has never been greater.
“This partnership marks another important step in the growth of the department’s digital services to the journalism industry.”
François Nel, founding director of the Journalism Leaders Programme, added: “Senior Trinity Mirror executives have been working with our academic team to scope each of the modules and will contribute as visiting tutors during each of the three residential sessions in Preston.
“In addition, each course participant has been allocated an in-company mentor to help ensure their classroom learning is applied directly to the newsroom.”