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Earning trust with communities of color

Trusting News

| A project of RJI and API

August 26, 2021

Trust 101 online course

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Earning trust with communities of color

Does your community value your journalism? Are you seen as a reliable resource and a fair provider of information? Do the people you serve feel like you reflect their lives, values and priorities?

These are questions we invite journalists to reflect on routinely. And in an upcoming version of our free Trust 101 class, we’ll ask the questions on behalf of one specific group: communities of color. Apply to participate here.

Trust in journalism is often lower among communities of color than in the overall population. Newsrooms know this. But they often feel ill-equipped to meaningfully address it. In this class, we’ll work with you to create a plan for your own work that can put you on a path for improvement. We’ll identify past and present barriers to trust, work through coverage areas that are often especially problematic, equip you for effective outreach and talk about how to measure your success. We’ll also coach you individually as you outline specific problem areas, coverage ideas and next steps for your own newsroom. 


In addition to the Trusting News team, the class will be co-led by Letrell Deshan Crittenden, Assistant Professor of Communication and Program Director at Thomas Jefferson University. Letrell is a former police and government reporter. He’s now an emerging scholar who specializes issues related diversity and inclusion in news, and community journalism. 


  • This class will run Oct. 25-Nov. 19, 2021. Participants should be prepared to spend 3-4 hours per week, including attendance at four live class sessions on Fridays from 1 pm to 2 pm ET. 
  • It is open to local journalists in U.S. newsrooms who are willing to make a commitment to better relationships with and service to communities of color.
  • This class is 100% remote and is facilitated through live Zoom classes, video recordings, a Slack workspace and assignments. 
  • It is offered at no cost to journalists.
  • The course requires two participants from each newsroom to apply together. This structure will enable the partners to support each other’s plans and ability to follow through on them. We strongly recommend the team include someone in a leadership position, though that is not required. By leadership position we mean someone with decision-making authority — over the newsroom overall, or over sections or teams.
  • We plan to accept up to 15 newsrooms. As we evaluate applications, we’re looking for journalists who have thoughtful observations and seem ready to invest in making changes.

Questions? Email

Ready to apply? Fill out this form.

Looking for more training?

If this particular focus isn’t right for you, fill out this form to be alerted when we’re next taking applications for a Trust 101 class. 

And in the meantime, we have a self-paced class that is a partnership with Poynter’s NewsU: How Any Journalist Can Earn Trust. Sign up, then pick the lessons that are most relevant for your work, on your own time. 

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