The Duration of Impact
Of Midcareer Training Programs for Journalists


Lee B. Becker and Tudor Vlad


Training opportunities for working journalists have become a common feature of the professional environment. In the U.S., approximately 130 different training programs operate. These training programs–often referred to as midcareer training–are offered by the employer, by formal educational institutions, or by independent training organizations.

Despite the prominence of these training programs for working journalists, little systematic information has been available about their effectiveness.

Yet there has been much speculation, particularly among those who offer these programs, that they do, in fact, have impact. Proponents of midcareer training argue that journalists who participate in them actually acquire new skills and that they use these new skills on the job. Journalists who participate in these programs are expected to be more highly motivated and to perform differently from those who do not, to gain stature in the newsroom, and to advance in their careers.

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