Media in the Public Interest offers a variety of communication trainings to support journalists and advocates in becoming more effective communicators with their respective audiences. What we have found is that following our trainings, advocates are better able to mobilize and connect with constituents, and journalists are able to get their stories published more broadly than previously.

Current Trainings underway are:

Video Training Workshop and Strategic Communication Trainings

See below for details about each one.

Video Training Workshop – Next Step Video! 

Digital news video is more important than ever. According to Pew Research’s State of the Media 2014 report, more than 6 in 10 U.S. adults now watch videos online – and roughly half of those – 36% of all U.S. adults – watch news videos. This is roughly the same percentage of American who now get news from Facebook or watch cable news regularly.

For that reason, we are determined to prepare more advocates to effectively use digital media to highlight environmental, economic and social justice issues messages.

What It Is:

Next Step: Video! is a video training workshop that trains citizen journalists to shoot, edit and upload videos to the media as well as use video for their own purposes in new ways – to share with social media, stakeholder visits, rallies, events, etc. The video can also be used in collaboration with our partner, Public News Service, an independent state-based news service that reaches over 46 million people weekly.

How it Will Work:

Each participating organization will be taught how to produce, edit and upload newsworthy video clips. A critical piece of the video component is the ongoing “virtual” presence of a video editor, to answer questions and see what elements can be used for the advocates’ own purposes and well as be used in news stories. Professional videographers will be available for technical assistance and guidance for six months after the initial workshop. Participants will receive their own HD video camera an accessories (dependent on Foundation’s funding and number of participants attending).

The program was successfully launched in November, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina, presented by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, with 12 participating organizations.

From both the first and second year trainings, 18 non-profits were trained and over 140 videos were produced!

Year 2 Video Summary:

Year 1 Video Summary:

Strategic Communication Trainings

We provide customized media skills and communications trainings to our partner organizations, journalists, advocates and others. These training teach skills to improve education efforts, provide new tools to gain media attention and educate the public.

Polarity Thinking Workshop – “Lead The Conversation for Change”

“This training was the best I’ve seen in my years attending this event. Excellent.”

~Kris Abrams, Global Greengrants Executive Director (attendee – Colorado NonProfit Association Conference)

“Polarity Thinking” is the ability to see and tap the power of interdependent and opposing ideas, to understand your opponent’s point of view, find commonalities and ultimately work together to create a common good.

“A fundamental question to ask when encountering a difficulty is “Is this a problem we can ‘solve’, or is it an ongoing polarity we must manage well?’’ ~ Barry Johnson, Polarity Management Associates

Lead the conversation for change with our Polarity Thinking workshop that will give you the tools you need to transform adversaries into allies and move from conflict to creative cooperation.

Our workshop combines three unique elements to help you become a powerful and persuasive messenger who achieves positive policy outcomes faster:

  • oppositional analysis skills based on the work of experts like George Lakoff;
  • tried-and-true polarity thinking conflict resolution strategies from renowned business innovator Barry Johnson;
  • and the DISC personality profile which reveals your own communication blind spots and how to work around them.

This workshop gives advocates practical tools to overcome communication barriers and bridge policy debate.

During our one-day workshop, you will:

  • Identify polarities that underlie entrenched problems
  • Discover how blind spots can sabotage communications
  • Find authentic common ground with opponents
  • Create messages that appeal to broader audiences
  • Mobilize diverse opinions – decision makers, the public, journalists, even your board members-and keep your cause moving forward.

This training is available in two formats: 1) full-day and in-person and 2)a series of four 1-1/2 hour sessions. MPI’s one-of-a-kind, full-day strategic communications training was developed by Lark Corbeil of Public News Service, Patty Beach of and True North Programs and Eric Haas of Cognitive Strategies and the Rockridge Institute.

If you are interested in bringing either of these trainings to your organization or community, please contact us directly at or 303.339.0092.