Philadelphia is a city of inventors.

This is the city where the United States was born and the First Amendment ratified. Benjamin Franklin designed dozens of inventions including cutting-edge newspaper printing technology, the lending library, the lightning rod, and bifocal glasses. The first electronics-powered computer was developed in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is also inventing the future of journalism.

This weekend, Philly will be at the epicenter of a national movement of journalists and technologists collaborating to create the next generation of newsrooms and news products serving communities and holding the powerful to account.

The Lenfest Institute is proud to call Philadelphia home. We are pleased to welcome three concurrent gatherings to town:  Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms, SRCCON: Product, and PRX’s Podcasting Intensive.

This weekend kicks off the intensive six-week Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms program. Led by News Catalyst, the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and the Google News Initiative, this boot camp program will combine in-person and online trainings to help small and midsize newsrooms learn best practices in product thinking, which will empower them to better serve audiences. News Catalyst is based at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication, and it is supported by the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund and the Facebook Journalism Project.

On Saturday, 150 leaders from around the United States will gather at Temple University for SRCCON: Product. The conference will bring together product designers, journalists, and those who want to know more about product. Sessions will focus on answering the question: “How do we make news organizations more audience-oriented, data-driven and product-focused?” Led by community members, these discussions will bring collaboration and creativity to inventing the future news. 

The podcasting organization PRX is hosting a two-day workshop where attendees will learn the basics of podcasting, from how to record and edit audio to how to grow and monetize audiences. Supported by the Knight Foundation, this Philadelphia workshop is the first of three trainings that will be held this spring around the country. Participants will be tweeting with the hashtag #PRXTraining.

Lenfest Institute and Knight-Lenfest Fund team members will be attending each of these events. We’ll be sharing and amplifying highlights on social media all weekend, and we’ll highlight key lessons here as well.

We’re thrilled to welcome these innovators to Philadelphia, and we can’t wait to share more about all we’ll learn this weekend. As our founder H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest said, “Where better than Philadelphia to invent the future of a free press.”

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