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Media executives learn new leadership skills at Loyola

Media executives learn new leadership skills at Loyola

Jill Geisler, the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola, taught leaders in media how best to manage in a challenging industry that is constantly changing. Photo by Ralph Braseth

By Carla Rogner

Media executives from around the globe learned new leadership skills during a recent workshop hosted by Loyola’s School of Communication.

Jill Geisler, the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola, taught leaders in media how best to manage in a challenging industry that is constantly changing.

Among participants at the two-day workshop were newspaper editors, producers, news directors and other media managers. The attendees enjoyed the opportunity to network with industry leaders from all around the world who deal with similar experiences.

“No matter what medium we work in, we all have the same focus, the same dreams and the same vision for our newsrooms,” said Stephanie Hedrick, News Director at KWQC in Davenport, Iowa, who participated in the class.

The class focused on goals such as creating a more innovative and collaborative work environment and mastering the art of giving feedback.

“My biggest takeaway from the class was learning how to coach people by not just fixing problems but learning to address and work through them,” said Kayla Trail, Digital Executive Producer at KWQC.

With an industry that runs around the clock, the class also served as a reminder for the importance of putting aside the daily pressures.

“As a manager, it was a good retreat because it is easy to get stuck in the day to day, so it was good to be able to take a moment and reflect,” Hedrick said.

Tracy Seely, a managing editor for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, said she enjoyed working with Geisler, who has her fair share of leadership experience.

Geisler was one of the country’s first female news directors and guided leadership and management programs at the Poynter Institute.

“It’s not easy to teach people who have been in this business for a long time,” Seely said. “She is a great source of knowledge.”

Seely decided to experience the class for herself after hearing about it from a colleague who went last year. She said she left the class happy with what she learned and ready to return to her Toronto newsroom with some newfound leadership skills.

As a bonus, each of the attendees received a follow-up coaching session with Geisler over phone or Skype to reinforce the skills learned and strategize how to apply them in their own newsrooms.

This is the second time Loyola has hosted the Master Class for Media Managers with Geisler. Tuition money from the event went to the School of Communication to help continue with its success of creating the future’s media leaders.