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Austin NewsTrain, Aug. 22-23, 2014

 The Particulars
Register here.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014
Where: The University of Texas School of Journalism is in the Belo Center for New Media, 300 W. Dean Keeton St., Austin, Texas 78712. Registration will be in the elevator lobby on the first floor.
Cost: $75. Includes two days of training, continental breakfasts, lunches and snacks.
Is this workshop for you? This workshop is for reporters, editors and other journalists from print, digital and broadcast newsrooms of all sizes, as well as journalism educators and students.The sessions in video storytelling and data journalism presume no previous experience in either. You do not have to be a member of APME to attend.
Diversity scholarships:
A limited number of scholarships to cover the $75 registration fee are available to professional journalists, journalism educators and journalism students of color. Apply by (1) providing the information requested here, and (2) emailing a resume and up to three work samples to John Bridges, managing editor at the Austin American-Statesman.
Hotel: To obtain a room for $119 a night, plus taxes, at the Marriott Courtyard Austin-University Area, call Leslie Hernandez in sales at 512-276-5920 or email The hotel is at 5660 Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Austin, Texas 78751, about four miles from the workshop site. 
Parking: San Antonio Street Parking Garage (SAG), 2420 San Antonio St., between 24th and 25th streets. At registration, the School of Journalism will provide you with a swipe card good for one day of parking in the San Antonio Parking Garage. Metered parking is also available on all streets surrounding the workshop venue, the Belo  Center for New Media (BMC).
What to bring: Your laptop and smartphone for the hands-on exercises. If you don't have a laptop or smartphone, you should be able to participate in the exercises by sharing with someone who does. Also, bring a  one-sentence story idea and an actual story budget or a template for a story budget from your news organization.
Registration for groups Email Teresa Cooper, NewsTrain program assistant.
SponsorAssociated Press Media Editors (APME)Please see the complete list of donors who support NewsTrain below. 
Hosts: GateHouse Media, The University of Texas School of Journalism, the Austin American-Statesman, the San Antonio Express-News, The Associated Press Austin bureau and The Texas Tribune.

Questions: Email Linda Austin, NewsTrain project director, at
Please join us in Austin for a two-day NewsTrain workshop on Friday, Aug. 22, and Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. Sessions include:

--planning and coaching content across platforms,
--creating viral content,
--telling better video stories,
--developing a data state of mind,
--finding the best stories in data,
--managing and surviving change,
--unleashing your watchdog with beat mapping, and
--getting ready for the next big transformative changes in news.

Registration is just $75 and includes two full days of training, plus continental breakfast, lunch and snacks each day.

Register here.

Your instructors include:

  • Linda Austin, NewsTrain project director and a former top editor in three local newsrooms;
  • Meg Downey, former managing editor of The Tennessean in Nashville;
  • Kathy Kieliszewski, director of photography and video at the Detroit Free Press;
  • Paul Overberg, database editor for USA Today; and
  • Shazna Nessa, former deputy managing editor, editorial products and innovations at The Associated Press.

You Will Learn How To:

  • Tell video stories more efficiently in ways other than the traditional TV-news segment.
  • Shoot video effectively on your smartphone.
  • Find documents and data in your community that will translate into enterprising local stories.
  • Identify potential public databases for almost any story, import data from the Web, create your own database from paper records, and find unique stories by "interviewing" the data.
  • Apply the latest audience research to the planning and coaching of content across platforms.
  • Use the research on what content is widely shared to make better story-selection and -presentation choices in your newsroom.
  • Use a proven technique -- beat mapping -- to find the time to do more watchdog reporting.
  • Apply an eight-step plan to manage and survive continuous change in the news business.
  • Identify five big transformative changes that are going to disrupt newsrooms in the next five years and how to get ready for them.

Download the complete agenda (PDF).

Your Instructors
Linda Austin
is the project director for NewsTrain. Previously, she organized more than 150 workshops, webinars and other training events that served more than 10,500 journalists globally during her five years as executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University. She is a former managing editor of the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina; executive editor of The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, Indiana; and editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky. @LindaAustin_

Meg Downey, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, is a multimedia editor and communications expert based in New York’s Hudson Valley. She has worked in just about every medium from the digital space to newspapers, magazines, television, radio and books, and wishes she could add music to that list. She has served as managing editor of The Tennessean in Nashville, executive editor of the Poughkeepsie Journal and editor-in-chief of Hudson Valley Connoisseur magazine. She has been a contributing writer and editor of 10 books and taught a journalism seminar at Vassar College for nearly a decade. Downey has won more than 40 national awards, as well as three Gannett President’s Rings, naming her one of the top 10 editors in the company, and in 2009 she received a Gannett Most Valuable Player award. Most recently, a project she oversaw on the dangers of texting while driving won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Non-Deadline Reporting. @MegDowney

Kathy Kieliszewski made her first piece of multimedia with an eight-track player, a cassette tape, a vinyl record and a bunch of still pictures cut out of teen magazines. It was 1986, and she knew then she wanted to tell stories for a living. More than 25 years later, she's still telling stories as the director of photography and video at the Detroit Free Press and a four-time National Emmy Award-winning journalist. She oversees the video and photographic efforts of a staff of 15 photographers and editors. Kathy's most recent endeavor includes co-founding the Freep Film Festival, a new Free Press documentary film festival, to showcase films about or relevant to Detroit and Michigan. She is the producer of a feature-length documentary, Packard, The Last Shift, about one of Detroit's most notorious abandoned factories. @kkieliszewski

Shazna Nessa's work in journalism has been at the intersection of storytelling, technology and design. She became an interactive designer and later deputy managing editor of editorial products and innovations at The Associated Press. She was on the team that won a 2011 Knight New Challenge grant to build an open-source tool to help journalists find stories in large amounts of data. In her just completed academic year as a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University, she explored how journalists can turn raw information into data visualizations that are both appealing and understandable to real people. @shazna

Paul Overberg has been a USA TODAY database editor since 1993. He is one of the foremost experts among journalists in analyzing demographic data, especially the U.S. Census. He is a sought-after trainer, demystifying data for journalists through sessions for Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, NewsTrain and the Reynolds Center. He describes himself as a "news data hunter-gatherer-farmer-chef-server." @poverberg

Register here.

Session Specifics

Planning and coaching content across platforms
The latest audience research offers clear guidance on how audiences access information and how to keep their attention. How does that information translate into best practices for story forms in different platforms? And how can you incorporate that information about audiences and story forms into the planning process for content in your newsroom? Learn from Meg Downey, former managing editor at The Tennessean in Nashville, how she and her staff successfully incorporated multimedia planning into their newsroom.

Managing and surviving change Resources in newsrooms are stagnant or shrinking, yet the demands on editors and their staffs have never been greater. In an industry wracked by disruptive change, how do you continue to do kick-butt journalism? Meg Downey provides a simple eight-step approach, based on John Kotter's research, to managing and surviving change while maintaining enthusiasm and quality.

Developing a data state of mind Instructor Paul Overberg, database editor at USA Today, shows how to grow a data-and-document state of mind in covering almost any beat, demonstrating the many stories that are available in public records from a specific town in Texas. Bring your laptop for the exercise.

Finding the best stories in data
Join instructor Paul Overberg in this hands-on session and learn how to rifle the behind-the-scenes directories of your favorite government website to find and grab data, grasp the beauty of comma-separated values (CSV), make your spreadsheet digest text and spreadsheet files, handle basic spreadsheet navigation, perform basic formulas, differentiate basic data types and variable types, and apply the rules for basic data collection. Bring your laptop for the exercises.

Unleash your watchdog with beat mapping
Watchdog reporting is our highest calling, the journalism that many got into this business to do and a proven way to distinguish your coverage from competitors and drive audience. Yet, making time for watchdog reporting is one of the hardest things to do in newsrooms, where demands continue to increase while resources rarely do. NewsTrain Project Director Linda Austin offers a proven technique -- beat mapping -- to define the topics and issues that mean the most to your audience and to set clear expectations and priorities for watchdog reporting to cover those issues.

Efficient video story forms for digital platforms Many newsrooms start out shooting video for digital platforms that looks like TV-news segments. But there are other video story forms, including some that are quicker to produce and others that have a longer shelf life. Instructor Kathy Kieliszewski, director of photo and video at the Detroit Free Press, gives examples of video story forms and standards for each. She also discusses how newsrooms can improve planning and execution of the different video story forms. Bring your smartphone for the exercise.

Shooting effective video on your smartphone Shooting video effectively and efficiently on your smartphone makes it much easier to quickly edit and post high-quality video. Instructor Kathy Kieliszewski offers a model for anticipating and capturing the visuals and sound needed for good video. She includes simple standards for framing, lighting and sound, plus advice on how to use a shot list. Bring your smartphone for the exercise.

Creating viral content What does the research says about content that is widely shared? Join instructor Shazna Nessa, former AP interactive and innovations chief, to learn how can you use that knowledge in making story-selection and -presentation choices in your newsroom.

The next big things What five technological developments are going to transform the digital newsroom in the next five years, and how can we get ready for them? Instructor Shazna Nessa offers a peek at the disruptive changes to come and how to prepare.

Our Donors

NewsTrain's 2014 donors include The Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Associated Press, The APME FoundationThe McClatchy Co., The Gannett Foundation, Scripps Howard Foundation, GateHouse Media, APME past and present board members and The Seattle Times

Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

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