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2006 NewsTrain Program in Charlotte

APME NewsTrain/Charlotte

Full Program

March 15 - 16, 2006

NewsTrain is a workshop for mid-level news managers produced by APME (Associated Press Managing Editors) and RTNDF (Radio and Television News Directors Foundation), along with local co-sponsors. NewsTrain programs are taught by nationally recognized trainers and take a practical approach, providing common sense advice that participants can use right away to improve their performance in the newsroom. The program receives substantial funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Workshop location: The Charlotte Observer
600 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte, N.C. 28202

Special thanks to conference planners Jim Walser, Michael Weinstein and June Lancaster, The Charlotte Observer; Mary Alvarez and Bonnie Rosen, WCNC; Mike Garber, WLTX; Carole Tanzer Miller, Raleigh News & Observer; Louise Spieler and Rachel Lillis, University of North Carolina; Chris Weston, Greenville News; Sue Wilson, Associated Press.

Program note: We divide the group into two teams, Broadcast (Blue) and Print (Green), to reduce class size and provide specialized training opportunities for print editors and broadcast managers.

Wednesday, March 15:
9:30 a.m. Registration
Location: Main Lobby / Auditorium Hallway

10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
Rick Thames, Editor, Charlotte Observer
Elaine Kramer, APME NewsTrain
Deborah Potter, RTNDF NewsTrain
Location: Auditorium
10:30 – 12:00 noon Creating a Constructive Culture (print and broadcast)
Why: We all want to work in a productive newsroom
A newsroom's culture is part climate, part custom and part values. A negative culture can undermine the newsroom's best efforts to produce good journalism. Learn how to assess your newsroom's culture, and how you can help create a more constructive atmosphere.
Presenter: Scott Libin, leadership and management faculty, Poynter Institute
Location: Auditorium
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
Location: Auditorium Hallway
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Encouraging Enterprise (broadcast)
Why: It's frustrating and exhausting when reporters don't come up with their own story ideas.
Learn story-finding techniques you can share with reporters and photographers, and consider systems and structures that will help your newsroom break old habits. This workshop also looks at a variety of approaches to beat reporting, and ways that assignment editors can assist reporters without doing all their work for them.
Presenters: Janice Gin, associate news director, KTVU, and
Deborah Potter, executive director, NewsLab
Location: Private Dining Room

- OR -
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. The Five Minute Editor (print)
Why: On some days, it's all the time you have
Most editors promise themselves that they will have weekly brainstorming meetings on story ideas, frequent coaching sessions on writing techniques and daily post-story critiques to identify and reinforce the lessons learned. Those are worthy goals, but for many editors, the daily grind gets in the way. You do, however, talk to your reporters every day, a minute here, a couple minutes there, five minutes when it's really important. You need to learn to use those few minutes to steer the reporter on a path to learn for him or herself how to improve. Even if you succeed in making time for longer sessions with reporters, much of your most important editing still is done in these brief daily encounters.
Presenter: Aly Colón, Reporting and Editing group leader, Poynter Institute
Location: Auditorium
2:30 - 2:45 p.m. Coffee Break
Location: Auditorium Hallway
2:45 - 4:15 p.m. Conflict Resolution and Collaboration (print and broadcast)
Why: It's a newsroom! We argue about everything!
Learn the key steps to resolving a conflict, whether it is over a story or a vacation request denied. Learn strategies for defusing an emotional situation and preserving the work relationship. See the benefits of collaboration over perpetual turf wars, and help others to see them, too.
Presenter: Scott Libin
Location: Auditorium
4:15 - 4:30 p.m. Coffee Break
Location: Auditorium Hallway
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Building Credibility and Trust / Different Voices (print and broadcast)
Why: People need and want to see their lives reflected in our news coverage.
Who gets on the air or into the newspaper and who doesn't? Examine what difference that makes to the news organization's credibility, and how newsrooms can do a better job of covering the entire community.
Presenter: Janice Gin
Location: Auditorium
5:30 p.m. End of first day

Thursday, March 16:
8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast available
Newspapers courtesy of The Charlotte Observer
Location: Auditorium Hallway
9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Coaching Better Storytelling (broadcast)
Why: When stories don't quite turn out as advertised, it's sometimes because they just weren't well organized.
Learn how to help reporters and photographers get the most out of the stories they cover, by helping them focus, plan and revise their work. Consider whether your newsroom systems support or thwart good storytelling.
Presenter: Deborah Potter
Location: Auditorium

- OR -
9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Making every word count (print)
Why: Newshole is tight and extra words diminish a story's power
Learn how to tighten and strengthen stories by weeding out extra words. Get examples of common words that should be deleted. You will be encouraged to get rid of those throat-clearing opening sentences, needless weather reports and the need to say things more than once. Consider when to use quotes and when to paraphrase.
Presenter: Aly Colón
Location: Private Dining Room
10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Break
Location: Auditorium Hallway
10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Covering religion (broadcast and print)
Why: Faith is everywhere in today's news and it speaks to audience diversity
From the Pope to pets and spirituality, faith-related topics frequently make today's top stories. Authoritative reporting on a variety of issues for a pluralistic audience takes sensitivity and knowledge. Award-winning religion journalists share tips for honing story ideas and locating resources to produce better reporting and to attract a diverse audience.
Presenter: Marcia Z. Nelson, Religion Newswriters Association
Location: Auditorium
11:45 - 12:15 p.m. Training: Get on Board (broadcast and print)
Why: Because newspapers and stations are a business, too
A discussion of why some news organizations are putting more emphasis on professional development of their staffers. Resources you can use to get valuable training for yourself and push for more training for those you lead.
Presenter: Elaine Kramer
Location: Auditorium
12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
Location: Hallway behind auditorium
1:15 - 2:15 p.m. Communication and Teamwork (broadcast)
Why: "We're in the communication business but we can't seem to communicate."
How do we overcome this common complaint in many newsrooms? Learn how to diagnose your newsroom's communication problems, and consider different options of getting everyone on the same page.
Presenter: Janice Gin
Location: Auditorium

- OR -
1:15 - 2:15 p.m. Editing for Language and Culture (print)
Why: Some stories say things the writer and editor didn't intend them to say.
Precision is important in writing and editing. Learn what you see and what you don't see in storytelling. Examine news stories that address racial and ethnic identification for clarity and context. Talk about how to edit for accuracy and authenticity, and how to discuss these ideas with your writers.
Presenter: Aly Colón
Location: Private Dining Room
2:15 - 3:15 p.m. Embracing the Newest Media (print & broadcast)
Why: Journalism organizations must find and stay at the edge in today's great age of communication.
Where exactly do technology and news converge today? Grasp an overview of media consumption trends worldwide. Learn about the innovations that news organizations are embracing around the world, including community journalism in Korea (OhmyNews), SMS in Australia, and what may be the most converged news operation in the world in northern Denmark (the Nordjyske).
Presenter: Randy Covington, director, IFRA NewsPlex, University of South Carolina
Location: Auditorium
3:15 - 3:30 p.m. Break
Location: Auditorium Hallway
3:30 - 4:15 p.m. Management strategy circles (print & broadcast)
Why: The room is full of people who understand what you do, have many of the same challenges you face and have great ideas that may help.
Take this opportunity to learn from each other in small management strategy circles.
Presenters: Deborah Potter, Elaine Kramer
Location: Auditorium
4:15 - 4:30 p.m. NewsTrain Caboose
Taking the lessons home, feedback forms, end of workshop.
Presenter: Elaine Kramer, Deborah Potter
Location: Auditorium

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