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Washington DC NewsTrain
NewsTrain in Washington, D.C., March 17-18, 2011

APME and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute will host a NewsTrain workshop Thursday and Friday, March 17-18, at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

This will be a two-track, two-day workshop. Pick a track and attend just one day, or attend one track on each day for the full program. Registration costs $50 for one or both days.

Program highlights:

  • Track 1 / Watchdog Journalism in the Digital Age (offered both days): Seminars in this track build on the fundamental watchdog responsibility of a journalist in a democracy. Learn what public data is available, how to find it and get access, and how to spot newsworthy, interesting stories. Practice working with databases and get ideas for how to tell stories with data.
  • Track 2 / Creating Content Across Platforms (offered both days). Seminars in this track provide clear, useful ways to think through coverage of any topic in a way that allows full multi-platform storytelling. Also, learn ways to improve your visual storytelling, and practice journalism skills, using your smart phone.
  • PLUS! Both tracks of this workshop capitalize on our location -- in the fabulous Newseum -- by incorporating various features and exhibits into our seminars.
  • PLUS! Every participant receives a free Newseum ticket for use the day after the workshop, or within one year.
To download a detailed agenda with course descriptions: CLICK HERE.


Your $50 fee is expected in advance of the workshop to hold your spot. You may pay by credit card online when you register.  


If you must pay by check, please contact: Teresa Cooper, NewsTrain program assistant, You will be registered a different way.

Faculty members


Michael J. Berens is an investigative reporter for The Seattle Times, where he has worked since 2004. He previously worked on investigative teams at the Chicago Tribune and The Columbus Dispatch. Michael has won dozens of regional and national awards and twice has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent awards include Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE); Clark Mollenhoff for Investigative Reporting; Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award, White House Correspondents Association; Society of American Business Editors and Writers; among many others. His most recent investigative projects include "Seniors for Sale,” which found that thousands of vulnerable adults have been exploited by profiteers or harmed by amateur caregivers in Washington’s 2,800-plus adult homes. Berens is a former adjunct professor for Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism graduate program where he taught analytical journalism techniques.

KAT DOWNS is the Innovations Editor for Graphics at The Washington Post, where she creates data-driven interactive graphics and leads efforts to develop new methods of telling visual stories on the web. Prior to coming to the Post, she designed graphics at The Baltimore Sun and USA TODAY.  Last fall, she was part of the faculty of the National Security Reporting Project at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A native of North Carolina, she studied visual communication at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


MANDY JENKINS acts as "the voice” of Washington D.C. local news startup TBD in social media, overseeing social media strategy and occasionally writing a bit of breaking news. She was previously the social media editor and an online news editor for the Cincinnati Enquirer and a news producer/blogger for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Mandy began her career with a Kent State University Master’s fellowship in the newsroom of WKSU, an NPR affiliate in Northeast Ohio. In her free time, she blogs on new media and social media issues at

RON NIXON is a Washington correspondent for the New York Times. At the Times he has authored or co-authored investigations into the Small Business Administration, congressional earmarks, companies doing business in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions and lobbying by foreign governments. Before joining the Times he worked for the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the paper's investigative team. He also worked for Investigative Reporters and Editors as training director. Before that he was a reporter for the Roanoke Times in Virginia.

MAXINE PARK is a video journalist for USA TODAY where she reports, shoots and edits her own video stories for She has covered a wide range of stories from Justice Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings to the shootings in Tucson involving U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, to the excitement of the World Series. Before joining USA TODAY, Maxine worked for ABC News as a digital journalist out of Phoenix, where she produced stories that aired on ABC NewsNow and the World News Webcast. She also blogged and wrote articles for Maxine is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where she earned a bachelor’s in broadcast journalism.

MICHAEL ROBERTS is a newsroom trainer and consultant who works with news organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. From 2003-2010, Roberts was Deputy Managing Editor Staff Development at The Arizona Republic, responsible for all newsroom training, served as writing coach, and edited major projects. In Phoenix, Roberts was part of the leadership team that transformed the Republic into one of Gannett's new Information Centers. Outside his own newsrooms, Roberts helped create and launch NewsTrain, designed and taught API's first online seminar for copy editors, and has presented programs for the Poynter Institute, American Press Institute, the Maynard Institute, Freedom Forum, and various National Writers Workshops. Before the Republic, Roberts was Features Editor, AME/Features-Business, and then for 10 years the Training Editor/Writing Coach at The Cincinnati Enquirer. He also worked as a writer and editor at the Midland (MI) Daily News, the Detroit Free Press, and as a senior editor at two magazines. He taught feature writing at the University of Cincinnati and regularly presented programs at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a masters in training and human resource development from Xavier University.

Some nearby lodging options

Hotel Reservation Information

NewsTrain attendees may make reservations at any hotel, however the Virginian Suites Arlington and the Residence Inn have given us greatly discounted rates for our group if your reservation is made by the deadlines show below. These rates will expire at that time, so please book promptly. bidding might give you some additional options near the Newseum.

    Virginian Suites Arlington

    1500 Arlington Blvd.

    Arlington, VA 22209

    • $159 per night for one bed studio suite (check website for all amenities)
    • shuttle service / short walk to Metro station
    • To make reservation:
    1. Call 866-371-1446 or email
    Use reservation block 381125 when calling in.
    3. Use a valid credit card to make reservation. All rooms are subject to availability at the time of the reservation.

    Residence Inn Capitol

    333 E Street, SW

    Washington, DC 20024

    Phone: 202.484.8280

    • Closest to Newseum; walking distance or short metro ride
    • $239 per room per night;  Studio, One Queen, Sofabed. Includes complimentary breakfast (check website for all amenities)
    • Reservation cutoff for reduced rate: February 18, 2011
    • To make reservation:
    1. Log onto the hotel's web site:
    2. Click on special rates and awards
    3. Enter the group code: FFGFFGA
    4. Confirm the reservation


      Elaine Kramer, APME NewsTrain project manager,, (412) 805-0812

      Jack Marsh, Freedom Forum Diversity Institute president,


      Local partners:

      The Freedom Forum Diversity Institute

      The Associated Press

      The Washington Post

      USA Today

      Free Lance-Star (Fredricksburg, Va.)

      Virginia Press Association

      MD-DC Press Association

      Scripps Howard Foundation Semester in Washington program

      DC NewsTrain databases

      More InfoHide Info ]
      People attending Ron Nixon's "Crunch Time B" session: download the SPEND zip file (access database)

      People attending Michael Berens' "Crunch Time A" session: download the EXCEL FILES zip.
      Item Name Posted By Date Posted
      Excel data ZIP (37.65 KB)  more ] Administration 3/5/2011
      Spend ACCESS data ZIP (60.17 KB)  more ] Administration 3/5/2011

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