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Michael Roberts Named Project Director for APME's NewsTrain

Tuesday, September 6, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jack Lail
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Sept. 6, 2011

Associated Press Managing Editors

Contact: David Arkin, 630-936-6070

Michael Roberts has been named Project Director for the Associated Press Managing Editors’ NewsTrain program.

Since 2003, NewsTrain has offered 63 workshops in 38 states, plus Washington, D.C. and two Canadian provinces, on writing, editing, reporting, visual journalism, newsroom management, and in recent years a variety of topics related to digital media. More than 5,000 journalists have received training through NewsTrain. Two workshops are planned for this fall, in New Jersey and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Roberts succeeds Elaine Kramer, who resigned earlier this year to pursue other interests.

Roberts helped develop and launch NewsTrain, and has been a lead presenter for all eight years of its existence. Stepping into the role of Project Director, Roberts will be responsible for developing workshops with local host committees.

"Michael brings a wealth of experience in the training arena that will take NewsTrain to the next level,” said Bob Heisse, APME’s incoming board president and executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. "He’s been attached to NewsTrain since its inception and has a clear understanding of what it takes to build a focused, results-oriented training program.”

Roberts has been leading the planning of the October New Jersey NewsTrain program and has implemented a new training assessment model that should help address more specific needs of attendees.

"We will work with host groups to determine their training needs, then build a workshop that addresses those specific needs,” Roberts said. "More time will be spent in the planning phase to create a workshop tailored to the journalists in that region.”

In New Jersey, Roberts said, the Oct. 13-14 workshop will focus entirely on digital media. In Salt Lake City, for a Nov. 2-3 workshop, planners wanted a mix of digital media, newsroom management and investigative journalism. Applications to host a NewsTrain workshop in 2012 will be accepted later this fall.

"The changes that Michael has already implemented are helping build a program in New Jersey that’s all digital and really addresses the needs of the journalists of that state,” said Brad Dennison, vice president of News & Interactive at GateHouse Media Inc., who will serve as president of APME in 2013 and who currently oversees the NewsTrain program. "We’re excited to see how NewsTrain evolves over the next year with Michael leading the program.”

NewsTrain’s mission is to bring professional training to journalists at a modest cost. Registration for a two-day NewsTrain workshop is $50. NewsTrain is sponsored by APME and supported by grants from a variety of sources. NewsTrain workshops also attract university journalism educators, student journalists and people new to journalism who want to work in digital media.

Roberts is currently a newsroom trainer and consultant who works with news organizations in the U.S. and Canada. He was Deputy Managing Editor Staff Development at The Arizona Republic from 2003 to 2010, responsible for all newsroom training, served as writing coach and edited major projects.

Previously, Roberts designed and taught the American Press Institute'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 a senior editor, including 10 years as Training Editor/Writing Coach, at The Cincinnati Enquirer. He has also held writing and editing positions at the Midland Daily News (Michigan) and the Detroit Free Press, and worked as an editor at two magazines. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a master’s degree in training and human resource development from Xavier University (Cincinnati).

For more about NewsTrain workshops:

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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