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Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs NewsTrain, September 27-28, 2013

NewsTrain will be in Colorado Springs, CO, in September  for a two-day workshop. NewsTrain is sponsored by APME and this workshop is hosted by the Colorado Press Association and the Colorado Springs Gazette. Other members of the planning committee include the Greeley Tribune, the Grand Junction Sentinel, Fort Collins Coloradoan. Evergreen Newspapers, The Associated Press Denver Bureau, the University of Colorado,  Colorado State University, Society of Professional Journalists, the Steamboat Pilot & Today (Steamboat Springs), and Adams State College.

Location: Upper Lodge,  University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Colorado, Springs, CO.

Registration: Cost is $75 for the workshop and food service. Register at this link: Colorado Springs NewsTrain.

Accommodations: Discount hotel rates are available at four hotels which have relationships with the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. When making a reservation, ask for the UCCS discount rate. Hotels include: Hampton Inn Colorado Springs (719-593-9700); Hyatt Place (719-265-9385); Marriott Colorado Springs (800-932-2151); and Microtel Inn & Suites Colorado Springs (719-598-7500). 
Diversity Scholarships Available: Interested journalists and students of color who need assistance attending NewsTrain in Colorado Springs should send a resume and application letter by Sept. 16 to Joe Hight at or Joanna Bean at There are also scholarships available through the Colorado Press Association. Anyone interested in those should apply by Sept. 9 to Samantha Johnston at

Questions: Contact Michael Roberts, NewsTrain Project Director, Samantha Johnston, Colorado Press Association,

Reporting with Data: A primer in how to start working with data and databases as a regular part of good beat work and as a source of strong watchdog / enterprise packages. (Houston)

Diving Deeper with Data: How (and where) to assemble bodies of the latest data on a community, a topic, or an issue. (Houston)

Five Stages of a Story: A five-step process for developing and delivering high quality stories. The idea is that reporters and editors work together through each stage. Editors can use the process as a coaching / editing model. Reporters can use it to identify and build specific skills in separate areas and better manage their time. The model can be used on short to mid-range enterprise all the way up to larger projects. Includes how to use theme statements, leads, and other writing techniques, along with four different story forms. (Roberts)

How to Shoot Video:  A how-to session on skills and techniques for capturing "usable" video footage, primarily with a focus on short news / feature video that is posted quickly. Includes framing, light, sequencing shots, and more, as well as how to "shoot to edit" which reduces wasted time and effort when shooting too much video. (Hoeppner)

Video Storytelling Skills:  Video can be used to tell a variety of stories, short or long, on your web site. This session explains the choices and skills, including the concepts of "lo-fi” and "hi-fi” video and how both fill needs on newspaper websites on over smartphone apps. Also included are models for a variety of story types, planning techniques to save time and improve the results with short and long video, and advice on how to keep video a prominent element on your web site. (Hoeppner)

Social Media Best Practices 2.0: So you're a journalist on social media, but not so sure you're taking the right approach? This session offers tactics and tips to improve your comfort on social media, establish your brand, encourage audience engagement, and measure how well your social media efforts are working over time. (Graham)

Social Media as Reporting Tool: How reporters and editors can use social media as a reporting tool when faced with breaking news or enterprise projects. Includes how to use social media and onsite tools to locate expert and "real people" sources, for "crowdsourcing” using advanced search features on major social media sites, and how to curate social media content to augment your own content. (Graham)

Colorado FOI Update: An overview on the latest developments in Colorado FOI and sunshine laws, with advice on framing effective FOI letters and how to deal with events or confrontations that appear to violate Colorado FOI law. (Zansberg)

Idea Swap: Workshop participants share new ideas, proven ideas, great moves, all in pursuit of great journalism. Ideas will be shared, collected, and distributed. This lively closing segment will be led by Laura Eurich of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and everyone is invited to participate. Details will be emailed in advance to all registered participants.

Download complete two-day agenda here: Colorado NewsTrain workshop


Brant Houston holds the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting and teaches investigative and advanced reporting in the Department of Journalism in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previously, Houston served for more than a decade as the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), and as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Before joining IRE, he was an award-winning investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 17 years. Houston also is the author of three editions of the textbook, "Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide," and co-author of the fourth edition and fifth edition of "The Investigative Reporter's Handbook."  Currently he is working on projects involving nonprofit journalism, ethnic media newsrooms, and new technologies for news-gathering. Houston serves at the chair of the steering committee of the newly-formed Investigative News Network, a coalition of nonprofit journalism centers, and as coordinator for the Global Investigative Journalism Network, which he co-founded in the year 2000. In addition, he helps oversee a community information initiative in Illinois' Champaign County on poverty-related issues known as More on Houston:

Val Hoeppner is an independent media / digital consultant and trainer ( Previously, as director of education for the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute in Nashville, Val lead multimedia instruction for the Chips Quinn Scholars program, the American Indian Journalism Institute, the Diversity Institute Multimedia Scholars Program and other Freedom Forum academic initiatives. Hoeppner is an adjunct professor of journalism at Belmont University, Nashville; an Associated Press Photo Managers board member, and a member of the Native American Journalists Association and serves on the multimedia committee for UNITY, Journalists of Color. She will also be a journalist in residence this coming year at Middle Tennessee State University, Hoeppner came to the Freedom Forum from The Indianapolis Star where she was the multimedia director and previously the deputy director of photography. Hoeppner spent 10 years as the photo editor and a staff photographer at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Misty Montano is Digital Content Manager at 9NEWS, a NBC affiliate in Denver, where she works to integrate social media practices into all areas of the 9NEWS newsroom operation. Previously, Misty won a regional Emmy Award for her work as an assignment editor at CBS4 News in Denver, where she spent over 10 years on the news desk.  Asked about social media as a tool in news gathering, she said, ""The beauty of it all is that social media can be used how you choose. Make them (social media tools) work for you. Know why you're on them and what you want out of them. Then set flexible plans to achieve your goals." Follow Misty on Twitter at @MistyMontano.

Steven D. Zansberg is an attorney with the law firm of Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Schulz in Denver. For over fifteen years, Steve has represented media companies, online publishers, and individuals in defending claims based upon content, fighting subpoenas, and seeking access to government information and proceedings. He represented the national news media in connection with coverage of the Aurora theater shooting case, the Oklahoma City bombing trials and the Kobe Bryant rape prosecution, and he secured access to public records related to the murder of JonBenét Ramsey and the shooting at Columbine High School. Steve is also an active leader in the national media law bar. He is Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Communications Law, and has chaired several other committees within the ABA and the Media Law Resource Center. Steve has taught mass media at the University of Colorado and Law of the Internet at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Steve was a freelance documentary producer at KQED-TV, the public television station in San Francisco.

Laura Eurich is the director of undergraduate studies and senior instructor of communication at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Writing for the Media and Creative Communication are among the courses she teaches. A recovering journalist, she writes a bi-monthly column for the Colorado Springs Independent. 


Michael Roberts is a newsroom trainer and consultant and Project Director for NewsTrain. Previously, Michael was Deputy Managing Editor Staff Development at The Arizona Republic (2003-2010), responsible for all newsroom training, served as writing coach, and edited major projects. Outside his own newsrooms, Roberts helped create and launch NewsTrain, 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 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 degree in training and human resource development from Xavier University, Cincinnati.


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