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Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Halifax, Nova Scotia, NewsTrain, May 6-7, 2016 



The Particulars

When: 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Friday, May 6, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7, 2016.

Where: New Academic Building, University of King's College, 6350 Coburg Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 2A1. Here is a campus map.

Cost: US$75. Includes two full days of training, continental breakfasts and lunches.

SPECIAL OFFER: The workshop precedes the Atlantic Journalism Awards Gala at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel starting with a 5:30 p.m. reception on May 7, 2016. NewsTrain attendees qualify for half off the C$135 ticket price to the gala dinner and awards show for themselves and their guests. The gala's guest speaker is Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was pardoned Sept. 23 after 438 days in Egyptian prisons. To get the C$67.50 rate, click here or call 902-478-6026.

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, who are interested in improving their skills in social media, digital storytelling, smartphone video and photos, audience analytics, mobile-first breaking news and writing for mobile. Public information officers and public relations specialists have also benefited from attending NewsTrain. You do not have to be a member of APME to attend.

Able to attend only one day?No problem. While we can't cut the $75 price -- which is already heavily subsidized -- we can guarantee that you can pick the sessions you want if you can make it to only one of the two days. Just specify which day you'll attend when registering. Of course, we'd love to have you with us both days!

Lodging: Discounted rooms are available at:

  • Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel for C$175 a night. To reserve, call  902-421-1700 or 1-888-236-2427 and ask for the Atlantic Journalism Awards rate ​by April 24. Directions and airport-transportation information are here to the hotel at 1919 Upper Water St., about two miles from the workshop site.
  • Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites for C$150 a night. To reserve, click here or call 1-800-565-2020 or 902-423-5130 and ask for the NewsTrain rate. (While the deadline to get the discounted C$150 rate has passed, the hotel will honor it, subject to room availability.) Directions are here to the hotel at 1515 S. Park St., about one mile from the workshop site.
  • On campus in the residence halls of the University of King's College for as little as C$55 a night. To reserve email Tim Ross at or click here.

What to bring: Your smartphone for the hands-on exercises. If you are an American citizen, you must have a valid U.S. passport to travel to Canada.

Parking: Park anywhere on campus on Saturday. On Friday, there are several options: (1) Buy one of seven parking passes for C$15 for the day. Reserve with a credit card by emailing Tim Ross at and pay and pick up your pass at the Alex Hall desk when you arrive on campus. (2) Park in one of the eight coin-metered parking spots behind King's. (3) Park for free on the street for two hours within a block of King's. (4) Park for free for the day on the streets more than a block away from King's.

Public transit: Bus Route #1 –Spring Garden – stops at the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites and King’s/Dalhousie campus every 10 minutes during peak times. It is a 16-minute ride from the Marriott and a five-minute ride from the Lord Nelson. Cash fare is C$2.50. Here are a map and a schedule, both PDFs.

Registration for groups: Email Beth Grace, NewsTrain program assistant.

SponsorAssociated Press Media Editors (APME). Please see the complete list of donors who support NewsTrain below.

Local donors: Newspapers CanadaAtlantic Journalism Awards and University of King's College School of Journalism.

Hosts: Newspapers Canada, Atlantic Journalism Awards, Canadian Association of Journalists, Brunswick News, TC Media, University of King's College School of Journalism and Newspapers Atlantic.

Questions: Email Linda Austin, NewsTrain project director, at

Come to beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia, for two full days of digital training on May 6-7, 2016. Sessions include:

  • maximizing your social media for personal branding and audience engagement,
  • using social media for sourcing, including verifying user-generated content,
  • making smart choices in digital storytelling,
  • planning for breaking news on multiple platforms,
  • writing for mobile, 
  • using audience analytics to get your stories read, and
  • shooting compelling news video and photos with your smartphone.

Registration is just US$75 and includes two full days of training, plus continental breakfasts and lunches.

Your Instructors

  • Matt Frehnersenior editor for mobile and interactive news at The Globe and Mail.
  • Kathy Kieliszewski, visuals director at the Detroit Free Press and four-time Emmy Award winner.
  • Jennifer MacMillan, social media editor at CBC Nova Scotia and former managing editor of news for HuffPost Canada.
  • Daniel Victor, senior staff editor at The New York Times and a former social media editor at the Times and

What You Will Learn

You will learn how to:

  • Develop an engaging voice in writing news posts for Twitter and Facebook that will help get your stories read.

  • Use Twitter lists to spot trends and cover beats.

  • Measure meaningful success on social media by monitoring metrics that matter.
  • Use social media as a reporting tool and verify user-generated content,
  • Make smart choices among digital ways to tell a story to get the maximum audience impact with the least expenditure of time, energy and effort.

  • Prepare a plan for coverage of an unexpected breaking-news event, including getting the news out first on mobile and social media, and curating other news sources.
  • Write headlines and leads for smartphone users that are optimized for search, inspire readers to click, and accurately reflect the story.
  • Ask the right questions to determine when to shoot a news video and what kind of video to shoot.
  • Identify the gear, software and techniques you need to shoot compelling video and photos with your smartphone.

  • Dig into audience analytics and apply those lessons to get your stories read.

Register here.


(Download a PDF of the agenda.)

The blue and green tracks on the agenda allow for smaller class sizes. All attendees receive the same instruction, just at different times.

More on Your Instructors

Matt Frehner is the editor in charge of The Globe and Mail’s interactive news team. He leads a group of editors, designers and developers who work on projects that use data, Web design and multimedia to tell stories in new ways. "Think of it as a small startup within the newsroom, working in concert with some of the best journalists in the country. It’s fun," he says. @mattfrehner

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. Thirty years later, she's still telling stories as the visuals director 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 12 photographers and editors. Kathy's most recent endeavor includes co-founding the Freep Film Festival, a 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

Jennifer MacMillan recently joined CBC Nova Scotia's digital team in Halifax. She spends most of her day thinking about how to use social media to connect Nova Scotians with what's important to them. Prior to the CBC, she was in Toronto as the managing editor of news for The Huffington Post Canada, the first international edition of HuffPost. From 2008 to 2013, she worked at The Globe and Mail, starting as a home page editor. She became The Globe's community editor in 2010, responsible for its social media strategy and growth on Twitter and Facebook. MacMillan's first job in journalism was editor-in-chief of the Journal, the student newspaper at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. She has a master's degree in journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and got her start covering everything from local politics to marine rescues as an intern at The Canadian Press in Halifax. @jenmacmillan

Daniel Victor is a senior staff editor at The New York Times, where he spent his first two years as a social media editor. He now reports for the Times' Express Team, a breaking-news desk that covers news readers are searching for and talking about online. Prior to arriving at The Times in 2012, he ran social media and crowdsourcing for ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom for investigative journalism. Before that he launched a hyperlocal site for and The Philadelphia Inquirer. He was a community host for TBD, a website/TV station that covered local news and sports in Washington. He began his career with four years as a reporter for The (Harrisburg, Pa.) Patriot-News, where he had almost every beat at the paper: cops and courts, local government, state government, national politics, features and just about everything in between. He wrote for the Centre Daily Times while attending Penn State and enjoyed a summer internship at The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle. @bydanielvictor

Session Specifics

Am I doing social media right? Maximizing your use of social media for personal branding and audience engagement So, you're a journalist on social media, but you're not sure you're taking the right approach. Instructor Daniel Victor offers tactics and tips to improve your comfort on social media, establish your brand, encourage community engagement, and measure how well your social media efforts are working.

Using social media as powerful reporting tools Social media can be used as powerful reporting tools, which are valuable whether you're facing a big breaking news story or an enterprise project. Instructor Daniel Victor explains how to use social media platforms and complementary websites to locate expert and “real people” sources, crowdsource using Google forms, and curate social media content to augment your own content. 

Digital storytelling: making smart choices What’s the best way to tell a particular story: text, photos, video, audio, curation, interactive graphic or some combination. What are the strengths of different digital formats? What’s the time involved to produce them? What works best on which platform and for which audiences? Instructor Matt Frehner will help you answer these questions.

Planning for breaking news in a mobile-first, multi-platform environment Instructor Daniel Victor will help you emerge with a checklist for constructing a breaking-news coverage plan, including how to deploy staff to utilize social media (both as a news platform and a reporting tool), live-blog and curate other news sources, use crowdsourcing and social media to gather information, verify user-generated content, make the best use of smartphone video, and quickly access relevant public records.  

Writing for mobile With mobile traffic approaching or surpassing desktop traffic at many news organizations, writing specifically for mobile audiences has become crucial. Writing for mobile is like writing for online on steroids. With instructor Matt Frehner, learn the best practices for writing content for mobile readers, with special emphasis on creating engaging headlines for both readers and search engines.

Efficient video story forms for digital platforms Many newsrooms start out shooting video for digital platforms that look 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 includes examples of video story forms and advice on when to pursue each, as well as advice on 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. It includes simple standards for framing, lighting and sound, plus advice on essential equipment. Bring your smartphone for the exercise.  

Taking powerful news photos with your smartphone The best camera you have is the one in your pocket, the saying goes. Learn from instructor Kathy Kieliszewski the capabilities of your smartphone’s camera, and apply the basics of good composition and lighting to portraits and action shots. Bring your smartphone for the exercise. 

Using audience analytics to get your story read The digital distribution of news has given us more data on what our audiences access than ever before. Trainer Jennifer MacMillan explains what the key metrics are that journalists should watch to better understand their audiences, and how can they use that data to make write better headlines and get their stories read.

Our Donors

NewsTrain's 2015 donors included Advance Local, The Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Associated Press, The APME FoundationScripps Howard Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, GateHouse Media, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Pepper Hamilton LLP and APME past and present board members.

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·         Newspapers Canada

·         Atlantic Journalism Awards

·         Canadian Association of Journalists

·         Brunswick News

·         TC Media

·         University of King’s College School of Journalism

·         Newspapers Atlantic

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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