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Lincoln, Nebraska, NewsTrain
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Train in data, video, social, mobile and verification at Lincoln NewsTrain on April 4, 2020


The Particulars

When: 8:30 a.m. to 5:35 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020

Where: Andersen Hall, 200 Centennial Mall North, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Cost: Early-bird registration is just $75. The early-bird rate ends March 4, with registration increasing to $85 on March 5.

Meals: Your registration includes a light breakfast and lunch on Saturday. 

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. 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.

Travel scholarships for Chips Quinn Scholars alumni: The Freedom Forum Institute offers travel scholarships to Chips Quinn Scholars alumni who are working as journalists or teaching journalism full-time and who are interested in attending NewsTrain. The scholarship will cover up to $1,000 for travel expenses. Interested alums, who are asked to submit a piece about their workshop experience for the Chips Quinn Scholars website, should email Karen Catone, director of the Chips Quinn Scholars Program. They should also apply for a diversity scholarship to cover registration, funded by the APME Foundation, here.

Registration for groups: Email Laura Sellers-Earl, NewsTrain project co-director.

What to bring: A fully charged laptop and smartphone for the exercises.

Parking: Free behind Andersen Hall. Enter from Q or 16 streets.

Lodging: A discounted rate of $99 a night, plus tax, is available to NewsTrain participants at the Graduate hotel, 141 N. 9th St. in Lincoln. Reserve here by March 13, or call 402.475.4011 and ask for  the NewsTrain 2020 rate. Free WiFi, parking and shuttles  to the workshop site and airport are available.

Directions and airport transportation: Please see the Lincoln Airport's website for a map and directions and information on ground transportation.

Local donors: University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications, The Associated Press

Sponsor: Associated Press Media Editors (APME) Foundation. Please see the complete list of donors who support NewsTrain at the bottom of this page.

Hosts: Representatives from the following local organizations are serving on the host committee for Lincoln NewsTrain: Nebraska Press Association, Lincoln Journal Star, Norfolk Daily News, Northwest Missouri State University, KETV, University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Nebraska Collegiate Media Association, Omaha World-Herald, The Associated Press, University of Kansas, NET, Doane University, Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Daily Nebraskan, Des Moines Register, Northeast Nebraska News Co.

Questions: Email  Laura Sellers-Earl, NewsTrain project co-director.

Join us for a full day of affordable digital training at Lincoln NewsTrain on April 4, 2020, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Training Sessions Include:

  • Using social media as powerful reporting tools,
  • Storytelling on mobile: making smart choices,
  • Becoming a verification ninja,
  • Editing smarter video on your smartphone, and
  • Mining data for enterprise off any beat.

Early-bird registration is $75 through March 4; the rate increases to $85 on March 5.

Added free bonus!

Join us before NewsTrain from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Friday April 3, for a FREE half-day Google Training Tools session with SPJ trainer Mike Reilley in the MediaShift Training Network and the founder of Penny Press Digital LLC, a consulting and training company. @journtoolbox

You will learn:

  • What's new with Google Tools: Earth Studio, Earth Timelapse, Google Scholar and Google Trends?
  • Searching for and scraping data for data visualization stories. (Google Sheets and Tabula)
  • Data visualization tools: Google Flourish, Google MyMaps and Google Public Data Explorer.

If you are unable to attend Lincoln NewsTrain, you can still sign up for the Google Tools Training here.

Your NewsTrain Trainers

  • Geoff Roth, a self-described "#MobileJournalism evangelist," who built the first iPhone-based TV newsroom in the U.S.

  • Matt Wynn, a senior reporter at USA Today who specializes in data-driven stories.

  • Mike Reilley is co-founder of and trainer in the MediaShift Training Network and the founder of Penny Press Digital LLC, a consulting and training company. @journtoolbox

Stay tuned please. We will be announcing soon additional accomplished journalists who will be your trainers for Lincoln NewsTrain.

You Will Learn How To:

  • Use social media to locate diverse expert and “real people” sources, listen to your community and identify news stories, crowdsource using Google Forms and call-outs, and create a social dossier on a person in the news.
  • Edit short news videos using an app on your smartphone,
  • Verify user-generated images and other content on social media on deadline,
  • Make smart choices among alternative ways to tell a story on mobile to get the maximum audience impact with the least expenditure of time, energy and effort.
  • Identify five ways to find relevant databases and formulate questions to identify stories in the data. Leave with at least one story idea using data that you can do now.




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 Trainers


Geoff Roth is the news director at KMTV, the Scripps-owned CBS affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska. He built the first iPhone-based TV newsroom in the country at WJZY in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since then, he has converted other TV newsrooms and trained their staff to use mobile-journalism kits to shoot, edit and transmit stories, as well as go live on location. At KTSF in San Francisco, his iPhone-based newsroom created the nation's only local morning newscast in Cantonese. He began his career as part of the original team that started CNN. In 2010, the graduating class at Hofstra University selected him as Teacher of the Year in journalism, media studies and public relations. He describes himself as a #MobileJournalism evangelist at @GeoffMojo.

Mike Reilley is an Society of Professional Journalists digital trainer who has taught Google News Initiative tools to more than 5,100 journalists and educators in the past three years. He also is co-founder of and trainer in the MediaShift Training Network and the founder of Penny Press Digital LLC, a consulting and training company. When he’s not on the road doing trainings, he teaches data and multimedia journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he is an assistant professor. A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Reilley served for 13 years as a faculty member at Northwestern, Arizona State University and DePaul University, teaching digital journalism to hundreds of students and professional journalists. He holds journalism degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (undergrad) and Northwestern University (masters). Reilley founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox ( for SPJ and runs the Chicago data site, The Red Line Project ( Twitter: @journtoolbox

As a senior reporter at USA Today, Matt Wynn works on data-driven projects, both serious and frivolous. He is a former developer and watchdog reporter at the Omaha World-Herald and a former director of investigative and enterprise at MedPage Today, a news site for physicians. He previously worked on data projects at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix and the Springfield News-Leader in Missouri. He is a former adjunct instructor in precision journalism at Arizona State University and data analyst for Investigative Reporters & Editors. He graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism. @mattwynn  


We'll be adding more accomplished trainers soon.


Session Specifics


Using social media as powerful reporting tools Social media can be used as powerful reporting tools, whether you're facing a big breaking news story or an enterprise project. This session explains how to use social media platforms and complementary websites to locate diverse expert and “real people” sources, listen to your community and identify news stories, crowdsource using Google Forms and callouts, and create a social dossier on a person in the news.


Storytelling on mobile: making smart choices More than eight in 10 U.S. adults now get news on a mobile device. We need a new storytelling tool kit to attract and better serve our audience on mobile. On a small screen, what’s the best way to tell a particular story: digest, explainer, bulleted live updates or what-we-know lists, photo, video, graphic, audio, games, curation, or some combination? And what are the tools to make that happen as efficiently as possible? How is writing for mobile scanners different? The good news is that mobile-storytelling techniques also translate well to other digital platforms, and some text-based strategies even work in print.


Becoming a verification ninja The wealth of content available on social networks and video platforms means that we all have to be verification ninjas with a procedure to identify accurate content and debunk hoaxes. Learn how to set up your toolbox to verify user-generated content (UCG) on deadline. Mike Reilley is co-founder of and trainer in the MediaShift Training Network and the founder of Penny Press Digital LLC, a consulting and training company. @journtoolbox


Edit smarter video on your smartphone Join Geoff Roth to learn how to use an app on your smartphone to edit video clips into a news story of one minute or less. Use a storyboard to sequence shots. Learn to splice, delete and connect clips. Create lower-thirds to identify speakers. 


Mining data for enterprise off any beat How do you fit enterprise stories around the many other demands you face as a beat reporter to write dailies, file web updates, tweet and shoot video? One way is to take advantage of the plethora of local data available online to spot and develop unique stories for your news outlet. All you need is either you or someone else in your newsroom who can download and sort databases in a spreadsheet program, such as Excel. Learn from Matt Wynn how to develop a data state of mind, find newsworthy data and begin to analyze data sets. Spot the enterprise stories in the numbers, whether your beat is sports, health, business, education, local government or cops and courts. Bring your laptop for the exercises. No previous data experience is required. 

Our Donors

NewsTrain's recent donors include The Associated PressThe APME Foundation, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, GateHouse Media LLC, the Park, Gannett and Sigma Delta Chi foundations and APME past and present board members. To join them in supporting NewsTrain, please make your tax-deductible contribution here

1040 P Street
Lincoln, Nebraska

·         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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