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Murfreesboro, Tennessee, NewsTrain
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Join us in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for digital training at NewsTrain on Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2016 


The Particulars

When: 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, and 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Oct. 1, 2016.

Where: Middle Tennessee State University Student Union, 1768 MTSU Blvd., Murfreesboro. Here are directions and a campus map (PDF).

Cost: Registration is $85 for everyone except students, for whom it is $75. Your registration includes two full days of training, light breakfasts and lunches. It also includes an optional reception from 5-6:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 in MTSU's John Bragg Media and Entertainment Building, 1735 Blue Raider Drive.

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.

Lodging: The discounted-room block closed Sept. 8 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 1850 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. However, you can call reservationist Andrew Gingras, at 615-396-1013, and if the hotel still has rooms, you can request the NewsTrain rate of $109 a night, plus 14.75 percent tax. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle within a five-mile radius, which includes the workshop site at the MTSU Student Union. Here's a map showing the route between the hotel and the Student Union.

What to bring: Bring your smartphone and laptop for the exercises. Please download the latest versions of these free app to your smartphone: Facebook, Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram,  as well as Spark Post (by Adobe for iOS), Quick, Call Recorder (by Component Studios for iOS) or Call Recorder (by C Mobile for Android), and Easy Voice Recorder (by Digipom for Android).

Parking: Free parking is available in the Walker Library lot near the MTSU Student Union, where the workshop will be held. Pick up your pass on Sept. 30 at the NewsTrain sign between Walker Library at 1611 Alumni Dr. and the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building at 1735 Blue Raider Drive. Please see this map. No pass is required for the library lot on Oct. 1.

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

Able to attend only one day?No problem. While we can't cut the 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!

Airport transportation: Murfreesboro is about 39 miles south of the Nashville airport. Among those offering airport transportation to and from Murfreesboro are Key Transportation for $55 one-way for shared-van service and American Taxi & Shuttle for $60 one-way. 

Diversity scholarships: Applications closed Aug. 25 for diversity scholarships to attend Murfreesboro NewsTrain. Journalists, journalism educators and journalism students from diverse backgrounds were invited to apply. The successful applicants for these competitive awards have had their registration fee waived; they must pay their own travel expenses. 

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

Hosts: Middle Tennessee State University College of Media and Entertainment, The Tennessean, the Nashville Scene, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Knoxville News Sentinel, Nashville Public Radio, News Channel 5 Nashville, The Associated Press Nashville bureau

Questions: Email Linda Austin, NewsTrain project director, at

Come to Murfreesboro, Tennessee -- just 39 miles south of Nashville -- for two full days of digital training on Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2016. This event has already happened; registration is closed.

Training Sessions Include

  • Making smart choices in digital storytelling,
  • Growing audiences with Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram,
  • Using social media as powerful reporting tools,
  • Shooting shareable smartphone video,
  • Maximizing your smartphone for mobile newsgathering,
  • Writing news for mobile,
  • Creating simple graphics for mobile,
  • Editing your own writing, and
  • Producing data-driven enterprise stories off your beat.

Early-bird registration is just $75 and includes two full days of training, plus light breakfasts and lunches and an optional reception. Registration increases on Sept. 2 to $85 for everyone except students, for whom it remains $75.

Your Instructors

  • Emma Carew Grovumassistant managing editor at The Daily Beast.
  • John Duchneskie, assistant managing editor for design and graphics at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Tony Gonzalez, enterprise reporter for Nashville Public Radio.
  • Val Hoeppner, director of the Center for Innovation in Media at Middle Tennessee State University.

What You Will Learn

You will learn how to:

  • 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.

  • Use social media as a reporting tool and verify user-generated content.

  • Write headlines and leads for smartphone users that are optimized for search, inspire readers to click, and accurately reflect the story.

  • Shoot short (under one minute), shareable smartphone video using a tripod and external microphone.

  • Identify best practices for using Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram to grow audiences.

  • Use your smartphone to shoot photos, record audio, edit video and take notes.

  • Self-edit your writing by using an accuracy checklist and finding and fixing common holes and writing problems.

  • Identify a data set from your beat that will likely produce a story and sort and filter in Excel to identify that story.

  • Create simple graphics that work well on smartphone screens. 

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

Emma Carew Grovum is a digital journalist based in New York. She can be found exploring the intersection of content, technology and audience in her role as assistant managing editor at The Daily Beast. Previously, she led social media for The New York Times Opinion section and oversaw editorial products (including the content-management system, newsletters and home page) at Foreign Policy magazine. She is a co-founder and co-curator of The Journalism Diversity Project, which began in 2011 and works to identify and elevate journalists of color working in the digital space as both job candidates and event speakers. Carew Grovum trains fellow journalists on topics including data visualization, social media reporting and analytics, media diversity and project management. @emmacarew

John Duchneskie is the assistant managing editor for design and graphics at The Philadelphia Inquirer. He joined The Inquirer in 1985 as an editorial assistant in the business department after graduating from Temple University. He became a business news researcher and began creating increasingly complex financial graphics. He moved to the news art department as a graphics artist and was promoted to presentation editor and graphics editor before assuming his current position. In spring 2007, he took a leave of absence to become the first Harte Information Graphics Teaching Fellow at the University of Missouri, where he also served as graphics editor for the Columbia Missourian. @jduchneskie

Tony Gonzalez has been a reporter in Nashville since 2011, working for four years at The Tennessean and then joining Nashville Public Radio in June 2015. At WPLN, he covers city news, features inspiring people, and seeks out offbeat stories. His investigative work in newspapers and his feature storytelling in radio have won national awards. Gonzalez recently became the president of the local SPJ chapter, and he's an alum of the Chips Quinn Scholars program, where he returns annually to coach collegiate journalists. @TGonzalez

Val Hoeppner is the director of the Center for Innovation in Media at Middle Tennessee State University. As CEO of Val Hoeppner Media & Consulting LLC, she trains journalists in mobile, social, video and multi-platform storytelling. She has been an instructor with the Poynter Institute, the Newseum Institute, Chips Quinn Scholars, Native American Journalism Fellowship, Innovation J-Camp and APME's NewsTrain. Hoeppner was multimedia director at The Indianapolis Star and later worked at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville as the director of education for the Diversity Institute, where she led digital journalism programs for professional and student journalists. She serves on the board of Teripixa mobile app that accelerates how users capture and publish photographs. @vhoeppner

Session Specifics

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. Trainer Emma Carew Grovum discusses: 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? 

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. Join trainer Emma Carew Grovum to learn 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. 

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. Learn from Tony Gonzalez the best practices for writing content for mobile readers, with special emphasis on creating engaging headlines for both readers and search engines.

Viral video: shooting shareable smartphone video Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism studied what makes for successful news video and recommended that reporters shoot fast, raw clips posted instantly from the field, leaving in-depth, more sophisticated video stories to highly trained video journalists. This session teaches reporters how to produce those clips of under one minute with minimal editing. Learn from Val Hoeppner how to use a tripod and external microphone and sequence your best five shots to create shareable video – without getting in the way of your reporting. 

Growing audiences with Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram Instagram has 400 million active monthly users, greater than Twitter’s 320 million. Snapchat has 200 million. The audience on both skews younger. Facebook, with its 1.55 billion users, has made a major push into live video with Facebook Live, as has Twitter with Periscope. What’s worth your time in using these social platforms to build audiences? Find out from Val Hoeppner who’s doing it well, and what the best practices are for your news organization. 

Mobile newsgathering: better reporting with your smartphone A smartphone, stocked with the right apps, is a powerful multimedia reporting tool. Learn from Tony Gonzalez how to use it to shoot photos, record interviews, take notes and edit videos.

How to edit your own writing When filing from the field, you may not have an editor to polish your copy. What techniques can you use to edit yourself for accuracy, meaning and better writing? Emma Carew Grovum offers useful tools and tips.

Data-driven enterprise off your 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 instructor John Duchneskie how to find and analyze data, enabling you to spot the enterprise stories in the numbers, whether your beat is sports, health, business, education, local government or cops and courts. 

Create your own simple graphics for mobile Sometimes the best way to tell the story on mobile is with a graphic. Learn from instructor John Duchneskie how to make your own simple graphics using free tools. 

Our Donors

NewsTrain's 2016 donors include The Associated Press, The APME Foundation, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Scripps Howard FoundationGateHouse Media LLC, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz LLP and APME past and present board members.

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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