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Norman, Oklahoma, NewsTrain
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Train in social, data, mobile- and 360-video at Norman, Oklahoma, NewsTrain on March 4, 2017 


The Particulars

When: 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2017. NewsTrain is being held in conjunction with the AEJMC Midwinter Conference March 3-4.

Where: University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, 395 W. Lindsey St., and Gould Hall, 830 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, Oklahoma. Here is a map locating both buildings and nearby free parking.

Cost: Registration is just $85. Your registration includes light breakfast and lunch. AEJMC attendees should register for NewsTrain at the Midwinter Conference site to save on a combined admission. 

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.

Registration for groups: Email Laura Sellers-Earl, NewsTrain program assistant.

What to bring: Bring your smartphone and laptop for the exercises.

Parking: A small free parking lot is on Lindsey Street, south of Gaylord College, and a free parking garage is on Asp Avenue, east of the Gaylord College and next to the football stadium. Here is a map locating the parking.

Lodging: Sooner Legends Inn & Suites, 1200 24th Ave. S.W. in Norman, is offering a discounted nightly rate of $89, plus tax. It includes a buffet breakfast, WiFi and a shuttle service between the hotel and the workshop site. Book by Feb. 21 using the group code AEJMC by calling 405-701-8100.

Airport transportation: Norman is about 24 miles from Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. At least two shuttle services operate between OKC and the University of Oklahoma. They are:

·        Oklahoma Shuttle charges $35 each way. Book online or call 405-428-4441.

·        Airport Express charges $38 to $44 each way to Norman. Book online or call 405-681-3311 or toll-free 877-688-3311. 

Diversity scholarships: The deadline to apply for a diversity scholarship for Norman NewsTrain was Feb. 1. If you are a journalist, journalism educator or journalism student from a diverse background, please consider applying for a competitive diversity scholarship to attend other 2017 NewsTrains in Beverly, Massachusetts; Columbus, Ohio; or Seattle, Washington. Successful applicants have their registration fee waived; they must pay their own travel expenses. If you would like to be notified when applications are open for diversity scholarships for other 2017 NewsTrains, please sign up here.

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

Local donors: Journalism 360, Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Press Association, Oklahoma Scholastic Media and Trifecta Communications.

Hosts: University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Watch, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City University, Trifecta Communications, Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, Tyler Media, University of Central Oklahoma, KGOU, Tulsa World, The Associated Press

Questions: Email Linda Austin, NewsTrain project director.

Norman NewsTrain has already happened, and registration is closed. Slides and handouts from this workshop and other recent NewsTrains are on Slideshare.

Other 2017 NewsTrains are in Beverly, Massachusetts, on Oct. 14; Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 21; and Seattle, Washington, on Nov. 11.

Come to Norman, Oklahoma -- just 24 miles south of Oklahoma City -- for a full day of digital training on March 4, 2017.

Training Sessions Include:

  •  Experimenting with virtual reality and 360-video to tell immersive stories,
  •  Using social media as powerful reporting tools,
  •  Shooting short, shareable smartphone video,
  •  Planning for breaking news in a mobile-first, multiplatform environment,
  • Producing data-driven enterprise stories off your beat, and
  • Identifying and accessing the Oklahoma public records you need to tell compelling stories.

Registration is just $85 and includes a full day of training, plus light breakfast and lunch.

Your Instructors

  • Clifton Adcockaward-winning investigative journalist for Oklahoma Watch.
  • Bill Church, senior vice president of news at GateHouse Media and APME president, will deliver a keynote speech at lunch, "Finding the Right Leadership Tune."
  • Socrates Lozanonational technology coordinator and photojournalist for The E.W. Scripps Co.
  • Joey Senat, associate professor at Oklahoma State University's School of Media and Strategic Communications and author of the textbook, “Mass Communication Law in Oklahoma.”
  • Daniel Victor, senior staff editor at The New York Times, where he reports for the breaking-news Express Team.

You Will Learn How To:

  • Identify the equipment and best practices to produce 360-video inexpensively.
  • Use social media as a reporting tool and verify user-generated content.

  • Shoot short, shareable smartphone video using a tripod and external microphone, and sequence the best five shots in sharp focus with high-quality audio.

  • Develop a coverage plan for breaking news that works on multiple platforms, starting with mobile.

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

  • Apply an open-government state of mind to find useful public records when fleshing out breaking news, covering a beat and developing enterprise stories.

Register here.


(Download 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, with one exception: attendees can chose to attend the fake-news panel from 8:40 to 9:30 a.m. that is part of the AEJMC Midwinter Conference or the NewsTrain session on Oklahoma public records from 8:40-9:55 a.m.

More on Your Instructors

Clifton Adcock is an award-winning investigative reporter for the nonprofit news site, Oklahoma Watch. Based in Tulsa, he covers criminal justice, corrections, mental health and poverty. Before joining Oklahoma Watch in 2013, he was an investigative reporter at the Oklahoma Gazette, covering Oklahoma City government and issues such as campaign finance, health care and water. Earlier, his beats included tribal affairs and public schools at the Tulsa World. He has also reported for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana and the McAlester News-Capital and the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma. The native Oklahoman holds bachelor’s and master's degrees from the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. @CliftonHowze  

Bill Church is senior vice president of news at GateHouse Media and APME's president for 2016-17. Previously, he served as GateHouse's Southeast regional editor and executive editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida. The Herald-Tribune and Tampa Bay Times won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting. A University of Oklahoma graduate, Bill was a Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 2016, GateHouse Media Editor of the Year in 2015, Robert G. McGruder Diversity Leadership Award recipient in 2010 and a McCormick Fellow in 2006. @BillChurchMedia

Socrates Lozano is the national technology coordinator and photojournalist for The E.W. Scripps Co. Based on its national desk in Denver, he has used 360-video to cover breaking news, including Hurricane Matthew, an experience  he wrote about for Journalism 360. He has coordinated coverage of major news events, such as the 58th Presidential Inauguration and 2016 political conventions, as well as built custom workflows and implemented new technology in the newsroom. He has 11 years of experience producing broadcast stories for both local and national news shows. From hurricanes to floods to fires, he's covered nearly every type of natural disaster, striving to bring the human touch to victims' stories. He describes himself as a storyteller who is always looking for a way to connect emotionally to his audience. @SocratesLozano


Joey Senat is one of the foremost authorities on Oklahoma’s open-records law. He is the author of the textbook, "Mass Communication Law in Oklahoma," and has taught media law at Oklahoma State University since 1998. His model letter for public-records requests is widely used. He has received numerous teaching awards, including outstanding professor in the OSU School of Journalism & Broadcasting for 2008-09. He serves on the board of the SPJ Freedom of Information Committee and FOI Oklahoma Inc. Senat earned a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, a master’s from Memphis State University and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to becoming a professor, Senat was a reporter for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis and the Tulsa World. @Joey_Senat


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

What you need to know about virtual reality and 360-video With 360-degree cameras now costing as little as $200, is it time for your newsroom to experiment with virtual reality and 360 video? Find out from instructor Socrates Lozano how to get started.

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. Learn from Daniel Victor how to use social media platforms and complementary websites to locate expert and “real people” sources, crowdsource using Google forms, and curate social media to augment your own content.  

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. Instructor Socrates Lozano teaches reporters how to produce those clips of under one minute with minimal editing. Learn 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. Bring your smartphone for the exercises. 

Planning for breaking news in a mobile-first, multi-platform environment Join Daniel Victor to identify the strengths of different platforms, and emerge with a checklist for constructing a mobile-first, 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.  

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 investigative reporter Clifton Adcock 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. 

10 habits of highly effective open-records users What do savvy users of the Oklahoma open-records laws know, and how can you apply their techniques to your coverage? Learn how to make better use of public records in your coverage with OSU Professor Joey Senat, the foremost authority on Oklahoma's Open Records Act.

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.

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