Making innovation a core competency will be among the sessions offered at the Mid-America Press Institute’s Feb. 15 “Leadership & Management” seminar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Tom Warhover, executive editor for Innovation at the Columbia Missourian, will be the keynote speaker Feb. 15 at Mid-America Press Institute’s “Leadership & Management” seminar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 900 N. Tucker Blvd.
Sarah Morin, digital editor at the Herald-Times in Bloomington, Ind., will head Mid-America Press Institute’s Social Media seminar Nov. 13 at the Illinois Press Association in Springfield.
Morin, who runs HeraldTimesOnline.com, will lead a session on “Is Your Newsroom Digital First?” A graduate of Indiana and New York universities, Seitz covered city hall, the youth culture beat and edited INstride, a monthly health and fitness magazine, before moving to the digital-only side of her newspaper.
Attorney Esther Seitz will lead a session on “Social Media and Laws,” and Adam Gerik, digital editor of the Peoria Journal Star in Peoria, will lead a session on “Tools of the Trade.”
Mike Turley, content team manager at GateHouse Media Inc., and Erin Orr, managing editor of The State Journal-Register, Springfield, will lead a “Best Practices and Great Ideas” session to close the seminar. Turley and Orr are co-chairs of the seminar.
Registration can be made by emailing John Ryan, MPI executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is just $25 and includes lunch. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude by 3 p.m. The IPA is located at 900 Community Drive, just off Interstate 55 south of Springfield.
Mark your calendars for Mid-America Press Institute’s next workshop. It’s on social media Nov. 13 at Illinois Press Association headquarters in Springfield.
The one-day seminar will include sessions on making your newsroom digital first, tools of the trade and law and ethics and the web.
Registration can be made by emailing John Ryan, MPI executive director, at email@example.com. Registration is just $25 and includes lunch. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude by 3 p.m.
Questions? Please contact John Ryan or Barry Locher. (firstname.lastname@example.org, 217-241-1300)
Mark Horvit, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., will again lead a one-day seminar on Watchdog Journalism Sept. 26 at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Horvit, who also teaches investigative journalism as an associate professor at the University of Missouri, will lead sessions on “Web for Watchdogs,” Key Documents You Can’t Live Without,” “Open Records,” and “Quick-hit Watchdog Investigations.”
Before joining IRE, Horvit was projects editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He also has worked on projects teams at newspapers in Texas, North Carolina, Missouri and Florida.
Registration for the one-day workshop is just $40 and includes lunch. Registration can be made by emailing John Ryan, executive director of Mid-America Press Institute, at email@example.com or by calling 217.581.7939. Deadline for registration is Friday, Sept. 20.
The workshop will begin with registration at 9 a.m. Sept. 26 and conclude by 3 p.m.
In addition to MPI, IRE and the Post-Dispatch, the seminar is being sponsored by the Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana press associations.
HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Readers are craving recruiting news, though at the top level it is well contested by sites such as rivals, yahoo, etc. Still, your local contacts (coaches, parents, teammates and personal relationships with the star) can serve you well.
Game stories should be more than play-by-play and regurgitated stats. Visit a practice the day before to get the background to tell a player’s personal story in your gamer … it not only is a better read, but saves time.
Tweet, Facebook and follow players’ tweets. It may feel a little awkward, but players often speak more freely in social media than they do in an interview. You don’t have to quote the tweet, but it’s great background. At the same time, beware of misinformation that can go out on social networks.
Remember what an important role you’re playing. It doesn’t get more local than high school sports. A lot of what you write will become scrapbook pages.
You’re often the only impartial voice at the game. Celebrate the success of teams and students without being a cheerleader; don’t miss out on hard news if a coach or athletic official behaves badly. If it’s what you’re talking about with friends or your spouse after the game, it’s probably what most people are talking about.
Serve readers with stories about the people involved.
Again, Twitter can be your friend. Follow players, coaches, administrators. Take advantage of any access you receive to make sure everyone knows who you are. Keep cell numbers (and get them by, at the end of an interview, saying something as simple as “in case I have a question when I sit down to write, what’s the best way to reach you?”). And remember, many players and busy coaches prefer texting to calling.
Don’t forget the support personnel: High school and college athletic secretaries, trainers and student managers know just about everything that is going on. They probably don’t want to be quoted, but they can point out some great stories about players well down the bench … and provide tips to breaking news such as players leaving a team or an undisclosed injury.
The bottom line: build relationships. Get to know as many people as possible but keep it professional.
Always keep the fans in mind, especially for breakouts, statistics, gametimes, directions and the like. Think about which where you like to get news about teams you follow and understand fans are looking to you like you are looking to those sources.
NEW MEDIA AND ETHICS
As soon as you have solid information, get it out there. Tweet it, link to a web post as quickly as possible, promise (and follow through) with updates as they become available, both on Twitter and online.
If you’re blogging, be generous with crediting other news organizations or individuals (and include links). The more information you provide readers, even if it’s coming from a competitor, the more they’ll come back to you in search of information.
Never forget that what you’re writing, no matter the platform, is associated with your name. Strive for accuracy and fairness.
Great writing first requires solid reporting. One source doesn’t cut it. Do your homework and pay attention … a little scene-setting can draw your audiece in.
Don’t regurgitate long quotes. Trust your ear. You’re the one who decides what is the hook for or what carries the story, not your digital recorder.
Avoid cliches (or Bill Billinski of the South Bend Tribune will haunt you in your sleep). Remember that the players, both the stars and the scrubs, often are more honest in their appraisals than the coach.
Not everything has to be a 20-inch story. Maybe a story is best told as a Top 10 box, or as a Q&A. Be different if it works.
Trust your instincts. If you have what you believe will be a great story but know you don’t have time with all your other beat/desk responsibilities, speak up. Ask your sports editor or editor for help. Ask a co-worker if he can pick something up so you can devote more time to a story you feel needs telling. Everyone at a news organizations loves great stories; that’s what we’re all about.
A lot of the best stories involve people overcoming life challenges. Find them and write them.
Sessions on changes in high school sports coverage, beat reporting, ethics and writing will be features at the Mid-America Press Institute’s summer sports seminar Monday, June 17, at the Indianapolis Star, 307 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis.
“Sports Journalism Now,” a one-day seminar, will begin at 9:15 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. Registration is $40 and includes lunch. Registration can be made by emailing MPI Executive Director John Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The schedule for the seminar:
9:15 a.m. Welcome and introductions
9:30 a.m. How high school sports are changing
Courtney Linehan, sports editor, The Times of Northwest Indiana; Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star; and Pat McKee, formerly of the Star and now a coach.
10:50 a.m. Getting the most out of covering your team
Beat writers talk about their craft, with heavy emphasis on the digital imperative. LaMond Pope, Gary Post-Tribune; Jeff Rabjohns, Rivals.com, and Dustin
Dopirak, The Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.
12 p.m. Lunch.
1 p.m. Sports, new media and ethics
Ethical issues in a 24-7 Twitter-driven universe with citizen journalists, blogs and a million different perspectives swirling around. John Strauss, faculty member, Ball State University, formerly a reporter with The Associated Press and the Indianapolis Star
2:20 p.m. What makes sports writing the best in the paper and on the Web?
Writers explain how they go about their craft, who they like to read and why. Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star; David Haugh, Chicago Tribune; Dave Reynolds, the Peoria Journal Star.
3:30 p.m. Brainstorming
Share story ideas and takeaways as a group. Bob Zaltsberg, The Times-Herald, Bloomington; and Tim Etheridge, Evansville Courier & Press.
Free Parking: The Indianapolis Star is going to allow us to park in its employee parking garage behind the Star. Enter the garage off of Delaware Street. A map will be emailed to seminar-goers. Press the button on the speaker at the gate and give the security guard your name. He’ll then let you in. You can enter the Star via the Employee Entrance from the parking garage. The seminar is on the Sixth Floor.
Seminar Hotel: The Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown, 10 E. Market St., has agreed to give us the Star’s corporate rate of $139 a night. If you need to stay over for the seminar, email MPI Executive Director John Ryan, email@example.com.