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Watchdog Journalism seminar scheduled for May 24 at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

April 13, 2016

Mid-America Press Institute and Investigative Reporters & Editors are teaming up for a Watchdog Journalism seminar Tuesday, May 24, at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Co-sponsored by the Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, registration for the seminar is $25. Journalists can register by emailing MPI Executive Director John Ryan at

The one-day seminar will run from approximately 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include lunch.

Alex Richards, an IRE trainer, will lead the seminar, which will center on using the Internet in deadline and long-term investigations.


Registration under way for March 5 management seminar at The Star

February 4, 2016

Registration for Mid-America Press Institute’s March 5 management seminar at The Indianapolis Star is under way.

Three leading media managers will lead the one-day seminar at the newspaper, 130 S. Meridian St.

Registration is $40 and includes lunch. Registration can be made by contacting MPI Executive Director John Ryan at

The seminar faculty includes Jill Geisler, the Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Management Integrity at Loyola University, Chicago and formerly affiliated with the Poynter Institute; Marty Kaiser, retired editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; and Mizell Stewart, managing director of content for the Journal Media Group and now with Gannett.

The schedule:


9:30 – Welcome from Mid-America leadership; intros

9:45 – 11am  Managing Change: 5 Key Accelerators – Jill Geisler (Poynter, Loyola University) and Marty Kaiser (retired editor of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

11-11:15 – Break

11:15-12:30 – Assessing and Upgrading Your Culture – Geisler/Kaiser

12:30 – 1:15 – Lunch. Guest Speaker – Mizell Stewart  (formerly with Scripps, Journal Newspapers and now Gannett)

1:30 – 3:00 – Accountability and Challenging Conversations – Geisler/Kaiser

3:00 – 4:00 – Front Line Ideas and Issues  – Open Forum with Geisler/Kaiser/Stewart


MPI has a room block at the Hampton Inn, 105 S. Meridian St., 317-261-1200. The room rate is $134 for Friday, March 4, and $189 for Saturday, March 5.

Media managers to lead March 5 seminar on newsroom leadership at Indianapolis Star

January 22, 2016

Three leading media managers have agreed to lead Mid-America Press Institute’s next seminar for managers and future managers on Saturday, March 5, at the Indianapolis Star, 130 S. Meridian St.

Jill Geisler, the Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Management Integrity at Loyola University, Chicago; Marty Kaiser, retired editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; and Mizell Stewart, managing director of content for the Journal Media Group, will lead the one-day seminar.

Geisler and Kaiser will lead sessions on: leading creative people, which will include an overview of motivation and training; and assessing your culture, an interactive session on determining what culture you want and how to get there, among other sessions.

Stewart will lead a session on “Leading Change in Your Newsroom. He will emphasize practical ways to take charge of change and to move your team forward while staying true to the values of journalistic integrity and community service.The seminar will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include lunch, which will be included in the $40 registration fee. To register, email MPI Executive Director John Ryan at

2016 membership drive under way

December 9, 2015

MPI’s 2016 membership drive is under way. Consider being a member and support low-cost, mid-career training for working journalists. Contact MPI Executive Director John Ryan at

We have an exciting year of seminars planned:

March 5: Leadership & Management in Indianapolis
April/May: Watchdog Journalism, Milwaukee
June: Covering Education, Champaign-Urbana
September: Sharpening Skills for 21st Century, Arlington Heights
October: Sharpening Skills for 21st Century, St. Louis

MPI teaming with APME’s NewsTrain for Oct. 29-30 seminar at NIU, DeKalb, Ill.

October 5, 2015

Mid-America Press Institute is teaming with APME’s NewsTrain for a two-day seminar Oct. 29-30 at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill. Sessions include:

–producing enterprise stories efficiently,
–conducting data journalism for beginners,
–maximizing your use of social media for reporting, as well as for personal branding and community engagement,
–shooting effective video on your smartphone,
–using audience analytics to do better journalism,
–taking creative approaches to local features coverage, and
–unleashing your watchdog with beat mapping

Your instructors include:

  • Linda AustinNewsTrain project director and a former top editor in three local newsrooms.
  • Michael J. Berens, investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Betsey Guzior, features editor at The State in Columbia, South Carolina, and past president of the Society for Features Journalism
  • Kathy Kieliszewski, visuals director for the Detroit Free Press and four-time National Emmy Award-winning journalist.
  • Charlie Meyerson, vice president of news for Rivet Radio Inc. and principal at Meyerson Strategy, a Chicago-area content-strategy consultancy.
  • Karen Workman, senior staff editor and former social strategy editor at The New York Times who was named to Editor & Publisher’s “25 Under 35” list.

Best of all — Registration is just $75 for both full days of training, plus Continental breakfast, lunch and snacks each day. Diversity scholarships are available, and a discounted hotel rate is available for just $79/night.

You can’t afford to miss this!

Questions? Go to

Sun-Times Kirk to join speakers line up at News Literacy seminar in September

August 5, 2015

Jim Kirk, editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, is the latest addition to the speaker line up for the News Literacy seminar Sept. 17, at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill.

Kirk will speak on the future of news.

Mid American Press Institute, the Northern Illinois Newspaper Assn. and the Communication Department at Northern Illinois University are sponsoring the day-long seminar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center, DeKalb.

The $25 registration fee will be waived for the first 50 journalists and educators to register thanks to a grant from the McCormick Foundation. To register, email MPI Executive Director John Ryan at

The sessions will also be videoed for future use by journalists and educators as part of the grant.

The following is the tentative program:


10 a.m. Welcome and introductions

10:10 a.m.

The Case for News Literacy: Why sorting fact from fiction is a vital 21st Century skill

In this session, the News Literacy Project’s senior vice president for educational programs, Peter Adams, gives an overview of the field of news literacy and explores the ways our rapidly changing information landscape makes these skills some of the most vital for 21st century students and citizens.

11:15 a.m.

Engaging news consumers about News Literacy

All will discuss the need for and how to engage readers regarding News Literacy. Panel discussion including:

* Stan Zoller, journalism lecturer at Lake Forest College who is involved with the Center For News Literacy @ Stony Brook University and ISBE’s Citizen’s Advocacy Center.

* Michael Spikes, director of the Digital Resource Center for the Center for News Literacy.

* Andrea Guzman, NIU journalism professor who specializes in digital and new media.

12:15 p.m. Lunch

1 p.m.

The First Amendment: An amendment under fire

Discussion, led by Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute and its First Amendment Center, on today’s challenges to the First Amendment’s five freedoms.

2 p.m.

The Future of News

Jim Kirk, Editor/Publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, will share his vision about the fast-changing trends and technology, and how to target the best opportunities for future digital efforts using limited resources.

End 3 p.m.

Fall seminar line up includes seminars on News Literacy and NewsTrain

July 21, 2015

Sept. 17 — News Literacy at Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Speakers include Peter Adams of the News Literacy Project and Gene Policinski of Newseum/First Amendment Center. Registration of $25 waived for the first 50 registrants thanks to a grant from the McCormick Foundation. Email MPI Executive Director John Ryan,, to register.

Oct. 29-30 — APME’s NewsTrain at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Sessions on producing enterprise stories, conducting data journalism, maximizing social media, shooting effective video and watchdog journalism, among other topics. Registration is $75. To register: Go to

Cards beat reporter to headline June 29 sports seminar at St. Louis Post-Dispatch

May 21, 2015

St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Cardinals beat reporter Derrick Goold will headline the Mid-America Press Institute’s annual sports seminar Monday, June 29, at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Sessions on using social media to report and promote sports coverage, covering the big story and video and real time reporting, among other topics, will follow.

To register for the seminar, send an email to MPI Executive Director John Ryan at The registration fee is $25 and includes lunch.

Should participants want to come in on Sunday, June 28, and stay over, MPI has a room block for Sunday, June 28, at the St. Louis City Center Hotel, 400 S. 14th St., 314-231-5007, formerly a Sheraton hotel. MPI’s room rate is $115 a night. Reservations must be made by June 18.

The St. Louis Cardinals play the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, June 28, but tickets are selling out and ticket prices are escalating. MPI is not purchasing a block of tickets this year but leaving it up to individuals to make their own plans.

Registration under way for Watchdog Journalism seminar set for May 20

April 21, 2015

Registration is under way for Mid-America Press Institute’s Watchdog Journalism seminar May 20 at the Briar Ridge Country Club, Schererville, Ind.

Sessions on investigations on the beat, doable computer-assisted reporting projects, navigating public records laws, figuring out the real story and covering Indiana’s religious freedom law will be offered.

Registration is $30 and will include lunch and drinks. To register, email MPI Executive Director John Ryan at

Bob Heisse, editor of The Times of Northwest Indiana, will serve as host for the seminar. Non-MPI members are welcome to attend.

The tentative schedule calls for registration to begin at 9:30 a.m., the first session at 10 a.m. and the last session will conclude about 3:30 p.m.

Ethridge succeeds Zaltsberg as MPI chair

March 2, 2015

Tim Ethridge, editor of the Evansville Courier & Press, was named chair of MPI at the board of directors annual meeting Saturday at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Dan Corkery, managing editor for administration at The News-Gazette, Champaign, Ill., was named vice chair.
Bob Zaltsberg, moved from chair to past chair. Bob led MPI for the past two years. Please thank Bob for his leadership and hard work on behalf of MPI for the past two years.