Columbus NewsTrain – Professional Development for Journalists – Oct. 21

NewsTrain SPJ APME
Dublin campus of Ohio University, where the APME NewsTrain will take place Saturday, Oct. 21.


The Central Ohio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is proud to be a sponsor the Associated Press Media Editors’ NewsTrain stop in the Columbus area this week.

We invite journalists and students to use the event to train in mobile, social, video and data-based reporting at the Columbus NewsTrain on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017.

Full details:

When: 9 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. This is a bye date for Ohio State University football.

Where: Dublin Integrated Education Center, Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions, 6805 Bobcat Way, Dublin, Ohio

Cost: Early-bird registration has expired. Registration is $85.

Meals: Your registration includes light breakfast and lunch.

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:

Diversity scholarships: The deadline to apply for a competitive diversity scholarship for Columbus NewsTrain is Sept. 13, 2017. Applications are open to journalists, journalism educators or journalism students from a diverse background, Successful applicants have their registration fee waived; they must pay their own travel expenses. In addition to completing the online application, applicants should email a resume and up to three work samples to Dr. Hillary Warren at Otterbein University. Journalism educators need not send work samples.

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

Parking: Free. Please see map at bottom of the page for location of parking.

Lodging: Hyatt Place Columbus/Dublin, 6161 Parkcenter Circle in Dublin, is offering a $99 nightly rate, plus 17.5 percent tax, for NewsTrain attendees. To reserve by Sept. 28, go online, or call 800-993-4751 and ask for the APME NewsTrain rate. The rate includes free breakfast, WiFi and parking. The hotel also offers a free shuttle within a five-mile radius of the hotel from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. That would include the workshop site, which is 4.4 miles from the hotel.

Airport shuttle: The workshop site is about 25 miles from John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Airport shuttle services include Urban Express Charter. Taxis, Uber and Lyft also serve the airport.

The Central Ohio Transit Authority operates the AirConnect shuttle bus between the airport and 19 downtown Columbus hotels for $2.75 each way, but it does not serve the workshop site in Dublin, Ohio,18 miles north of downtown.

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

Local donor: Sigma Delta Chi FoundationHosts: Ohio State University’s Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Business First, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Otterbein University, Meyer Media LLC, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, WOSU Public Media, The Associated Press, WBNS-10TV in Columbus, Cox Media, Ohio Public Radio, The Blade in Toledo, Chillicothe Gazette, Akron Beacon Journal, Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, Troy Daily News, WHIO Radio in Dayton, WTVG TV in Toledo and WJER Radio in Dover

Come to suburban Columbus, Ohio, to Dublin — just 18 miles northwest of downtown — for a full day of digital-journalism training on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017.

Training Sessions Include:
•Maximizing your smartphone for mobile newsgathering,
•Using social media as powerful reporting tools,
•Shooting short, shareable smartphone video,
•Making smart choices in mobile storytelling, and
•Producing data-driven enterprise stories off your beat.

Early-bird registration is just $75 and includes a full day of training, plus light breakfast and lunch. The early-bird rate ends Sept. 21, increasing to $85 on Sept. 22.

Your Trainers
Doug Caruso, assistant metro editor at The Columbus Dispatch
•Doug Haddix, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors
•Q. McElroy, director of engagement and optimization at Cox Media Group in Atlanta
•Sue Morrow, assistant multimedia director at The Sacramento Bee
•Jeremy Pelzer, politics reporter for

You Will Learn How To:
• Use your smartphone to shoot a well-composed, well-lit and in-focus photo that captures a moment and tells a story; livestream using Facebook Live; capture high-quality audio; and transcribe audio.

• Use social media to locate diverse expert and “real people” sources, listen to your community and identify news stories, verify user-generated content, crowdsource using Google Forms and callouts, contact a source on social media responsibly and create a social dossier on a newsmaker.

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

• Identify the best way to tell a particular story on a small screen: digest, explainer, bulleted live updates or what-we-know lists, photo, video, graphic, audio, games, curation, or something else.

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


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

Doug Caruso is an assistant metro editor at The Columbus Dispatch, overseeing coverage of education and local government. He has used data to tell stories since 1993, when he compared county budgets using Lotus 1-2-3. Among many other projects, in 2001, he built the first searchable database of campaign contributions to Columbus city officials, triggering reforms in how contributions are reported at City Hall. As an editor, Doug helps his reporters use databases, spreadsheets and mapping software to analyze data on their beats. @DougCaruso

Doug Haddix is the executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He oversees training, conferences and services for more than 5,500 members worldwide, and for programs including the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) and DocumentCloud. Previously, Haddix worked as an IRE training director, an assistant vice president at Ohio State University and director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism. An IRE member since 1996, Haddix led investigations and computer-assisted reporting at The Columbus Dispatch for a decade. Before that, he worked as city editor of The Scranton Times in Pennsylvania; city editor of The Commercial-News in Danville, Illinois; and as a reporter for the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun and United Press International (Indianapolis). He earned a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University. @DougHaddix

Q. McElroy is the director of engagement and optimization for Cox Media Group in Atlanta. She works with a cross-functional team of “growth hackers” to identify optimization techniques, best practices and external relationships that grow digital audiences across all Cox’s brands and platforms. Previously, she was based in Dayton as senior director of digital strategy for Cox’s 10 newspaper, radio and TV brands in Ohio. There, she helped grow digital visits to Cox’s Ohio properties nearly 20 percent annually. Her career with Cox started at in Atlanta, where she held several leadership roles. @QMcElroy

Starting in August 2017, on sabbatical from her job as assistant multimedia director at The Sacramento Bee, Sue Morrow will be a visiting professional at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. At the Bee, she edited the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning (2007) and finalist (2013) entries in feature photography. She has also worked as a photo editor and manager at the San Jose Mercury News, Tampa Bay Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Boston Globe. She has taught at Ohio University and lectured at The Poynter Institute, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar and many National Press Photographer-related seminars. Since 1994, she has been a faculty and board member at The Kalish visual-storytelling workshop and served as its director from 2011-2013. As the Knight Fellow at Ohio University in 2010-11, she earned a master’s degree from the School of Visual Communication. During that time she produced the short documentary, “Born to Die,” about horse rescue. @SueLMorrow

Jeremy Pelzer is a politics reporter for He most recently covered the 2016 presidential race and Ohio’s U.S. Senate campaign. Named one of the best state-based political reporters and tweeters by The Washington Post, Jeremy regularly uses video, social media and other online reporting techniques in his reporting. Before coming to Ohio, he covered politics and government in the District of Columbia, Illinois, Colorado and Wyoming. He has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. @JPelzer

Session Specifics

Mobile newsgathering: better reporting with your smartphone A smartphone, stocked with the right apps, is a powerful multimedia reporting tool. Learn from Jeremy Pelzer how to use it to shoot photos, livestream using Facebook Live, and record and transcribe audio. Bring your smartphone for the exercises.

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 Doug Haddix how to use social media platforms and complementary websites to locate expert and “real people” sources, crowdsource using Google forms, contact a source on social media responsibly and create a social dossier on a newsmaker.

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. Learn from Sue Morrow how to produce those clips of under one minute with minimal editing. 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.

Storytelling on mobile: making smart choices Forty-four of the 50 largest newspapers get the majority of their digital traffic on mobile. We need a new storytelling tool kit to attract and better serve our audience on mobile. On a small screen, learn from Q. McElroy 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 something else? And what are the tools to make that happen as efficiently as possible?

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 Doug Caruso 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. Bring your laptop for the exercises.