Pre-conference sessions focus on skills

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Workshops offer practical advice

September 4, 2014 12:00 PM

By John Connor Coulston, RTDNA News

Excellence in Journalism 2014 got off to a quick start Thursday morning as attendees participated in several pre-conference workshops.

The workshops were geared toward specialized training for TV, radio, digital and print staff, including The American Copy Editors Society’s  “Editing Bootcamp” to a “News Management Master Class” by The Poynter Institute’s Jill Geisler and the University of Minnesota’s Scott Libin.

Other standout training sessions included “Data Journalism 101,” which gave attendees tips to navigating databases and utilizing Microsoft Excel, and “Narrative Storytelling for all Media and Beats,” led by KARE-TV Reporter Boyd Huppert. The latter drew one of the largest crowds of the pre-conference sessions and emphasized that the focus of an assignment doesn’t always have to be cut and dried.

“These packages are opportunities to tell stories,” said Huppert.

A new pre-conference workshop this year was developed by the Public Radio News Directors, Inc. called “Keeping the Story on Track: From Breaking News to Enterprise Coverage,” which was led by WNYC’s Julianne Welby, KUNC’s Jim Hill and WUOT’s Matt Shafer Powell. Trainers aimed to help attendees prepare for any possible breaking news situation in his or her areas through discussion.

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