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NABJ Presents: The Basics Bootcamp
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NABJ Presents: The Basics Bootcamp

2/10/2017 to 2/11/2017
When: February 10 -11, 2017
11:00 AM
Where: Heritage Hall, University of Alabama at Birmingham
1401 University Blvd
Birmingham, AL  35233
United States
Contact: Marlon A. Walker
(404) 849-9447

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NABJ Presents: The Basics Bootcamp

With the digital takeover, most journalism workshops have concentrated on multimedia inclusion, including analytics, search engine optimization and other ways to attract readers. You’ll hear what’s needed in the evolved newsroom. But what about writing a story? Or producing a competent package? As newsrooms change, the mission -- to do good work -- stays the same. In a two-day intense training, we’ll teach you how to balance writing an article with the increasing demands to tell the story through different forms – visuals, social media and the website, of course. We’ll teach writing on deadline after live-tweeting a meeting where you might even have to shoot photos. We’ll talk about how to get the best work out of that camera phone. We’ll show tricks for pulling off an MMJ job where you’re the reporter, photographer and editor! The event will be held on the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus during Black History Month as conversations continue about police shootings and the reaction to the Black Lives Matter Movement, which many still struggle to understand. The two-day event will include a fireside-type chat and tour through the city, an entry-point to the civil rights movement. Our first panel will begin at 11:00 a.m. Friday so get there early to ensure the best seat!

Please contact our host hotel for discounted rates of $109/night: Courtyard Birmingham Downtown at UAB at (205) 254-0004 or reserve your room online. 


Friday, February 10
11:00 a.m. This is Why We Do It.
The media landscape in America and around the world is changing. True journalists distinguish between facts and alternative facts, despite roadblocks and challenges. Newspapers, digital media and broadcasters consistently reshape their operations to quickly gather accurate reports and share information through a variety of channels and platforms. Traditional journalists believe they still reign. Nontraditional journalists often feel that they are gaining ground. Why would any college student or young journalist want to jump into this at this time? These journalists will address these issues and take questions from the audience.
12:30 p.m. SESSION A
Writing on Deadline -- Multimedia Style

It’s a journalist’s dilemma. You’re crushed with a breaking news story and your editor is screaming. How do you get it done? This session offers tips to meet your deadline quickly across all platforms without losing substance or accuracy. It will teach you how to be quick and concise. Learn how using tweets as background to develop an early version story online and write a longer story later.
Leadership? Challenge Accepted!

Looking for tips on how to build a collaborative spirit in the newsroom? Wondering how to manage your team? Need to know how to develop your own executive skills? Learn the building blocks of newsroom leadership on this panel of participants from the inaugural Poynter-NABJ Leadership Academy for Diversity in Digital Media.
2:00 p.m. SESSION A
Selling Your Package

You’ve got the perfect story idea and you’re sure people will love it. But how do you make it sing to your editor? This session will discuss the best ways to create a full package while thinking visually, helping journalists avoid static and setup photos.
3:30 p.m. SESSION A
You Gotta … Know When To Fold ‘Em?

Sometimes, your newsroom, for whatever reason, may not be the right newsroom for you. This session will tackle balancing management obligations with the mission you’ve set out to accomplish when when taking a job.
Resume critiques
(Space available for ongoing reel, package and resume reviews.)

A resume is your introduction to hiring managers who may not have had a chance to sit with you at a job fair and get a sense of where you could fit in their organization. Professionals are standing by to help tailor yours to the job you want, and suggest what’s missing that could make you even more marketable!
6:00 p.m. Newsmaker event (Birmingham Civil Rights Institute)
Journalism isn’t dying. Newsrooms may be getting smaller, but if 2016 showed us anything, it’s that the work we do is needed now more than ever.

Attendees and speakers:
Joe Dickson, a veteran of the civil rights movement, was jailed with Dr. Martin Luther King in Birmingham. He was also provided a vital link between Birmingham millionaire A.G. Gaston and the leaders of the movement. While attending Miles College, Dickson worked with other students to launch a selective buying campaign to challenge Birmingham’s segregation laws. He went on to become a successful businessman, and was the last publisher of The Birmingham World, a prominent black newspaper.

(Keynote address)
Devon J. Crawford
, a University of Chicago doctoral student and NAACP Fellow, has traveled across the country encouraging millennials to engage in the civic process. His activism has earned him a couple of trips to jail in Chicago and in Mobile, Ala. Crawford, a Birmingham native and Morehouse College graduate, addresses key societal issues and the role of the media in ensuring those issues are before the public. Sponsored by and the partners for the Alabama Broadcasters Association
Saturday, February 11
Where Do I Go From Here?

The media landscape has changed tremendously in recent years. Where do I go to find a job? What are my chances of getting a job in my field? If I don’t get a job right away, what do I do? What do you tell a black journalist walking into a newsroom where they may be the only person of color? It’s OK, and part of the job to fix that will fall to you.
10:30 a.m. SESSION A
Accuracy in the Digital Age

Good journalists have been taught that accuracy is the cornerstone of the business. But how do you deal with remaining accurate while also breaking news? This session will deal with the daily dilemmas of tweeting breaking news, verifying accuracy of sources and breaking news events. It will also deal with a journalist’s worst nightmare: getting it wrong.
More Than A Minute in Public Media

The story length of commercial radio and television news stories is measured in seconds. But in Public media, you often have much more than a minute to build a solid story package. What does it take to build a compelling package in public radio and television? What skills can students hone in college to help prepare them for public media careers? What are the advantages of storytelling on public radio and television?
12:00 noon Lunch
1:00 p.m. SESSION A
Point (your phone), and shoot

This session deals with that camera on the back of your phone and how editors now call on reporters to provide a visual component of their stories. Professionals will teach the art of the clip, shooting and editing a video to hand in alongside your story, using the right angles and how to package it all.
The Educator Conundrum

Fewer journalism instructors these days have worked in newsrooms. Where’s the disconnect? What should educators be doing to ensure their students are getting a well-rounded experience? Hear how NABJ professors are teaching the next generation of journalists.
2:30 p.m. SESSION A
To Click or Not to Click?

It’s the never-ending newsroom debate. Newsrooms are struggling for survival and are rapidly moving toward a more digital presence. Journalists complain their bosses are sacrificing hard-hitting news in favor of getting clicks and page views. This session will delve into ways to balance digital news needs versus solid news coverage.
Social Media

Facebook Live and Periscope have turned nearly everyone into a media outlet. But few can deliver like a trained journalist. For journalists, how and when we use these platforms is key. In this workshop, journalists offer ways to maximize these platforms and teach what are the best news events to cover on Facebook Live or Periscope. It will also provide reporting instruction such as avoiding editorial comments.
4:00 p.m. SESSION A
Cocktails and … representation (SPONSORED BY: Tito’s Vodka)

Sure, the boss invited you to the bar, or their personal holiday party. And nobody’s on the clock. But how far do you go? What can be held against you as you enter journalism’s after-hours pastime.


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Registration Rates
Member $25
Student $15
Student Non-Member

(Total includes a $3.00 administrative fee)


To partner with NABJ on this event, please contact JoAnne Lyons Wooten at

Drill Sergeant ($5,000)
Prime logo positioning/mention in advertising (social media, program, e-blasts)
Opportunity to provide two panelists for informational sessions
Scholarship contribution
Entry for five

Soldier ($2,500)
Logo/mention in advertising (social media, program, e-blasts)
Opportunity to provide one panelist for informational sessions
Scholarship contribution
Entry for two

Civilian ($1,000)
Logo/mention in advertising (social media, program, e-blasts)
Scholarship contribution

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