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Perfecting Your Craft
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#NABJ12: New Platforms. New Directions. New Orleans

Perfecting Your Craft

Community Journalism: How to Produce Content in Your Own Backyard Using New Age Tools

A few years after major newspapers across the country began shifting their focus toward covering communities, hyperlocal sites began to spread. This workshop will teach journalists how to use user-generated content, blogs and social networking tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to get news delivered to hyperlocal sites and online media including Patch, The Huffington Post and Black Voices.

Covering Wealth and Poverty

American Public Media’s Marketplace launched its Wealth & Poverty Desk in February, a major new unit comprised of an experienced and diverse group of two reporters, two producers and an editor to cover wealth, poverty and the impact of the wealth gap. By June, the unit will have four months of experience in covering this complex and important area with Marketplace’s clarity and conversational style. In this workshop, we will share our experience and expertise, narrowing the focus for NABJ to best serve the needs of attendees. Topic areas include: making sense of complex economic concepts and data for audiences; turning the numbers into human stories; handling wealth and poverty and election coverage; and how to focus on the economic issues at stake.

Faces Behind the Lens: Sports Jobs You Should Know About

All sports fans and enthusiasts are familiar with the glamorous on-air positions. However, what we don’t see are the faces behind the lens – the producers, directors, editors, talent bookers and publicists who are calling the shots. These individuals are the ones making moves behind the camera and defining moments for the world to see and enjoy. On this panel, a diverse group of professionals will give an overview on the sports jobs you should know about and what it takes to get and succeed in these important positions.

From Fracking to Food Deserts: How to Cover Environmental Stories

There’s more to covering energy and the environment than gas prices and polar bears. Environmental issues are everywhere, touch every beat and disproportionately impact African-Americans. Yet environmental coverage remains limited in scope and quantity despite the fact that it’s one of the hottest beats in journalism. Story opportunities abound – if you just know where to look. This panel will highlight major environmental topics and equip participants with the resources to localize national environmental and energy stories and find energy and environmental stories on their own beats.

From the Playing Field to The Press Box

Professional athletes are accustomed to answering – and sometimes dodging – the tough questions. What is it like leaving the game and being on the other side – now being paid to publicly constructively criticize others? This workshop features those who have made the switch.

Getting That First Job…What You Haven’t Heard Before

As NABJ goes into its 37th year, many aspiring journalists are trying to breaking into the work force for the first time. There is so much worry about in finding a job in today’s economy. This panel will offer new and innovative ways to address this persistent problem. This is a PRACTICAL workshop on how to get a job after graduation. All the panelists have graduated within the last five years, and received job offers within weeks of their graduations. We will present new, innovative, practical and unique advice to help students and young journalists stand out and ultimately get a job. We will focus on diversifying skills, effective networking, building experience (not solely with internships) and enhancing interview skills. Attendees will leave with concrete takeaways, including a top 10 tips handout and 250 business cards.

Meeting the Challenge: Mean and Lean Investigative Reporting

To meet the new demands of investigative reporting you must create quicker investigations and try to get more done with less without sacrificing long-term, in-depth reports. You’ll learn how to become more innovative and creative to feed the beast and maintain the integrity of investigative reporting. The session will also focus on telling those long stories in less time, a line producer’s dream. Plus we’ll focus on branding yourself and your station to be more than just an investigative reporter, but still have a unit that’s always there for viewers.

NPR’s The Audio Cut

At a time when visuals and web design have become central to how journalists convey the day’s stories, we show you how the art of the audio cut is a foundation of multimedia reporting. You’ll understand how to expand your reporting tool kit to include the use of audio sound and interviews to enhance other media. You’ll find out how to find the right voice (the guest, the quotes), focus on tone and intonation rather than statistics and figures, use natural sound and music to create a sense of place and think of audio as a visual medium.

On the Business Beat

The world economy, local economies, the stock market, housing market, small businesses, corporations and Occupy Wall Street — all of these things are incorporated into the business beats of news organizations. This session will allow attendees to hear best practices on how to develop a nose for business reporting and how to break into this growing and popular beat.

Photojournalism: How To? Where To? And What’s Next?

This workshop will provide a clear, practical understanding of the evolution, pertinence and future of photojournalism. The working photojournalist finds it increasingly difficult to secure income and protect image copyrights with the aggregation of the Internet, along with various news sources. So it behooves journalists to develop a proper perspective on the innovations of technology and its direct effect on tomorrow’s job market. By tracing photojournalism back to its early stages and following it up until the present, panelists will help pinpoint the basic qualities that a journalist should express. The workshop will also offer insights through panelists’ experience and expertise and provide a guideline of how the working photojournalist can capitalize in today’s interconnected society. Attendees will walk away with the knowledge of future innovations to take back to their local newsrooms/chapters, along with the ability to effectively make a difference.

New Ways to Cover Political Campaigns

The dispatches from the road have been replaced by Twitter feeds, blogs and viral videos. Are you taking advantage of new technologies and ways to report on campaigns from the field? Hear from veterans and "new jack” reporters who are breaking the mold on campaign coverage, and learn how to get paid for your expertise. From first-time reporters to seasoned veterans, getting the all-important credential to national political conventions is the first step. Now that you’re inside the bubble, what kind of stories are people looking for back home? Last, separating reporting from opinion when covering a campaign is often difficult, so learn how you can turn your expertise into an asset.

Put Your Best Pitch Forward: A Guide for Allies and LGBT Journalists

Reporters who have an interest in pitching LGBT-inclusive stories don’t always know how. This panel of media professionals (editors, columnists and award-winning bloggers), both openly LGBT and straight allies, will share how to advocate for LGBT-inclusive stories in the newsroom. Find out how to package your story by emphasizing common values and human interest stories that all readers can relate to. Panelists will present their success stories, and reveal what worked and what didn’t.

Talking Heads 101

It’s no longer enough to just be able to report these days. Today’s journalist needs to be ready to serve as an expert and provide perspective, analysis and commentary on their stories to local and national media outlets. The problem is, while they may be deft at interviewing, many print journalists have never learned how to give good interviews for a broadcast audience. This session will offer tips, tricks, dos and don’ts for print journalists wading into the world of radio and television interviews and serve as a crash course on how to be effective on the other side of the microphone.

The Art of the Hustle

This financial seminar for young journalists just starting out is designed to offer a reality check. Graduating is a scary thing, but it’s even scarier when you don’t know where your next dollar is coming from. Life post-graduation isn’t much better when you’re busy squeezing change out of your last dollar. Let’s not let the "paying your dues” experience cost young journalists their dream. Young journalists need to know how to work a side hustle and how to invest early. They also need to know how to budget, how to invest and how to save. This panel targets graduating seniors, recently unemployed young journalists and recently employed graduates.

The Art of the Live Shot

The ability to deliver a "breaking” story on a tight timeline, often with limited resources, is the backbone of many a successful TV news career. This workshop features ideas and work samples from panelists, as well as the audience, making for a mutually beneficial master class that is as fundamental as writing and research. Veterans and "new-school” multimedia journalists will benefit.

The Professor’s Press Conference: What They Didn’t Tell You in Graduate School about Academia

Many journalists have made the transition from the newsroom to the classroom and have committed to inspiring the next generation of media professionals. However, they did not realize how much time is spent in committee meetings, on service projects to the university or serving as an academic or organization’s adviser. The panelists will explore the side of university life that we did not anticipate before arriving on campus. Educators in the audience will have the opportunity to share their own experiences as well as be invited to ask questions of the panelists. The panel will be presented as a press conference to allow the audience the maximum amount of time to ask and receive answers to their questions. Convention attendees will be invited to submit questions before the discussion so that the panelists are certain to cover issues of interest.

Transitioning to a National Beat

Whether you’re moving from a small town to Capitol Hill, transitioning from the state house to the campaign trail or switching from local to national news, this session will make sure that you hit your new beat with competence and confidence. This panel features reporters who have successfully made the transition from local to national beats and will offer the things they’ve learned on how to manage the news — and stress — that comes with the promotion.

Unplug from the Daily Grind and Plug into your Future: Journalism Fellowships Embracing Entrepreneurship, Branding and Tech Training

Working, but restless and not quite stimulated? Need a jolt of creativity? Looking for a way to start the next chapter of your journalism career? Then you are ready to apply for a journalism fellowship. It’s an opportunity wide open to talented minority journalists from those with a steady paycheck to freelancers and those from small newsrooms and large. For experienced journalists pondering the future, there’s nothing better than having time to step away from the daily grind and think. A year-long journalism fellowship is a gift to yourself and a chance for a professional meditation in the midst of the tumult of an uncertain industry. Journalism fellowships provide both a cerebral and practical experience-classes at top universities, intimate dialogue and exchange with fellow fellows from the U.S. and around the world, plus hands-on tech training to hone new media skills.

Pitch Me With Your Best Shot: Turn Your Idea into a National News Story

This is a must-attend panel for freelancers, PR professionals and editors/reporters to come together to pitch or be pitched potential story ideas. A la American Idol style, PR professionals and/or freelancers will have 45 seconds to pitch their story, product or client to a panel of producers from select media outlets. After every pitch, panelists will give feedback, offer ways to improve and note if they are interested in pursuing the story. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of what it takes to get your story heard as well as offering a plethora of potential story leads for journalists in attendance. The winner of the best pitch (decided by the judges) will receive a prize.

A Working Journalist’s Guide: Obama Administration Insiders You Need To Know When On Deadline

Whether you’re on deadline or considering an upcoming administration or political story, you will already be behind the eight ball if you don’t know all or some of these listed government press officials. Will you spend your entire deadline time searching for an official response or quote, or will your contacts from this career-enhancing session put you in line for an award-winning story? Hear directly from top administration officials on the current and looming headline issues coming out of the White House Executive Office and the Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Treasury, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development departments over the next 18 months.

NABJ Founders: Behind The Scenes

New members, students and interested convention attendees can participate in an informal give-and-take discussion between NABJ Founders and convention attendees who want to know and understand more about the December 12, 1975, founding meeting of NABJ – and the early trials and tribulations these courageous pioneers faced.

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