Society of Professional Journalists
Improving and protecting journalism since 1909

Advertise with SPJ

Journcamp: Past Programs

– Nashville, January 2014: Recap | Program
– Minneapolis, November 2013: Recap | Program
– Washington, D.C., June 2013: Recap | Program
– Chicago, January 2012: Recap | Program

News and More
Click to Expand Instantly

SPJ News
Events and Deadlines
SPJ Blogs
Quill Online
SPJ on Tumblr
Journalist's Toolbox

Stay in Touch
Twitter Tumblr Facebook Google Plus
RSS Pinterest Pinterest Storify

Training Programs
Home/All opportunities
Newsroom Training
National Convention
Spring Conferences
Leadership Training
J-Ed Committee

Pulliam/Kilgore FOI
Working Press

Journalism Education Committee Chair

Becky Tallent, Ed.D.
Associate Professor
School of Journalism and Mass Media
University of Idaho
Bio (click to expand) picture Rebecca J. “Becky” Tallent is an award-winning journalist and public relations specialist with more than 12 years experience as an energy/environmental and financial journalist plus an additional 16 years experience as a public relations specialist and five years as an educator. She is currently an associate professor of journalism and mass media at the University of Idaho.

Becky’s experience as a reporter and editor inside Oklahoma was with the Daily Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, Oklahoma Business News Co. (where she was reporter and editor of the Oklahoma Energy/Environment Report) and as editor of the Oklahoma Banker. She has also covered energy and environmental issues for McGraw-Hills News, Inc. of New York (Platt’s Oilgram News, Engineering Week and Green Markets); Reuter’s U.S. Financial, Inc. based in New York; and the Washington, D.C.-based Oil Daily.

As a public relations specialist, Becky has represented the University Hospitals, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board and Epworth Villa (a not-for profit retirement community). From 2002-2006, she was a public relations specialist with Evergreen Productions, Inc. of Oklahoma City where she represented the City of Lawton (OK), Tidal School Vineyards and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Her expertise in public relations is writing/publications, working with the news media and crisis communications.

Before Idaho, Becky taught journalism at Bishop McGuinness High School, Southwestern College, the University of Phoenix, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Some of Becky’s most recent awards include: 2003 Faculty Member of the Year, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; first place, 2001, American Marketer’s Association, Oklahoma City Chapter, Marketing Campaign for Epworth Villa; second place, 2001, Society of Professional Journalists, Oklahoma Chapter, not-for-profit publications (Epworth Villa); first place, 2000, Society of Professional Journalists, not-for-profit publications (The Oklahoma Banker); and the 1999 Award of Merit from the Oklahoma Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators for the Oklahoma Banker.

Becky has been a member of SPJ since 1972 when she joined the University of Central Oklahoma student chapter. She joined the Oklahoma Professional Chapter in 1977 and became a member of the Snake River Chapter in 2006. She has served on numerous local and national committees for SPJ. Becky’s dedication to the Society lies in her belief that service in SPJ is a way to contribute something back to the profession.

Becky earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (1975) and her Master of Education in Journalism (1977) from the University of Central Oklahoma. She earned her Doctorate of Education in Classroom Teaching/Mass Communications from Oklahoma State University in 1995.

June Nicholson, vice chair
Director of Graduate Studies
School of Mass Communications
Virginia Commonwealth University
901 W. Main Street
Room 1108 Temple Building
Richmond, VA 23284-2034
(804) 827-0251 (office)
Fax: (804) 828-9175
Bio (click to expand) picture June O. Nicholson, an associate professor in the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., has chaired national SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee since 2000. She has been a member of several other national SPJ committees over the past two decades. She is co-developer of the SPJ newsroom training module on covering diverse communities. Nicholson also is a former president of the Virginia professional chapter of SPJ.

At VCU, Nicholson teaches government, enterprise and project reporting and coverage of specialized beats such as science, health, education, urban affairs and the environment. She also teaches a course on International Media Coverage: The Middle East. Before joining the VCU faculty, she was a reporter and editor for some 15 years in North Carolina and Virginia. She is a former acting director, associate director and assistant director of the VCU School of Mass Communications. Nicholson holds a master’s degree in public affairs journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I am a member of SPJ because I believe the organization plays a vital role in protecting the First Amendment, free speech and freedom of information in this country.”

Home > Journalism Training > SPJ JournCamp > JournCamp Chicago

<< Return to current Journcamp program page

SPJ JournCamp
November 9, 2012 | Chicago


When: Friday, November 9

Where: Navy Pier
Festival Hall Complex, Level 3
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Cost: $35 for SPJ members, $55 for non-members. Registration fee includes breakfast and lunch.

Registration: Online registration is closed for this program, but you may still register in person. On-site registration will open at 8 a.m. on Friday, November 9 at Navy Pier.

Parking: There is a parking garage at Navy Pier. Self-parking is $25/day per vehicle.

Funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. For more information about the SDX Foundation, follow this link [opens in a new window].

SPJ is committed to bringing you training and tools in all areas of journalism. In this daylong workshop, you'll get practical, skills-based professional development that will help you be a better journalist.

Detailed Schedule

8-9 a.m.: Registration and check-in

Continental breakfast available.

9-10:15 a.m.: General Session:
Entrepreneurial Journalism

“Entrepreneurial Journalism” author Mark Briggs will discuss the intersection of journalism and entrepreneurship. It's about the new business models for news and the startups and new projects that are flourishing around us, giving us a preview of what's next for news.

Trainer: Mark Briggs, KING-TV, author, “Entrepreneurial Journalism”

10:30 a.m.-Noon: Breakout Sessions
(choose one to attend per time slot on site)

Social Media as a Reporting and Engagement Tool

In this session you'll review the relationship between SEO and social media. Mindful of busy schedules and overwhelmed newsroom workflow, we'll addresses simple, oft-overlooked practices reporters can use to develop an effective social media presence, while efficiently optimizing their efforts for search engines. It’s a buzzword-free, straight-talk kind of session with plenty of time for questions.

Trainer: Amy Guth, social media editor, Chicago Tribune

Introduction to Javascript and Coding for Journalists and Media Professionals

Ever had a basic spreadsheet, or maybe a few lines of data, and you wanted to find a way to get it into your news outlet's website in a pretty way? Learn how to use free tools, such as Google Docs, tabletop.js and the Chrome Web browser to create an easy table on your website, as well as some basic Javascript fundamentals.

Trainer: Andy Boyle, developer, Chicago Tribune

Noon-1 p.m.: Lunch (provided)

1:15-2:45 p.m.: Breakout Sessions
(choose one to attend per time slot on site)

This is How the Internet Works

You may use the Internet every day of your professional life, but do you really understand how it all works? Learn in layman's terms how browsers talk to servers, how Facebook is similar to how your outlet's website works and how all of this and more can affect your job. Expect to come away with enough knowledge to talk to — and understand — your Web development staff.

Trainer: Andy Boyle, developer, Chicago Tribune

Copyright Law for the Copycat Age

Fair use. Copyright. Creative Commons. Trademarks. They're words we hear all the time, but what do they really mean? Get tools and advice to navigate the sometimes complicated legal world of publishing, broadcasting, reporting, and blogging in today's digitally-focused journalism landscape. What do all journalists — editors, publishers, reporters, entrepreneurs launching community reporting blogs — need to know to protect themselves and their intellectual property?

Trainer: Barbara Iverson, professor, Columbia College

3-4:15 p.m.: Breakout Sessions
(choose one to attend per time slot on site)

Personal Branding, Blogging and Social Media: Extra Mileage in Your Coverage and Your Career

Are you making the most of your job as a journalist? Does the world of social media intimidate you? Jump in already! Consumers are increasingly getting their news online, many on mobile devices. Veteran broadcast journalist Nancy Loo will show you how to effectively use the Internet and social media as tools to increase viewership, readership and engagement. See how branding and blogging can also increase your value as a journalist.

Trainer: Nancy Loo, WGN-TV

Data 101: Mapping Visualizations and Using Google Fusion Tables: Skills for All Journalists

We live in a time where an unprecedented amount of data are being gathered and published by governments, companies and organizations. While this is a good thing, it poses new challenges for those who want to understand, interpret and tell the stories behind all this info. One way of doing this is by plotting data on a map. Derek Eder of Open City will share some of his projects and experiences with mapping open data with Google Fusion Tables, including the ClearStreets snow plow tracker, the Chicago Vacant and Abandoned Building Finder, and Chicago Public School Tiers map. Attendees will demo Eder's free template anyone can use to start creating searchable maps of their own.

Trainer: Derek Eder, owner of DataMade and co-organizer of OpenGov Chicago

[ Back to top ] | [ Return to current Journcamp program page ]

Meet the Trainers

Mark Briggs, KING-TV, author, “Entrepreneurial Journalism”

Mark Briggs is the author of “Entrepreneurial Journalism,” a book about the rise of journalism startups and how to start your own journalism business. He is currently director of digital media for King 5 Television in Seattle and a Ford Fellow in Entrepreneurial Journalism at The Poynter Institute. Previously, he co-founded Serra Media, a Seattle-based technology company, and spent nine years running newspaper websites in Everett and Tacoma, Wash.

As part of his mission to help journalists transform in the digital age and leverage the power of digital/social/mobile media, Mark has served as a speaker, trainer and consultant for various projects around the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. He spoke at SXSW Interactive in Austin in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In May 2010 he was named one of 20 Journalists to Follow by Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Andy Boyle, developer, Chicago Tribune

Andy Boyle is a News Applications Developer at the Chicago Tribune. He's previously worked at the Boston Globe, The New York Times Regional Media Group and the St. Petersburg Times. He built web applications and contributed to coverage that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. In his free time, he attempts stand-up and improv comedy. A 2009 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Andy holds a news-editorial degree and is three credits shy of his broadcasting degree. He lives in Chicago with his cat, Tiberius Kirk.

Derek Eder, owner of DataMade and co-organizer of OpenGov Chicago

Derek Eder has been building websites in Chicago since 2005. He is the owner of DataMade, LLC, an open government and open data web consulting company, co-founder of Open City, a collective that makes civic apps with open data, and organizer for OpenGov Chicago, a monthly Meetup group that promotes open data and open government in Chicago and Cook County.

Amy Guth, social media editor, Chicago Tribune

Amy Guth is Chicago Tribune and + Tribune Media Group’s social media and SEO manager, a social media columnist, host of “30 Second Social” web series, and author. Find her at or on Twitter as @amyguth.

Barbara Iverson, professor, Columbia College

Barbara Iverson is a professor of journalism at Columbia College in Chicago. She is publisher and co-founder hyper local news site Current her research and teaching interests include copyright and copyleft, economics of intellectual property, business models for small news operations, and social network tools and communication.

Nancy Loo, WGN-TV

Nancy Loo is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined WGN-TV as a Reporter and Fill-in Anchor in 2010. Previously, she worked as a reporter and anchor in Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York City, and Chicago. In addition to her TV credits, Nancy has her own blog at She is also adept at social media, actively engaging viewers through Twitter and Facebook.

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Northern California, Nancy earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Oregon. She speaks fluent Cantonese and has studied German, Japanese, and American Sign Language.

Nancy recently stepped down as Co-President of the Asian American Journalists Association Chicago Chapter but she remains active in AAJA, as well as the Chinese American Service League, the Organization of Chinese Americans and the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.

[ Back to top ] | [ Return to current Journcamp program page ]