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– Nashville, January 2014: Recap | Program
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– Chicago, January 2012: Recap | Program

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Journalism Education Committee Chair

Butler Cain
Assistant Professor/Mass Communication
West Texas A&M University
Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Room 269
Canyon, TX
Bio (click to expand) Butler Cain is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. He received a Ph.D. in Media History from the University of Alabama, where he also received degrees in Journalism. He spent a decade as news director of Alabama Public Radio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, before moving to South Korea to teach English language skills to Korean students.

Butler has been a member of SPJ since 1997. He is a founding member of the Texas Panhandle Pro SPJ chapter in Amarillo, Texas, and has served on the Journalism Education Committee and the International Journalism Committee. Butler blogs about travel and journalism at

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, a professor of journalism in the School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., chaired national SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee from 2000-2007. She is former chair of the SPJ's International Journalism Committee and has been a member of other national SPJ committees over the past several 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.

Nicholson is the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communications Education Award from Commission on the Status of Women of the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2008, she was recipient of the Robert Knight Multicultural Award for promoting diversity in America's newsrooms, given by AEJMC's Scholastic Journalism Division. She was recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of VCU's College of Humanities in 2007 for contributions to VCU and the journalism profession. She is serving a second term as president of the University Faculty Senate through August 2015.

Nicholson teaches senior-level capstone undergraduate government, enterprise and project reporting courses and coverage of specialized areas such as science, health, education, urban affairs and the environment. She also teaches a graduate course on International Journalism in the M.S. program in Mass Communications with a specialization in multimedia journalism. Before joining the VCU faculty, she was a reporter and editor for more than a dozen years in North Carolina and Virginia. She 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.

Home > Journalism Training > SPJ JournCamp > JournCamp Chicago

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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

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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.

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