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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

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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

SPJ JournCamp
February 27, 2015 | Atlanta, Ga.

Register online | Schedule | Meet the Trainers

Presentation materials and notes: Download them here

Attending JournCamp? Just want to see what was discussed? Find all notes, handouts and other presentation materials right here. Updated throughout the program.


When: Friday, February 27

Where: Embassy Suites Centennial Olympic Park
267 Marietta Street
Atlanta, GA 30313

Parking: The hotel offers valet parking for $30 a day. This price is set by the hotel and subject to change at any time without prior notice given to SPJ. You can view public parking options in the Centennial Olympic Park area here.

Registration: Click here to register online. The deadline to register online is Monday, February 23. If you miss the online registration deadline, you may still register on site at the Embassy Suites Centennial Olympic Park at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, February 27.

Professional SPJ member: $35
Student SPJ member: $20
Professional non-member: $55
Student non-member: $40

Members of NAHJ, AAJA, NABJ, NAJA and NLGJA receive the $35 rate with a special promotional code.

Registration fee includes morning coffee and lunch.

Funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

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.


8:30-9:30 a.m.: Registration
and check-in

Location: Legacy Foyer

Coffee available.

9:45-11:30 a.m.: Breakout Sessions

(Choose one to attend per time slot on site)

Narrative Storytelling: Dump the Inverted Pyramid, No Matter Your Medium of Choice

Location: Legacy A

Step out of the inverted pyramid, just-the-facts model that drives so much daily reporting and into the world of narrative storytelling. You'll learn what narrative storytelling is and how to do it well. You'll discover how to choose a story that's ripe for a narrative approach, and how to get it done on deadline. The goal of this session is to provide strategies and resources to help journalists promote narrative storytelling within their individual newsrooms — changing the way you and your colleagues think about, report and tell stories. Journalists working in all media — broadcast, online, print and everything in between — will benefit from thinking about crafting compelling stories.

Trainer: Lane DeGregory (@lanedegregory), Tampa Bay Times reporter and 2009 Pulitzer winner for feature writing

Introduction to Web Coding, Javascript and Data Visualization for Journalists and Media Professionals

Location: Salon IV

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. Also, ever felt you're clueless about how the Internet actually works and are too scared to ask? Andy will teach you the fundamentals, not to mention he'll show you how you — yes, you! — can learn to display basic data in 10 minutes on a website, using Google Docs, tabletop.js and other free tools. He'll even give you code you can use for free!

NOTE: Participants in this session should bring their own laptop to follow along with the hands-on demonstrations.

Trainer: Andy Boyle (@andymboyle), developer, previous Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe web developer

11:45-12:45 a.m.: General Session

Rapidly Changing News Media Landscape: Skating Ahead of the Digital ‘Hockey Puck’

Location: Legacy A

The long list of factors contributing to the current pace of disruptive change across the news industry continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate. Now is the time for journalists and news organizations to start thinking not only about how can they program to the devices that exist today, but how to best to prepare themselves for three to five years down the road. News Innovation Strategist Victor Hernandez promises to stubbornly put down his smartphone for a short while in order to pick up the crystal ball and lend some thoughtful anticipation to where the hockey puck is headed.

Trainer: Victor Hernandez (@tothevictor), news innovation strategist, previous CNN news futurist

12:45-1:30 p.m.: Lunch (provided)

Location: Atrium

1:45-3:45 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

(Choose one to attend per time slot on site)

Smarter Reporting with Smartphones

Location: Legacy A

Backpack Journalism in 2015 means running and gunning with smaller, better, faster, cheaper gear and workflow than ever before in the age of digital storytelling. During this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to produce a video news package using the smartphone. Participants will be exposed to basic techniques on gathering quality sound bites and shooting compelling B-roll and "selfie stand-ups." You will learn to edit those assets into a short video package that can easily and immediately be shared online — therefore beating the pants off fellow journos using more traditional approaches.

If you have a tripod and mount adapter for your smartphone, bring it. Ditto if you have MiFi or another mobile WiFi device.

NOTE: Participants should download the free mobile editing app Videolicious prior to the workshop. Bring a charged smartphone, ear buds and loads of attitude and imagination.

Trainer: Victor Hernandez (@tothevictor), news innovation strategist, previous CNN news futurist

New Tricks and Treats for Watchdogs: Online Data and Google Fusion Tables

Location: Salon IV

You don’t need to be an investigative reporter or data wizard to find meat for your stories. Learn how to find public records locally and nationally. Discover the power of a retention schedule — a way to keep your enterprise stories continually coming. Learn data negotiation techniques for when public servants aren't as helpful as they could be. And learn to do quick data analysis with Google Fusion Tables (a free online service), and produce basic charts and graphs showing your findings, with tools, such as Chartbuilder. All you need to get started is a free Gmail/Google account.

NOTE: Participants in this session will need to bring a laptop/tablet and have a free Gmail/Google account set up.

Trainer: Andy Boyle (@andymboyle), developer, previous Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe web developer

4-5:30 p.m.: Reception

Location: Legacy Foyer

Relax, have a drink, swap more training tips (and business cards/Twitter handles) and unwind after a long day cramming your head with new information.

Meet the Trainers

Victor Hernandez, news futurist and video/TV news producer

Victor Hernandez (@tothevictor) is a news futurist and journalism innovator, previously with CNN. In this role Hernandez was charged with shaping critical vision and strategies around emerging technologies against CNN’s journalistic endeavors. He previously served as CNN’s Director of National Coverage where he oversaw domestic newsgathering operations including the handling of strategic response to breaking news and in-depth coverage. He was a distinguished member of Poynter Ethics Fellows 2008-09, and is associated with the Society of Professional Journalists, Online News Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Hernandez was recently named to SPJ’s 20 Journalists/Industry Thinkers You Should Know list, 50 People in Media You Should Subscribe to on Facebook and Poynter’s 35 most influential people in social media. He was previously based in Atlanta and now lives in San Diego.

Lane DeGregory, Tampa Bay Times reporter and 2009 Pulitzer winner for feature writing

Lane DeGregory (@lanedegregory) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times feature writer who prefers writing about people in the shadows. She sweated with a mailman who was mowing strangers' lawns; hung out with a mother who was giving up custody of her adopted son; followed the guy who carries the "THE" flag in a rodeo. For 10 years, she wrote news and feature stories for the Virginian-Pilot. Her stories have appeared in the Best Newspaper Writing editions of 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. She has been a speaker at the Nieman Narrative Conference at Harvard University and has won more than a dozen national awards, including the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.

Andy Boyle, developer,

Andy Boyle (@andymboyle) is a developer for, owned by NBC News, and was previously 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.

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