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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

SPJ JournCamp
October 8, 2016 | Seattle

Register online | Schedule | Meet the Trainers


When: Saturday, October 8

Where: Hilton Seattle Downtown
1301 6th Ave.
Seattle, Wash., 98101

Rates* (includes all-day program, continental breakfast, lunch and evening reception with drinks):
– Professional SPJ member: $40
– Student SPJ member: $30
– Professional non-member: $60
– Student non-member: $40

*Members of NAHJ, NABJ, NAJA, AAJA, SAJA, and NLGJA receive the SPJ member rate with special coupon code.

Registration: Follow this link to register online. The deadline to register is Monday, October 3 or when JournCamp fills up, whichever comes first.

JournCamp is 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.


8:15-9 a.m.: Registration and check-in

Continental breakfast available.

9 a.m.: Welcome and Introduction to JournCamp

9:15-10:15 a.m.: Opening General Session

How To Really (And Substantively) Talk With Your Audience

Journalists of all types, working in all kinds of media, are talking with members of the public in comments, on social media, and in online communities. How can you make these conversations as productive and engaging as possible? We'll share pitfalls and best practices and learn from each other.

Trainer: Mónica Guzmán (@moniguzman), 2015-16 Harvard Nieman Fellow, previous technology and media columnist for GeekWire, The Daily Beast and Columbia Journalism Review.

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

(Choose one to attend per time slot on site)

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

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.

Trainers: Tom Hallman Jr (@thallmanjr), senior reporter, The Oregonian; 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing

Free Newsroom Tools for Taming the Real-Time Web

Speed of discovery and speed to broadcast are essential in today’s ever-evolving world of media. What if you could turn your laptop into a virtual drone — obtaining immediate “eyes in the sky” capabilities for precise areas of interest? A capacity achieved within seconds and through a few keystrokes and clicks. In this high-tech/high-powered session, attendees will be exposed to cutting-edge applications and techniques for: 1) discovery of breaking news seconds into an event; 2) connecting with sources on scene; verifying and validating developing stories; 3) accessing user generated content into news coverage; 4) easily publishing to their broadcast and digital audiences. Join for a fast-moving presentation highlighting the latest available resources for tackling social signals, multimedia content, and complex data points to reach audiences faster via the real-time web.

Trainer: Victor Hernandez (@tothevictor), director of media innovation, Banjo

12:30-1:15 p.m.: Lunch (provided)

1:30-3:30 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

(Choose one to attend per time slot on site)

Google Research Tools for Journalists

This session is part of a training partnership with SPJ and Google News Lab.

Attend this workshop to get an overview of how Google tools can help you research stories, fact-check figures, find what's trending, and locate and visualize useful datasets for all areas of journalism. This session will highlight advanced Google Search techniques and refinements, Google Trends, Google Public Data Explorer, Google Maps and more to ensure you're fully covered on how to fully uncover your next story. You can find a sample of Google News Lab tools here.

NOTE: Participants should have a free Google/Gmail account set up in advance.

Trainer: Samaruddin Kassim Stewart (@samsends), Verified Pixel Project, 2013 Stanford J.S. Knight Fellow, SPJ-Google News Lab trainer

Narrative Storytelling: Part II

Miss the morning session with Tom Hallman? Or just want another dose of the storytelling thinking that every journalist and news outlet can use to boost their deep connection to audiences? Tom will continue his engaging conversation about how to incorporate narrative thinking and processes into your everyday reporting — no matter your medium or beat.

Trainer: Tom Hallman Jr (@thallmanjr), senior reporter, The Oregonian; 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing

3:45-5 p.m.: Networking Reception

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.

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Meet the Trainers

Mónica Guzmán, 2015-16 Harvard Nieman Fellow

Mónica Guzmán (@moniguzman) was a 2015-16 Harvard Nieman Fellow and recent technology and media columnist for The Seattle Times, GeekWire, The Daily Beast and Columbia Journalism Review. She previously emceed Ignite Seattle, a popular grab bag and community fueled speaker series, and is vice-chair of the SPJ Ethics Committee, which in 2014 revised its influential Code of Ethics for the first time in 16 years. A juror for the 2015 and 2014 Pulitzer Prizes, she contributed the closing chapter, “Community As an End,” to the 2013 book “The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century.” In 2015, she completed a four-year term on the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. From 2007 to 2010, Guzmán launched and ran the award-winning Big Blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and, complementing news and culture coverage with weekly reader meetups. From 2010 to 2012 she developed user communities for startups like Intersect, Trover and Glympse. In September 2010, she traveled to El Salvador on a U.S. State Department grant to train local journalists on new tech tools.

Tom Hallman Jr, senior reporter, The Oregonian and 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner

Tom Hallman (@thallmanjr) is a senior reporter at The Oregonian, where he's worked for 34 years. He's written numerous stories for Reader’s Digest, and won every major feature writing award, some multiple times. He was twice a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. But he's also worked at a car wash, a grocery store and a greyhound race track. He once had a stint as a bartender for one week, and was once an answer to a question on "Jeopardy." He coaches journalists on narrative storytelling and writes a regular column for SPJ's magazine, Quill, about incorporating storytelling into daily reporting. He’s authored three books, including the most recent, “Dispatches from 1320.” Learn more about his teaching and narrative approach at

Victor Hernandez, director of media innovation, Banjo, and Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow

Victor Hernandez (@tothevictor) is director of media innovation for news app Banjo, 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.

Samadruddin Stewart, Verified Pixel Project

Samaruddin (Sam) Stewart (@samsends) is a journalist and media technologist based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the co-founder and project lead for the grant-funded Verified Pixel Project. He is currently the U.S. Department of State's 189th Franklin Fellow, serving as a media expert providing strategic advising on media outreach and audience engagement. Previously, he was selected by Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow where he researched the application of technical verification on user-generated digital images. He frequently trains, speaks, and researches how technology can assist storytelling; including how best to harness and verify user-generated content and utilize aerial drones for newsgathering. His prior work includes managing and editing roles at AOL, Agence France-Presse, and The Arizona Republic. He holds an MBA from Central European University and both a master's and bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. He was selected by the Fulbright Program in 2014 into the Specialist Grant roster and also serves as a board of supervisors appointed arts commissioner for San Mateo County, Calif.

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