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– Nashville, January 2014: 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
December 5, 2015 | Boston

Register online | Schedule | Meet the Trainers


When: Saturday, December 5

Where: Courtyard Marriott Boston Downtown
275 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

Closest Subway Stations:
– Boylston St/Green Line: 0.2 miles NE
– New England Medical Center/Orange Line: 0.1 miles SE

Parking On-Site:
– Valet only: $49 per night

Registration: Click here to register online. Space is limited and the event could sell out soon. Registration closes on Monday, November 30 or when JournCamp fills up, whichever comes first.

Rates* (includes all-day program, continental breakfast, lunch and evening reception with drinks):
– Professional SPJ member: $40
– Student SPJ member: $25
– Professional non-member: $60
– Student non-member: $35

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

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

Coffee and pastries 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)

Making Google Tools Work for You

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

Think you know it all when it comes to using Google tools? Guess what: There are many features and tools you may have never seen or realize how they’re useful for journalists. In this hands-on session you'll take a deeper dive into tools and workflows that can help you produce better stories, generate ideas for your beat, and more. Come with your laptop and leave with some new skills.

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

Trainer: Michelle Johnson (@mijohn), professor of journalism practice, Boston University, SPJ-Google News Lab trainer

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.

Trainer: Boyd Huppert (@boydhuppert), reporter, KARE-TV, national Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award winner for narrative feature reporting

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)

Smarter Video News Packages with Smartphones

Move over, backpack journalism. Make way for back-pocket journalism. During this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to produce a video news package using your iPhone. 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 — beating journos using big rigs. 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 iPhone app Videolicious prior to the workshop. (It also works on iPads.) Bring a charged smartphone, earbuds and loads of attitude and imagination. If you have an Android device, come to the workshop to learn how to create packages and get tips on the best video editing apps available for Android.

Trainer: Cindy E. Rodríguez (@cindyerodriguez), senior journalist in residence, Emerson College

Data Reporting for All Journalists

Come learn about best practices and strategies for data reporting on the web, no matter your media or job role. From handling data requested from government sources to writing about data and using free web tools to create embeddable interactive graphics, journalists working at all levels in all type of newsrooms will benefit from this session — including students, freelancers and newsroom managers. After this training you'll be familiar with a popular core workflow for data reporting.

NOTE: Attendees should bring their own laptops (no tablets) and have a free Google/Gmail account set up.

Trainer: Frank Bi (@frankiebi), editorial engineer, The Verge; Hilary Fung (@hil_fung), visual and data journalist, Huffington Post

3:45-5 p.m.: 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.

Meet the Trainers

Frank Bi, Editorial Engineer, The Verge

Frank Bi (@frankiebi), a Minnesota native, is an editorial engineer at Vox Media’s The Verge. He was previously a reporter at Forbes magazine in New York covering data, drones and tech. Before that he built interactive stories for PBS NewsHour and

Hilary Fung, Visual and Data Journalist, Huffington Post

Hilary Fung (@hil_fung) is a visual journalist on the Huffington Post data team, where she has worked on live data visualization dashboards for the U.S. elections and the World Cup. Previously, she built interactive graphics for the Washington Post and Boston Globe.

Mónica Guzmán, 2015-16 Harvard Nieman Fellow

Mónica Guzmán (@moniguzman) is a Nieman Fellow and recent technology and media columnist for The Seattle Times, GeekWire, The Daily Beast and the Columbia Journalism Review. She emcees Ignite Seattle, a popular grab bag and community fueled speaker series, and is vice-chair of the SPJ Ethics Committee, which recently revised the influential SPJ 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.

Boyd Huppert, Reporter, KARE-TV

Boyd Huppert (@boydhuppert) has earned a national reputation as a both a practitioner and teacher of visual storytelling. As a reporter at KARE-TV in Minneapolis, Huppert has been honored with some of journalism's top honors, including over 10 national Edward R. Murrow Awards for writing and feature reporting. Huppert is also the recipient of three national Sigma Delta Chi Awards from SPJ, the National Headliner Grand Award and the 2006 national Emmy for feature reporting. As a teacher and trainer, he has presented more than 100 visual storytelling sessions at venues including Poynter Institute, TV-New Zealand, NRK in Oslo, Norway and DR and TV2 in Denmark. He is a longtime member of the faculty at the NPPA's Advanced Storytelling Workshop held each spring at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Michelle Johnson, Journalism Professor of Practice, Boston University

Michelle Johnson (@mijohn), is associate professor of the practice, multimedia journalism at Boston University. She is a former editor for the Boston Globe and For more than 20 years she has conducted multimedia training workshops for student and professional journalists for a variety of organizations including the Online News Association, the Maynard Institute, the National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Johnson oversees Boston University News Service, a showcase for work produced by BU Journalism students. In 2014 BU News Service was named top online student news site by the Associated Press, Massachusetts/Rhode Island, and the Society of Professional Journalists, Region I. BU News Service coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing was nationally recognized by the Online News Association with awards in both student and professional categories in 2013. She was named 2013 Educator of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Cindy Rodriguez, Senior Journalist in Residence, Emerson College

Cindy Rodríguez (@cindyerodriguez) is a senior journalist in residence at Emerson College in Boston. She is a web 2.0 journalist, meaning she knows how to shoot high-definition video, edit on Final Cut Pro, create podcasts using several software programs (she prefers sticking to open-source programs), and how to create audio slideshows. In January 2011, the International Center for Journalists selected her as an international reporting fellow. She traveled to Israel for her multimedia reporting project. Prior to immersing herself in all things digital, Rodriguez worked in the world of print as a reporter and columnist. During her lengthy career, she parachuted into stories throughout the country, working on big breaking news stories, including covering the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and its aftermath, writing nuanced stories about how the attacks profoundly shaped American thinking and immigration policy. She covered race relations and cultural affairs for The Detroit News, and was the lead writer on an award-winning series on the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit riots. At The Boston Globe, she worked her way up from general assignment reporter to immigration and demographics reporter, a beat that took her to all parts of the U.S. She served as vice president-print of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists 2006-2008 and in 2007-2008 served as a board member of Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and Society of Professional Journalists.

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