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SPJ to offer Half-Day Training Workshops in Chicago

For Immediate Release:


Beth King, Communications Manager, (317) 927-8000, ext. 211,

INDIANAPOLIS – Seven in-depth, hands-on workshops to be held during the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2006 Convention and National Journalism Conference in Chicago will help journalists improve their work and deepen their understanding of rapidly changing news industry dynamics.

SPJ’s Half-Day Training Workshops will be offered Thursday, Aug. 24 and Friday, Aug. 25 in various locations in Chicago. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. For further information on SPJ’s Half-Day Training Workshops or to register, visit

“The Half-Day Training Workshops offer options for every journalist,” said Christine Tatum, SPJ’s president-elect. “These workshops are outstanding opportunities to learn from some of the news industry’s best trainers. I confident participants will walk away feeling reinvigorated about their careers and better prepared to face various challenges facing the news industry.”

Workshops include:

Workout on the Web: Personal Productivity Training for Journalists
Thursday, Aug. 24, 1 - 5 p.m.
Price: $25
Location: Columbia College Journalism Department Lab, 600 S. Michigan Ave. (transportation not provided)
Trainer: Barbara K. Iverson, Journalism Department, Columbia College Chicago

Learn how to save time and work smarter on investigative journalism projects by using the Web. Reporters already using basic Internet tools will learn how to take their work to the next level by creating a simple Web “base station” and using it to report a story of their choice. The Web site will be available to them after this workshop.

Going Live! Hands-On Training for Better Reporting
Thursday, Aug. 24, 1 - 5 p.m.
Price: $25
Location: Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr.
Trainer: Herb Brubaker, president, Television News Center

Let the Television News Center help you become a better live reporter. Learn how to organize your thoughts and ad lib around basic facts. Discover how to interact with the environment and collaborate with your photographer to choreograph your live shots. You’ll learn how to maximize that live camera and your potential as a reporter. Your work will be taped, played back and critiqued by a veteran live shot reporter.

The Business of the News Business
Thursday, Aug. 24, 1 - 5 p.m.
Price: $25
Location: Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr.
Moderator: Paul Davis, senior vice president, Foundation for American Communications
Faculty: James K. Gentry, Ph.D., professor, University of Kansas; Debra Schwartz, media analyst, Credit-Suisse

Journalists who understand business pressures now forcing huge changes in the news industry will know how to roll with the punches and position themselves for even better jobs. This lively, interactive discussion presented by the Foundation for American Communities (FACS) explains various challenges facing the news industry and the promising strategies being pursued by innovators in and outside the industry. Perhaps you’ll chart the future of your career here!

Mindreading Your Audience: How to Get People to Pay Attention When (They Think) They Don't Care
Thursday, Aug. 24, Noon-2 p.m. or Friday, Aug. 25, 9-11 a.m.
Price: $25
Location: Chicago Tribune Tower, 435 N. Michigan Ave. (transportation not provided)
Trainer: Charlie Meyerson, senior producer,

In an interactive session brimming with specifics, you'll see how readers have reacted to various online presentations, and you'll learn how to use headlines and Internet metrics to connect your work, regardless of subject, with the largest possible audience in print, online or over the air. Egos should be checked at the door: Participants will get unfiltered, no-holds-barred critiques of newspaper and Web site front pages that they submit in advance of this session.

A Profitable Beat: Covering Business in 2006
Thursday, Aug. 24, 1 - 4 p.m.
Price: $25
Location: Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr.
Trainers: Ed Avis, publisher, Marion Street Press; John Wasik, personal finance columnist, Bloomberg News; Dan Gainor, director, Business & Media Institute

From the collapse of Enron to the grand opening of a jewelry store on Main Street, business news affects your readers. This workshop will include panel discussions and presentations in three core areas: 1) Understanding real-world economics; 2) Building and maintaining a powerful business section; and 3) Digging into corporate financial documents to uncover stories behind them.

Nitty-Gritty City Bus Tour
Thursday, Aug. 24, Noon - 5 p.m.
Price: $40 (includes lunch)
Location: Bus departs from the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr.
Coordinated by: Community Media Workshop

Get out of the Loop! This bus tour is designed for journalists by journalists. Riders will leave with a better understanding of urban journalism — and with great story ideas they can take home. Our tour will explore the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Chicago by touring the area where he rented a “cold-water flat” 40 years ago. Meet race relations and community re-development experts — and enjoy lunch, Chicago-style.

The State of Safety in 2006
Thursday, Aug. 24, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Price: Free. But space is limited. Please register by Aug. 11 by e-mailing Chris Vachon, associate executive director at
Location: UL headquarters in Northbrook, Ill.
Transportation: Pick-up will be at 8:30 a.m. from the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

This free, one-of-a-kind seminar is offered exclusively to SPJ conference attendees by Underwriters Laboratories, the world's preeminent not-for-profit product safety and certification organization. During the workshop, participants will see safety demonstrations and witness how fast a fire can spread in a fully furnished living room. Participants will also learn about the long-time urban myths of safety and the facts often overlooked by journalists.

For information about the 2006 SPJ National Convention & Journalism Conference or to register, visit

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.


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