2014 Spring Conference Recap

The University of Arkansas and Arkansas Pro Chapter hosted our 2014 Region 12 conference at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. We had more than 80 attendees and speakers with social fun Friday night including AP style trivia.

Below is a quick recap of some featured sessions.

Monthly Media Goes Digital

newspaper-letters-scatteredIn today’s media environment, digital news content is an important piece of the publishing puzzle.

How do journalists navigate digital news production? What are the challenges and opportunities of moving a traditional-bound print publication into the daily digital space?

For insight into these questions, Dan Gilgoff, National Geographic Digital News Director, discussed what he learned during his first year leading daily content for NationalGeographic.com.

Data Tools for Journalists

data-journalism-usbFrom parking tickets to police reports, nearly all information governments and businesses collect gets plugged into spreadsheets or databases.

The trick for reporters is sorting through the data and making sense of it for readers and viewers.

Chad Day, a reporter on the investigative projects desk at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, provided tips for getting started with computer-assisted reporting — whether you’re about to embark on a months-long investigation or just want to add an additional layer to your daily stories. Click here for handouts from this session.

Talking About Science and the Environment

climate-change-300x150The “environmental beat” is a thing of the past at most daily newspapers across the county. However, when the environment is THE story, who covers it?

During this session, panelists discussed the good, the bad and the ugly of environmental and science reporting. Seasoned science writers shared tips on how to interview scientists, what to look for in reports and press releases, as well as other tools of the trade journalists need their toolbox when covering the environment.

Panelists: Dr. Steve Boss, Dr. Peggy Brenner, Bret Schulte, Amanda Womac
Moderator: Brandon Hollingsworth

Click here to download Tips for Science Reporting

Broadcast Journalism

broacasting-on-air-imageAre you interested in broadcast journalism, but not sure what all it entails? Paul Folger, KOCO news anchor, shared “lessons learned” in his nearly two decades of covering local daily news.

During this session, Folger talked about how broadcast reporters handle long packages, anchor introductions and live shots in order to give students the tools they need to tell a story quickly and precisely.

Folger also shared his experiences covering severe weather. He focused on the May 2013 tornado that devastated an Oklahoma City suburb when more than 1,000 homes were destroyed with 45 minutes.

Freedom of Information

FOIAHandbookBrenda Blagg sharedt her experience as a reporter with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

A longtime advocate for open government, Blagg was a founding member of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Coalition. She was assistant coordinator for the FOI Arkansas Project, which surveyed compliance with the state’s open records law in each of Arkansas’ 75 counties.