Save the day, unlock the future

On-site workshops revisit journalism standards, show how community newspapers can thrive in a multi-platform world

THERE IS A SERIOUS THREAT DOGGING COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS already struggling to survive the upheaval experienced industry wide due to technology change, curtailed revenue streams from traditional sources and uncertainty in matters of reader allegiance. It is the loss of relevance in the marketplace, the chief culprits being product erosion (largely due to a vanishing presence of editors on site) and, though scarcely legitimate, increased competition from unofficial social media sources. There will be winners and there will be losers as an increasingly critical reading public, now armed with options, says no to malformed and uninformative news stories and yes to whomever is willing to tell them, truthfully and accurately, what they want to know about the things that matter in the community where their lives take place.

The winners will be found among those who refused to let their newspaper's reporting be mistaken for, or be indistinguishable from, reckless and unaccountable social media chatter. They will have shielded their brand from association with erroneous, affected, uninformative and ill-conceived content. They will have jealously guarded their position in the community which defines their marketplace. They will have instilled in their reporters a reverence for the profession, respect for the brand they represent and an open-arms embrace of the various platforms upon which they will discharge their duties in service to the readership.

Dan Hoddinott workshop

CLICK OR TAP ON THE IMAGE to download a PDF flyer.

YOU CAN MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PRESENCE in print and on digital media platforms alike by insisting on traditional newspaper standards. Protect your most valuable asset — your newsroom — by ensuring your reporters are up to the challenge. (Many eager young cubs arrive in their first newsroom fully trained in the fundamentals of journalism, and well schooled in its technical nuance too, but with no boots-on-the-ground understanding of how journalism actually works in a community-first environment.) Give them the tools to let them shine by treating them to an on-site workshop with Dan Hoddinott, a veteran of 40-plus years in Canadian community journalism and author of the ground-breaking textbook, Community Journalism In Changing Times: A Reporter's Handbook. They will find critical instruction on applying proper journalistic standards to real-world situations, representing the publication in the community while building their own personal stature and meeting the expectations of your readers in whatever form they consume content.

Preparing today's reporters for the road ahead

On-site workshops are intensive, sleeves-rolled-up working sessions (up to six hours per day) that will test your reporters' mettle and orient them to the task of community journalism in the digital era. They are offered in 1-day, 2-day and 3-day sessions, with hands-on instruction covering modules of study contained in Community Journalism In Changing Times: A Reporter's Handbook as they relate to the specifics of your newspaper's challenges and reality.

The 3-day session covers any of the 15 modules you would like to focus on, the 2-day session covers any two of your choosing and the 1-day session covers any one module. A copy of the textbook is provided for each registered participant.

The workshops are designed to prepare the young or mid-career journalist for the road ahead, no matter what path he or she took on the way to your newsroom. The sessions map out the realities of community newspaper publishing in a dual print/digital environment, outline what the professional expectations are and then show the reporter how to accomplish tasks as per best practices. A line of continuity is drawn to connect traditional best practices to digital realities, where reporters are no longer writing solely for a print publication but actively occupying the Web, harnessing audio, video and social media, and inviting community interaction on multiple platforms.

What the workshops cover

Here is a sampling of some of the topics we will cover in an on-site workshop.

  • • The urgency of news
  • • Understanding community journalism
  • • Journalism 101+: Satisfying the requirements of the four main story types — News, Sports, Features and Business — and making them come alive
  • • Your roles defined: Reporter, Newswriter, Photographer and Content Provider. How to be the very best you possible
  • • Reporter or writer... Which skill actually take you farther?
  • • Integrity in sourcing, news narration, use of quotes and headline writing
  • • The role carelessness plays in accusations of "fake news"
  • • Secrets to making your star shine here, and everywhere else you go
  • • Brand awareness: whose brand are you responsible for?
  • • Personal brand development
  • • Ethics, and other advanced topics

How to sign up for an on-site workshop

Download a PDF copy of the flyer and check the topics of study you would like to pursue. Contact Dan Hoddinott, by e-mail or via the Contact page, to discuss pricing and scheduling.

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