News Training

Mining Social Media for Story Ideas [VIDEO]

Jul 1, 2013
MDGovpics (CC-BY)


Want to put social media and your community to work for you to find story ideas? Eric Athas and Teresa Gorman walk you through how to to utilize your social media community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit to find sources and story ideas for on-air and online.   


Gabriella Demczuk / NPR

In this webinar, multimedia trainer Kainaz Amaria, takes you on a photographic journey from understanding the fundamentals of visual storytelling to what makes a good image and how you can make better portraits.


Elements of Photography from NPR Digital Services on Vimeo.

A Peek Inside Madhulika Sikka's Digital Life

Jun 24, 2013
Kainaz Amaria

People involved in public media share how they wade through the digital news deluge. This month we spoke with Madhulika Sikka, executive editor for NPR News. Prior to joining NPR, Madhulika worked for World Monitor Television, CBS News, NBC News, and ABC News. She has received four Emmys, two DuPont awards, a Barone award, two Peabodys, three SAJA Awards, and a NABJ Award.

She took a moment to answer some questions. 

The days may be slowing down with the onset of summer, but news training is in full swing. Last month, we ended our fourth round of Knight training at the same time as we started our fifth; We conducted on-site training with KUT in Austin, and expanded our Local Stories Project.

Have a news training success story you want to share? We would love to brag for you. Send us an email to let us know.

Pull that popcorn out of the microwave, kick back in a recliner (or desk chair) and get ready to have your workflow revolutionized. We talked with five leaders from member stations--a digital manager, a senior producer, a reporter and a news director--to get their input on how to work together and individually to meet the demands of both the radio and digital. These aren't big operations; you could accurately describe them as small to medium-sized, and they've all embraced digital platforms successfully.

Four More Stations Join the Local Stories Project

Jun 19, 2013
Todd Mundt

Here’s an update on the Local Stories Project, which began a little over a year ago when we launched an experiment known as the NPR Facebook project. It’s the first execution of our vision to find a wider audience for local stories, grow audience and make stations stronger in their communities. The project currently distributes local stories through the NPR Facebook page, geotargeted to a station’s home market. And it continues to be successful. In April alone, the project accounted for more than 114,000 visits to station sites.

Best Practices for Web Writing [VIDEO]

Jun 13, 2013
KatieKrueger / Flickr

This session examines techniques for webifying your radio story for the online audience. We also explore what makes a great web-native story. And we offer advice on when to choose one approach over the other.

We will also take a look at how to manage your time when producing content for several mediums. Some questions to ask: 

1. Who is my audience?
2. What is most relevant?
3. What is the best use of my time? 

If you're looking for some inspiration, take a look at the work of some of these excellent journalists in broadcast:

Six Tips for Creating Shareable, Local Content

Jun 12, 2013
Creating digital stories that people living in your city will share and talk about doesn’t have to be complicated. 
The Local Stories Project shows that the tactics to create shareable stories cross state lines (all the way from Alaska to D.C.).
via flickr/writetoreply (CC-BY)

We're working on a broader best practices document to outline methods for engaging the newsroom in analytics. For now, though, here's a way to start the conversation. No metric is a one size fits all. But there are two high level questions that should form the basis for any benchmark. Those are:

Is my audience growing?
Is my audience engaged?

The #NPRKnight Spring Twitter Contest Winners Are...

May 31, 2013

Congratulations to the #NPRKnight Twitter scavenger hunt contest winners! 

(Read more about the tasks in the scavenger hunt and how the winners were selected in "How the #NPRKnight Scavenger Hunt Contest Works.")


Drum roll, please...

A Peek Inside Keith Jenkins' Digital Life

May 23, 2013
Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

People involved in public media share how they wade through the digital news deluge. This month we spoke with Keith Jenkins, supervising senior producer for multimedia at NPR.

Station Spotlight on WABE and Training Updates

May 23, 2013

Ahh May, the month of mothers, flowers, World Press Freedom, the Kentucky Derby and… of course news training. We love hearing about your adventures in digital storytelling. Since sharing is caring, send us an email about your endeavors, and we may feature you in a future newsletter.

3 Ways Tweeting is Like Radio Reporting

May 14, 2013

Tweeting is not a skill that should come out of left-field for journalists that work in radio.

That's a key point that WBUR reporter Curt Nickisch made several times during a recent Twitter chat where he shared thoughts about his use of social media during the Boston Marathon bombings and manhunt, and also in his day-to-day work.

While it does take practice, here are three key ways radio reporters are already ahead of the game on Twitter:

Post updated May 16 with resources from the webinar:

"Social photography is nothing less than a creative revolution."

That's taken from a blog post by KPCC visual journalist Grant Slater on the new blog AudioVision. Slater is part of a team of journalists exploring what public radio looks like in Southern California.

courtesy FOAM museum, exhibit by Erik Kessels

Aggregation is just another word for using your resources wisely. The technique can be used on all types of stories ranging from weather to politics to breaking news.

In this webinar, we cover the basic requirements for aggregation on the web, how to find visuals to accompany aggregated posts, and how to make YouTube's search functions work for you when looking for videos for your site.


CaraExplainsItAll/Flickr/Creative Commons

In this occasional series, we'll explore how reporters and stations can reach new audiences and cover arts and culture in different ways with online tools and out-of-the-box thinking. Stay tuned to this post for future webinars, posts and information.

Email Teresa Gorman or tweet to @gteresa with questions and pitches for the series.

Watch: Reaching New Audiences By Covering Pop Culture Public Media Style

In the latest NPR Digital Services webinar, we heard from Blair Hickman, the Community Editor at ProPublica.

Blair walked us through the life of ProPublica's  investigation into U.S. patient safety and the important role communities played in the process. 

Here are the five steps ProPublica takes for community-powered investigative reporting.

Your Guide to #NPRKnight Social Media Training

May 3, 2013
via MDGovpics (CC-BY)

Welcome to the social media part of our training! This page has everything you need to guide you through the next three weeks, so bookmark it, and email Teresa if you have any questions at 

The next three weeks will focus on the practical ways you can use social media for reporting, audience growth, story mining and content creation. 

May 6-10

The first week of social media training focuses on making the most of your station's Facebook page. We also begin our Twitter contest, which you can learn more about here.

WBUR Reporter Curt Nickisch Shares Twitter Tips

May 2, 2013

Updated May 14: 

WBUR's business and technology reporter Curt Nickisch regularly uses Twitter to share links, photos, updates and to keep track of news in Boston and his beat. So, when the Boston Marathon Bombings happened, he was ready to use it as a tool for coverage of the bombings and the manhunts that ensued (along with radionational coverage, and more).

Nickisch joined us to share tips and tricks on how he uses Twitter as a reporter for an #NPRKnight Twitter chat on May 10.

Find a recap of the chat below:

courtesy KQED Pop

Is there a place for pop culture in public media arts and culture coverage? Can public media reach new and younger audiences?

Mash those two questions together, and you'll get KQED Pop. KQED Pop is exploring topics that we don't normally see on the traditional arts and culture beat - from race and the Kardashians to the psychology of unfriending someone on Facebook