RTDNA Webinar Series

RTDNA offers webinars on a variety of topics to provide accessible training for journalists. Our webinars are free for members, and available to non-members for a nominal fee.

***To view archived versions of any webinar, members should log on to our member portal and click on the "Training" tab, which will contain the password for each edition. You can see the videos right in the member portal, or here on this page.***
RTDNA WEBINAR: Track News and Win on Social Media

The free and powerful tool every newsroom can use today to track news and win on social media

Drinking from the firehose of Twitter, or trying to Facebook follow every public agency in your market is impossible, and you'll always miss interesting posts. What if there were a way to alert you whenever a PIO posted something that was generating more interest than usual? What if there were a way to find that fascinating post from a source, amidst all the routine stuff they tweet? What if you had a real-time report of how your competitors' Facebook posts were doing that you could use to inform social media selections, web story assignments, and even your 5pm lead?

What if the tool were free, and available right now?
RTDNA is teaming up with Facebook's newly acquired social signals service, CrowdTangle, to show you ways to mine social media for breaking news, stories that are not yet viral but will be, and audience interests that can help your station and website engage viewers in deeper and more meaningful ways.
Grab your assignment desk, web team, reporters, producers and EPs, and join us for the live webinar.

This session is an example of the type of training you can expect at the RTDNA/SPJ/NAHJ Excellence in Journalism 2017 conference this September in Anaheim, CA.
When: May 1st , 2pm ET / 11am PT
Host: Amber Burgess, Local News Partner Manager - CrowdTangle
Cost: Free for members, $15 for non-members

This webinar is available for $15 for non-members, and is FREE for members of RTDNA. To get your registration code, just log on to the RTDNA membership portal and make a note the registration code posted inside. Then when you click on the link below to register, click "Register" on the first page and then click "Enter promotional code" in the upper right corner on the next page to enter your registration code. Registration deadline is Sunday, April 30 at 11:59pm PT.

When you register, you'll receive two emails. The first email from "Eventbrite" will be your receipt.
The second email from "Any Meeting" will include a custom link you will need to click to join the webinar on
Monday, May 1 at 2pm ET / 11am PT. We'll also send you email reminders 1 week, 1 day and 1 hour before the webinar.

You must use the custom link contained in the Any Meeting email to log in to the webinar.
RTDNA WEBINAR: Covering an Unprecedented President

In our latest webinar, we focus on covering the Trump administration and the new challenges of the President's approach to the media. We examine techniques, angles, and ethical questions to guide newsrooms in covering President Trump when conventional paradigms have changed. This session is an example of the type of training you can expect at the RTDNA/SPJ/NAHJ Excellence in Journalism 2017 conference this September in Anaheim, CA.


Brandon Mercer, SFGate - San Francisco
Vincent Duffy, Michigan Radio - Ann Arbor, MI
Terence Shepherd, WLRN-FM - Miami

Topics we cover:
  • How to take your coverage to a higher level, looking at WHY not just WHAT is being said by the government
  • How to handle denials or unusual restrictions to media access
  • How to be transparent and above reproach in covering deeply divisive partisan issues
  • How to handle the new “fake news” campaigns to mislead the public
  • How to make your newsroom beyond reproach as political coverage turns to the surreal

Links discussed in this webinar:
RTDNA Code of Ethics:
FAKE NEWS:  Defining it, defending against it, being called it
The story behind one of the most viral fake news items every created
Understanding PIZZAGATE
What’s really going on at news conferences
THE DOSSIDER: Dealing with questionable documents
SLATE:  “This is fake” tool
Creating a web story, tool or boilerplate script to help readers
POYNTER: Access for the media, arrests, covering protests; slack channel for FOIA issues

What RTDNA is doing
When you are faced with “interview ground rules,” how do you be transparent with your audience?
From Jay Rosen:  38 measures journalists can take when covering the president: http://pressthink.org/2016/12/winter-coming-prospects-american-press-trump/
Evidence-based versus Accusation-based reporting
From Politico: 7 rules for covering Trump
Goodbye Garden Gnomes: Little Tips To Make Your Standups Stand Out

Presenter Joe Little from KGTV in San Diego provides tips and strategies to make your standups look great, along with other ideas to make life easier for one-person bands gathering the news every day. Learn these techniques and get re-energized about storytelling when you’re doing it all yourself.


Deconstructing Digital Video: What You Know About TV Doesn't Apply Online

RTDNA partners with the Online News Association to bring you a webinar, focused on best practices for using video online to draw clicks and engage viewers. You'll learn technical tricks to make your videos look their best, as well as approaches to promote your work across multiple platforms.


Best practices from digital and social video pros:
  • iHeartMedia’s Director of Local Social Media Strategy Bilal Morris
    • Snackable videos
    • Why length matters
    • How to choose your subjects
  • Good Housekeeping’s Senior Producer Erin Phraner
    • Square video
    • Point of view
    • Stop motion
    • The new rules for graphics
  • AJ+’s Senior Producer, Engagement Japhet Weeks
    • Titles    
    • Winning the first 3 seconds
  • SFGATE.com’s Executive Producer and RTDNA Region 2 Director Brandon Mercer
    • Moderator
Topics we’ll cover:
  • Square, vertical, or “old fashioned” horizontal
  • Point of view and time lapse
  • How to use titles effectively
  • Winning the first 3 seconds, and what length is best?
  • Telling a story without audio
  • Acquiring videos versus making your own
  • Quick tricks that make huge differences in engagement
Please note: The example videos used in the presentation are not embedded in the webinar video due to copyright restrictions in the software. See the links below to watch the examples. An earlier version of the video contained only the first five minutes. This version is the full presentation.

Produced in cooperation with our partners at the Society of Professional Journalists, we examined ethical questions in the digital age, including issues raised by trying to report news via social media. The session features real-world examples of ethical decisions, using the SPJ and RTDNA Codes of Ethics as a framework for decision-making.

Presenter: Kevin Benz, Ethics Faculty - The Kneeland Project / iMedia Strategies / Former News Director, Past RTDNA Chairman

SPJ’s Joe Radske, WISC-TV Executive Producer; and RTDNA’s Scott Libin, senior fellow at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will lead the discussion.

Three topics will be addressed:
  • In the on-going coverage of #BlackLivesMatter and racial unrest, a look at how and why we identify race and other distinguishing characteristics and thoughts on how we might do it better. ("Do no harm")
  • The increasing influence of sales on content - How to balance commercial interests and editorial integrity
  • Following the Rolling Stone / UVA story retraction, how well are we checking sources in the age of social media journalism


Our first webinar in the new series focused on how to producing great newscasts:

What makes a Murrow-winning newscast? Successful ideas for audience engagement
Producing tips you can start using now, for radio, television and digital content

A group of National Edward R. Murrow Award winners share their techniques for producing amazing newscasts. You'll see real-world case studies from producers and managers who will demonstrate how they:
  • Created compelling newscasts using techniques that actually save time and use fewer resources, while creating a better product
  • Created a nationally viral hashtag about a station event that informed the community
  • Organized community town halls around topical issues like the Ebola scare
  • And more.
Topics include:

Engaging the community, both virtually and in the real world:
Lessons From WFAA’s Ebola Coverage
Creating your own viral campaign around a significant news item, informing the community while creating lasting engagement with your TV product and social and digital brands, with former WFAA EP and now WTLV-WJXX News Director Meagan Harris. WFAA is a national Murrow winner for best large market newscast
Producing more engaging live content by tapping into trusted newsmakers
Producing More Powerful Live Interviews, For Radio And TV
Adding urgency, relevance, and a new perspective, the secrets of using trusted newsmakers to create more engaging newscasts, even in a tightly formatted late news, with KCBS Radio News Director Ed Cavagnaro. KCBS is a national Murrow winner for best large market newscast
Break the format, fix the newscast
Simple, easy-to-implement ideas that can turn any routine newscast into something memorable, relatable, engaging, and even award-winning with National Murrow Award winner from WBIR, producer Lisa Leko. WBIR is a national Murrow winner for best small market newscast

As more webinars are produced, they will added to this page.