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: 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.