Workshops in the Community Media Lab

Today, while I was filling in for reporter Amy Bell in the Community Media Lab, our Samsung smartTV arrived. We will use it for tomorrow’s workshop, “Scoop to Nuts,” to be presented by Kevin Devine, the adviser to the Eastern Echo student newspaper. The group will be brainstorming story ideas and crafting the “nut graph,” which lets readers know why the story is of value to them.

Devine’s workshop will be followed by four more in October. Leslie McGraw will present “Blogging for Writers, Journalists and Photographers” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4. The owner of Les Go Social Media Marketing and Training, McGraw promises participants will learn about different types of blogging formats; distinguish themselves from other writers or journalists; highlight their talents and expertise; build an online community and following; use analytics to see where an individual’s following is coming from; connect with people in the community in a non-intimidating forum that can be used as muses, interviewees and subjects; and set up a format that is sustainable

Doug Bauman, a photographer and videographer at The Oakland Press, is leading “Photography and Video” from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. He will present on photography’s rule of thirds, whether its feature, hard news or business. He will encourage participants to “get off auto” and learn the physics of a camera, capture personality with the environment and capture peak emotion. On video, Beauman says find a unique angle to a story. Tell a story, beginning, middle and end through video. Keep it short and insert B-roll to add interest.

McGraw will return to teach “Blogging for Nonprofits and Community Organizations” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18. In her workshop description, McGraw asks: “Do you want to say something or do you have something to say? If you have something to say, why not share it with the world? As people who stand up for a mission or community, you are an advocate. Even if you don’t have something to say, you can speak for your clients. Depending on the type of organization you are representing, it may make sense to use small biographies, profiles, or stories, or it may make sense to fictionalize stories of clients who have complicated issues that you deal with on a daily basis.” She promises to teach participants how to employ best practices for blogging; transition from the newsletter to a blog format; protect individuals and their clients from embarrassment or “poster-child” syndrome; protect privacy of students or clients; connect with other bloggers; use profiles and stories to engage current and prospective donor base. She sees her audience as nonprofit affiliates, members of community organizations, teachers and administrators, government or social service agency employees, volunteers, board members, community members and church organizations.

Sarah Rigg, a former editor of The Belleville View, will present “Navigating Local Media from a Journalist and Editor” from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.  Rigg asks in her workshop description: “Are you a freelance writer or aspiring community contributor? Do you send out press releases for the nonprofit you volunteer for? Learn the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of navigating local media, from the viewpoint of an insider who has worked as a reporter and editor at various news outlets for more than two decades.”  The one-hour overview will cover a variety of nuts-and-bolts topics related to getting a story into the news, including tips for writing a press release that will get noticed and understanding the deadline cycle for news organizations.

More workshops are in the works for November and December. Check our events page on Facebook for updates.

If you would like to suggest a workshop topic or lead a workshop, please post a note here. We look forward to seeing you at our events or stop by the Community Media Lab, 215 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to get one-on-one help from a journalist or editor.



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