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Journcamp: Past Programs

– Nashville, January 2014: Recap | Program
– Minneapolis, November 2013: Recap | Program
– Washington, D.C., June 2013: Recap | Program
– Chicago, January 2012: Recap | Program

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Journalism Education Committee Chair

Butler Cain
Assistant Professor/Mass Communication
West Texas A&M University
Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Room 269
Canyon, TX
Bio (click to expand) Butler Cain is an Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. He received a Ph.D. in Media History from the University of Alabama, where he also received degrees in Journalism. He spent a decade as news director of Alabama Public Radio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, before moving to South Korea to teach English language skills to Korean students.

Butler has been a member of SPJ since 1997. He is a founding member of the Texas Panhandle Pro SPJ chapter in Amarillo, Texas, and has served on the Journalism Education Committee and the International Journalism Committee. Butler blogs about travel and journalism at

June Nicholson, vice chair
Director of Graduate Studies
School of Mass Communications
Virginia Commonwealth University
901 W. Main Street
Room 1108 Temple Building
Richmond, VA 23284-2034
(804) 827-0251 (office)
Fax: (804) 828-9175
Bio (click to expand) picture June O. Nicholson, a professor of journalism in the School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., chaired national SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee from 2000-2007. She is former chair of the SPJ's International Journalism Committee and has been a member of other national SPJ committees over the past several decades. She is co-developer of the SPJ newsroom training module on covering diverse communities. Nicholson also is a former president of the Virginia professional chapter of SPJ.

Nicholson is the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communications Education Award from Commission on the Status of Women of the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. In 2008, she was recipient of the Robert Knight Multicultural Award for promoting diversity in America's newsrooms, given by AEJMC's Scholastic Journalism Division. She was recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of VCU's College of Humanities in 2007 for contributions to VCU and the journalism profession. She is serving a second term as president of the University Faculty Senate through August 2015.

Nicholson teaches senior-level capstone undergraduate government, enterprise and project reporting courses and coverage of specialized areas such as science, health, education, urban affairs and the environment. She also teaches a graduate course on International Journalism in the M.S. program in Mass Communications with a specialization in multimedia journalism. Before joining the VCU faculty, she was a reporter and editor for more than a dozen years in North Carolina and Virginia. She holds a master’s degree in public affairs journalism from The American University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Home > Journalism Training > SPJ JournCamp > JournCamp D.C.

<< Return to current Journcamp program page

SPJ JournCamp
June 22, 2013 | Washington, D.C.

Register online | Detailed Schedule | Meet the Trainers

Presentation materials and notes: Download them here

If you attended the D.C. JournCamp and want to review what you learned, or if you simply would like a glimpse at what was discussed and learned, you will be able to find all handouts and presentation materials here shortly after the program concludes.


When: Saturday, June 22

Where: The Westin Hotel City Center
1400 M Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

Cost: $35 for SPJ members, $55 for non-members. Registration fee includes continental breakfast and boxed lunch.

Registration: Online registration is closed for this program, but you may still register in person. On-site registration will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 22 at The Westin Hotel City Center.

Parking info: The hotel offers 24-Hour valet parking service (Daily rate: $19; Overnight rate: $43).

Funded by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. For more information about the SDX Foundation, follow this link [opens in a new window].

SPJ is committed to bringing you training and tools in all areas of journalism. In this daylong workshop, you'll get practical, skills-based professional development that will help you be a better journalist.

Detailed Schedule

8-9 a.m.: Registration and check-in

Location: Monticello Ballroom Foyer

Continental breakfast available.

9-10 a.m.: General Session:
Journalism and the Future of the Idea

Location: Monticello Ballroom

We have more information at our disposal than ever before. But how can journalists best extract ideas — the stuff that changes minds and, with them, the world — from that mix? How can we use our new digital tools to make the ideas that guide us even more powerful and inclusive?

Trainer: Megan Garber (@megangarber), staff writer, The Atlantic

10:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

(Choose one to attend per time slot on site)

Talking Tech: Learning the Language(s) of Web Developers — and Then Some Code

Location: National Ballroom A

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, GitHub. Learning what these are and how they're best implemented is increasingly vital. Newsrooms clamor to hire journalists with coding skills to analyze or display data, build tools and expand their storytelling capabilities. And a good number of news developers didn't go to school to be programmers — they started as reporters. That's the case of this session's trainer, and many others. Learn not only how to talk with developers, but also the basics of coding for journalism. We'll explore why knowing (and continuing to build) these skills can vastly help your reporting and your career.

Trainer: Greg Linch (@greglinch), local innovations editor, Washington Post

Beyond Twitter and Facebook: Digital Media Tools and Apps You Can Use Now

Location: National Ballroom C

Yeah, we get it: Twitter and Facebook (and other social media) have dramatically changed news gathering and sharing. But there's much more out there for journalists. Learn to leverage free digital tools, mobile applications and emerging technologies to help you be a more connected, engaged and well-rounded multiplatform reporter. You'll learn how to take advantage of tools like Google Advanced Search, Storify and Google + hangouts to strengthen your reporting. You'll also get a sense of how Vine, Report-IT and other free and cheap mobile apps can make you a better, more well-rounded digital journalist, no matter what your primary media platform or where you work.

Trainer: Elise Hu (@elisewho), NPR multiplatform reporter, founding journalist at The Texas Tribune

12:30-1:30 p.m.: Lunch (provided)

1:45-4 p.m.: Breakout Sessions

(Choose one to attend per time slot on site)

Drill Into Data: Finding, Reporting and Visualizing Important Stories for Reporting

Location: National Ballroom A

Federal agencies and nonprofit/non-governmental research bodies are practically overflowing with deep spreadsheets, databases and research reports full of numbers and statistics. Amid all the "noise," you can find "signals" — nuggets of information that lead to excellent and compelling, and often exclusive, stories. Knowing how to work with data isn't just about making graphics for your audience, but understanding how data can be a key source in your story. And it's the kind of source that won't forget to call you back. To "interview" your data source, it's essential to understand how to search for, find and visualize stories using data. In this session, learn ways to use the power of basic technology to cull editorial insight from the numbers — and ultimately, execute solid stories of public interest.

Trainer: Michelle Minkoff (@michelleminkoff), interactive producer, Associated Press D.C. bureau

Narrative Storytelling: Dump the Inverted Pyramid

Location: National Ballroom C

Step out of the inverted pyramid, just-the-facts model that drives so much daily reporting and into the world of narrative storytelling. You'll learn what narrative writing is and how to do it well. You'll discover how to choose a story that's ripe for a narrative approach, and how to get it done on deadline. The goal of this session is to provide strategies and resources to help journalists promote narrative storytelling within their individual newsrooms — changing the way you and your colleagues think about, report and tell stories. While the focus will be on writing, journalists working in all media — broadcast, online, print and everything in between — will benefit from thinking about crafting compelling stories.

Trainer: Tom Hallman Jr. (@thallmanjr), Pulitzer-winning reporter for The Oregonian, author of "A Stranger's Gift" and "Sam: The Boy Behind the Mask"

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Meet the Trainers

Megan Garber (@megangarber), staff writer, The Atlantic

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic, covering technology, culture and the intersection between the two. She was previously on staff at Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about the Internet’s effect on news consumption, and at the Columbia Journalism Review, where, in addition to covering politics and education, she served as the founding writer for the magazine's news innovation section. Megan has been an adjunct professor at Columbia’s Journalism School, and is the recipient of a Mirror Award for excellence in media reporting.

Tom Hallman Jr. (@thallmanjr), Pulitzer-winning reporter for The Oregonian, author of "A Stranger's Gift" and "Sam: The Boy Behind the Mask"

Tom Hallman Jr., a Portland, Oregon native, has been a journalist for 35 years. He is the author of two books, the most recent of which — "A Stranger's Gift: True Stories of Faith in Unexpected Places" — was released in April 2013. His awards and recognition for feature/narrative writing and reporting include a 2001 Pulitzer Prize being a two-time Pulitzer finalist, and multiple Sigma Delta Chi, National Headliner and Scripps-Howard National Journalism Awards. As a young reporter, he won the 1984 Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

Elise Hu (@elisewho), NPR multiplatform reporter, founding journalist at The Texas Tribune

Elise Hu is a cross-platform reporter at NPR who covers the intersection of tech and culture. Previously, she led the digital launch of NPR's state public policy reporting network, StateImpact, and was a founding journalist at the non-profit digital news startup The Texas Tribune. Prior to doing digital launches, Elise worked as a political reporter at TV stations in Texas, South Carolina and Missouri. Her journalism has earned national awards for innovation and multimedia. Outside of work, Elise is an adviser to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where she keeps up with emerging media and technology as a panelist for the Knight News Challenge.

Greg Linch (@greglinch), local innovations editor, Washington Post

As a child, Greg Linch wanted to be a scientist and inventor. Then, as a teenager, he turned his eye toward writing and, later, reporting. Somewhere along the way, those interests blended and he now works on technology and data projects for The Washington Post's local desk. Utilizing his knowledge of journalism and code, he works with reporters, editors, designers and developers on a wide array of topics. Crime, transportation, education, government — you name it. This role follows an experimental stint on the newsroom developer team, during which he focused on internal tools and special projects. Greg serves on the Online News Association's board of directors, is a member of IRE and SPJ, and has been involved with Hacks/Hackers. He has previously worked as an adjunct at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in D.C. and this summer will be teaching a media web development class at Georgetown University. Some of his other interests include science, karaoke and milkshakes. Those three have yet to blend together, but maybe one day they will, too.

Michelle Minkoff (@michelleminkoff), interactive producer, Associated Press D.C. bureau

Michelle Minkoff, an interactive producer based out of the Associated Press's Washington, D.C., bureau, creates data-driven Web projects and visualizations for news designed to capitalize on the Web's interactive nature. Recently, she has focused on political applications and mapping. Previously, she was a Data Producer at PBS and interned at the Los Angeles Times' Data Desk. She's a 2010 graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Find her online on Twitter or at

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