Newsroom Seminar registration open


The Newsroom Seminar offers a new feature this year: one-on-one writing and photo coaching.

Journalists can get outside advice on their work during 15-minute, private reporting/writing or photography sessions with editors from the Newsroom Seminar Committee.

The committee includes award-winning newspaper veterans who have done their time in the trenches and are pleased to offer their expertise, said Karen T. Braeckel, HSPA Foundation director.

The annual Newsroom Seminar and Better Newspaper Contest Awards Luncheon returns to the Indianapolis Marriott North on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The HSPA Foundation mailed the list of Better Newspaper Contest winners and Newsroom Seminar registration information to member newsrooms. If you did not receive your packet, please call Shawn Goldsby at (317) 803-4772.

To register online or download a brochure, go to

The annual day of educational sessions sponsored by HSPA Foundation begins at 9:20 a.m. The event concludes with lunch and the awards presentation starting at noon.

The personal coaching sessions will be scheduled from 8:15-9 a.m., prior to the first seminar.

Pre-registration is required for coaching, and a schedule will be emailed to participants. A nominal $10 fee will help defray the HSPA Foundation’s expenses for the Newsroom Seminar.

Reporters and photo­graphers who register for a coaching session will sub­mit three writing or photo sam­ples by Nov. 15 to allow editors time to review materials.

The Newsroom Seminar will feature six 70-minute sessions aimed at both writers and photographers, including those that mix social media into their storytelling.

A panel of experienced social media users will share the basics and beyond in this increasingly popular area of journalism. Learn how it adds to coverage and why readers like it from Robert Blasz­kie­wicz of The Times (Munster), Tyler James of the South Bend Tribune, Mary Beth Schneider of The Indianapolis Star and Val Tsoutsouris of The Rochester Sentinel.

Photographers will learn more about their craft in two sessions.

Veteran photographers and members of the Newsroom Seminar Committee – Darron Cummings of The Associated Press’ Indianapolis bureau and Mike Fender, director of photography for The Indianapolis Star – will lead an interactive session critiquing photos that placed in this year’s Better Newspaper Contest. Learn what makes well-crafted photos stand out.

The popular Canon Explorers of Light Series for photographers returns again this year.

The series is designed as an initiative for photographic education and includes dozens of the most influential photographers and cinematographers in the world. A member of the Explorers series will share photographic passions and technical expertise with Indiana photojournalists at the Newsroom Seminar.

A trio of sessions will cater to reporters in attendance.

Nancy Comiskey, a faculty member at the Indiana University School of Journalism, will discuss “5 Things I Learned About Writing (After I Thought I Knew It All).”

Journalists will get valuable tips to improve their writing from the former reporter, columnist, writing coach, features editor and managing editor. Evaluations from past sessions rank her near the top of the all-time favorite speakers list at the seminar.

Three investigative reporters will discuss two of the top state stories of 2013 in a session on watchdog journalism.

Alexander Campbell and John Russell, both of The Indianapolis Star, and Tom LoBianco of The Associated Press’ Indianapolis bureau, will address how dogged diligence produces investigative stories.

Hear how they obtained information on Chinese officials accusing a contractor for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. of bribing and extorting wealthy business owners in China, a story that required acquisition of government documents through public records requests.

Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association, and Luke Britt, Indiana public access counselor, will lead a session on how to access public documents.

For more information on the Newsroom Seminar, visit