Fall training roundup: election prep, a November forum & more

Are you ready for fall? We thought we’d kick start your brain with a roundup of the many learning opportunities that NJ SPJ and our friends around the state have in store for you in the coming months. As more things come up, we’ll post them here.


The NJ News Commons is organizing a free workshop on repurposing old content on Thursday, Sept. 18 from 1-3 p.m. People can participate in-person and online. For more information on the “Archives: Re-Using Past Content for Fun and Profit” workshop,  go here.

The Citizens Campaign is taking applications on a rolling basis for 20 slots in its free, City Storytellers Boot Camp to be held Saturday, Oct. 25 through Sunday, Oct. 26 in Asbury Park. The final deadline is 12 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21.

Participants will be required to make a one-year commitment to report on stories about their communities and the citizen leaders who are getting results. They will also be part of a network of journalists — both citizens and professionals — who will meet in person on a quarterly basis and collaborate together online. Bonus: Free one-year membership to SPJ. For more info, click here.


The NJ News Commons is hosting a free all-day training on Wednesday, Oct. 8 that will be focused on smart reporting ahead of the midterm elections. The event is free and runs from 9:30 am to 3:30 p.m.

For the first part of the day, representatives from the American Press Institute will show you how to fact-check politicians’ claims (and catch them in any untruths). After lunch, the Sunlight Foundation will talk about its project to follow the dark money being used to fund TV political ads — particularly in South Jersey. The full write-up, including the link to registration, is here.

The News Commons is also hosting a Google for Media Workshop on Friday, Oct. 24 where Google will be showing off its various tools for reporters. The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., is free. To register, click here.


Save the weekend!  Our big annual forum will be on Saturday, Nov. 15 or Sunday, Nov. 16.

We’re still working out the details, but we already have some top speakers.  The topic this year is “How The Public Got That Story,” examining why some narratives seem impervious to facts…and others change every day. Over one hundred people came to last year’s event, which once again will be at the Montclair Public Library. Confirmed speakers:  John Reitmeyer, one of the original “Bridgegate” reporters, who covered the unfolding story for The Record; Jennifer Borg, VP and general counsel of the North Jersey Media Group (publisher of The Record) and a tireless defender of state open records laws; Jana Winter, the Fox News reporter who, after refusing to disclose confidential sources, finally won her “press shield” case, in the ongoing story of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooter.   More speakers to come!

And finally . . . 

Kudos to the NJ Foundation for Open Government for updating its New Jersey civil case database and making it available to the public for free on the Asbury Park Press’ Data Universe web site. NJ FOG was founded by NJ SPJ, and we are proud of its role as an open government watchdog.

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