Parachute Training: South Florida

The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, will conduct its second Parachute Training Initiative, a full day of free, intensive hands-on multimedia training, on Saturday, Feb. 20, in Boca Raton, Fla.

The sessions are tailored specifically to the needs of independent, community, non-profit, displaced and employed journalists, bloggers and students in the South Florida area.

The event is open to the first 90 registrants. Registration is $10, which covers lunch. More details, including session descriptions and trainers, will be posted here as they are confirmed.

Below is the schedule, which will be updated as plans are finalized.

Please use Twitter hashtag #ONAFL.

8 a.m.

Registration Opens/Continental Breakfast

8:45 a.m.

Welcoming remarks

9.a.m. – noon

Video Session 1 (attendance limited)
There’s lots of video editing software out there, tons of players and even more cameras. But essentially, they’re all the same. Learn what equipment you need to shoot video, how to use it and what to do with the video after you’ve shot it.

Trainer: Chuck Fadely, Miami Herald

Session 1: 9 – 10:25 a.m.

Track 1: Better Blogging
Whether you’re a beginning blogger looking to find the right niche, or a veteran blogger trying to increase traffic, this session is for you. Learn how smart curation and interaction with a community can lead to more traffic and better journalism.

Trainer: Ken Sands, ONA Board member

Track 2: (Mostly) free tools to kick your site up a notch
Take a whirlwind tour of free tools that will let you stream live video, edit digital photos, become a social media power user, create HTML charts, analyze search keywords, embed polls and create interactive slideshows.

Trainer: Danny Sanchez, Digital Platform Manager, Tribune Interactive, Hartford, Conn.

Presentation on Journalistopia.com

Session 2: 10:35 a.m. – noon

Track 1: Emerging Business Models
Take a walk on the business side. Explore the rise of journalists as entrepreneurs, new forms of advertising, non-profit support, subscription models and other alternatives that are supplementing and replacing old business models.

Trainer: Mark Potts, CEO, GrowthSpur

Track 2: Leveraging Web Metrics
There’s more to web traffic than meets the eye. Delve into tools like Omniture and Google Analytics to discover practical applications, user behavior, trends on stickiness and implications that just might change what you do and how you do it.

Trainer: Dana Chinn, Lecturer, USC Annenberg School of Communication

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Weird Careers in media
The founder of SouthFloridaMediaJobs.com analyzed every job posting from 2009 and came up with some interesting conclusions. The biggest: You have the skills for a fulfilling and decent-paying job, but you probably don’t know it exists. Yet.

Presenter: Michael Koretzky, SPJ

Video Session 2: 1:30-4:30 p.m. (attendance limited)
Creating a visual story takes a little know-how. Learn the details of video journalism — from planning to shooting to editing, using transitions, sequences, scripts, and visuals.

Trainer: Chuck Fadely, Miami Herald

Session 3: 1:30 – 2:55 p.m.

Track 1: What you need to know about Internet law
Legal issues are usually the last thing journalists consider. This session will show you why it should be the first. You’ll learn the basics of copyright, libel and plagiarism as it pertains to the Internet, the nuances of the term “fair use,” why websites display privacy policies and visitor agreements and the benefits of libel insurance. A Q&A period will follow.

Trainer: Jonathan Hart, Attorney, Dow Lohnes, PLLC; General Counsel, ONA (via Skype), presentation

Track 2: Going Mobile, Part 1
As more and more users turn to mobile devices for news and information, journalists should be including the platform in their news gathering and delivery. But how? This session will take a big-picture look at trends in the mobile industry, the differences between mobile and the web, the significance of having a mobile presence and — as always — the money to be made.

Trainer: Bill Couch, USA Today

Session 4: 3:05 – 4:30 p.m.

Track 1: Harnessing the power of social media
Social media, aggregators, RSS and other web tools can help you become a better reporter and distribute content efficiently. You’ll learn the skills of reporting with the web, using sourcing and crowding-sourcing, and engaging with users who are working alongside you. Learn how to uncover stories that only exist because of the web, and gain more depth and context from the web at large on your traditional content.

Trainer: Chrys Wu, User Engagement Strategist, Matchstrike, presentation

Track 2: Going Mobile, Part 2
Considering ramping up your site’s mobile presence? There’s much to learn from publishers who’ve already jumped in the pool. This session will build off of the first one and look more closely at what’s worked, what hasn’t and what the future might hold.

Trainer: Bill Couch, USA Today

5 p.m.: Q&A Salon

Presenters will be available to ask followup questions.


This event is supported by the South Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors.

ONA’s Parachute Training Initiative is a free training program made possible by a $50,000 seed grant from the Gannett Foundation that enables ONA to use its considerable resources to help digital journalists and fill journalism voids in areas hard hit by media organization closures and job losses.