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Training wheels

December 16, 2010

Community newspaper reporters don’t get a lot of training. Most don’t get a lot of editing, either (which can be a blessing for some and a curse for others).

With that in mind, it’s worth pointing out the Canadian Newspaper Association’s 2011 lineup of webinars.

Priced at $25, you might even be able to talk your editor or publisher into picking up the tab.

Topics and dates

  • Shoot to Thrill: Photography Skills taught by the Toronto Star’s Richard Lautens; Jan. 11
  • Headline Writing on any Platform; speakers areMatt Frehner, mobile editor of the Globe and Mail and Peter Haggert, editor-in-chief at Toronto Community News; Feb. 8
  • Magnificent Multimedia; “The three finalists in the multimedia category from the National Newspaper Awards will explain what it took to create the outstanding feature packages;” March 22
  • Journalists and the Law; “Hear an update from media lawyers on the major legal and ethical issues affecting newsrooms in Canada. We will tailor the topic depending on the most recent court decisions;” April 7

While I’m on the topic of training, it’s worth pointing out something that I come across disturbingly often as I browse sites. Most should know this already, but some obviously don’t so somebody really needs to say it. The lede for a council meeting should never, ever be: “Council met on X date.” I’m not saying I never wrote that. But somebody told me it’s no good.

The news is not that council met. Council meets every two weeks. The news is what happened and what was said at that meeting, even if it’s just “Councillor Joe Schmo keeled over and died of apparent boredom at Monday’s council meeting.” That should be your lede.

Over and out.

Image courtesy Wesley Fryer via Flickr.

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Have I made an error? It wouldn’t be the first time. Leave a comment and I’ll duly update the post.

We’re making inroads into our census of B.C. community newspapers, but there are still a lot of blanks in the Journo-lust Spreadsheet. How many journalists work at your paper? How often do you come out? Who’s your publisher? Participation is free! The benefits unlimited! The exclamation points boundless!

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