Monday, March 19th, 2018

Free Press Workshops 2017

The University of Southern Maine Free Press Student Newspaper

Journalism Workshop Schedule of Events

The Free Press student newspaper at the University of Southern Maine would like to invite students, faculty and staff of USM, as well as other members of the community, to participate in our annual workshops. This year, we have a big line-up of accredited speakers that will speak on a variety of subject matter to increase the skills of those interested in learning more about the career field of journalism. Below you will find details on the event. Regardless of your academic endeavor, this journalism workshop will provide individuals with the basic skills they need to be a writer, photographer, work in public relations, and so on! We hope to see you there!

Event Details:

Who: The Free Press, USM student newspaper will be hosting the event, and invitations will be sent out to area Universities, colleges, and high schools in hopes that participant count will increase. All attendees must RSVP by Thursday, February 2 in order for room size and food accommodations to be met. You can RSVP by clicking the link provided here.

What: A series of workshops that engage students in reporting basics, offering an educational tool to students who are interested in furthering a career in journalism, photography, or public relations.

When: Saturday, February 4, 2017. This event will start at 9 a.m. and run until 4:00 p.m. (Snow date reschedule will be Saturday, February 11, 2017).

Where: USM Portland Campus, Rooms 303 and 301A, Payson Smith Building – Free with USM ID, $5 for the general public

Why: The University of Southern Maine does not offer a Journalism major, but many students have expressed interest in having a career in this area of expertise. We are hoping that by offering workshops that display the University engagement, that we can offer these educational outlets to those who are unable to get them otherwise, as well as educate our current staff to enhance future reporting.


Workshop Schedule:


MEET-AND-GREET OVER BREAKFAST – 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Room 303

Welcome to the USM Free Press Workshops, hosted by Krysteana Scribner, Editor-in-chief and Lucille Siegler, Free Press Business Manager. Coffee and breakfast food will be available during this meet-and-greet; Coffee, bagels, cream cheese, mini muffins, juice and water bottles will be provided. During breakfast, pick up your workshop binders that include a class schedule, as well as other documents to help you through your day of journalism endeavors. Workshop classes begin at 9:40 a.m.


9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.


Session One (Room 301A):

PHOTOJOURNALISM 101 – Room 301A, 9:40 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.

Troy Bennett, Former Free Press Staff, Photographer at the Bangor Daily News.

Photojournalism requires photographers to take an image that tells a story. Photojournalists, then, create pictures that contribute to the news media, and help communities connect with one another. What does it take to be a good photographer? What are the basics of camera use, and the basic laws and regulations that are associated with taking photos in public spaces? How do you write an appropriate caption to go with the photo you’ve taken? Mr. Bennett will guide those in attendance on some of his own career endeavors and what he has learned over the years that he feels all photographers must remember on a daily basis.


Session Two (Room 303):

DIVERSITY REPORTING AT USM AND BEYOND – Room 303, 9:40 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.

Sarah Holmes, Assistant Dean of Students: Diversity Reporting [Multicultural, LGBTQ, Religion Coverage]. How do we report on sensitive subjects such as these, especially if it’s something we personally do not deal with on a daily basis? In this workshop, we are hoping to educate students on how to go about reporting on multicultural issues, religious groups (ex; using proper capitalization and vocabulary) and LGBTQ/Sexual Harassment incidents without being insensitive? Documents for future reference will be provided and open floor discussion will occur.


10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.


Session One (Room 301A):

FINDING AND DEVELOPING YOUR STORY – 10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Daniel MacLeod, Former Free Press Staff Member, Reporter for Brooklyn Daily, New York Post and current Editor at the Bangor Daily News

Finding and developing story ideas can be difficult, and for a beginner, it can be a bit intimidating. Dan MacLeod will help you figure out how to find the lede and choose people to interview. He’ll also show you how to quote and attribute sources and talk about the best ways to organize your stories so your audience can understand them.


Session Two (Room 303):

WRITING THE OPINION PIECE – 10:50 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Bill Nemitz, columnist at the Portland Press Herald

While News stories are reliant on facts from a non-biased perspective, a columnist’s job is to write from their perspective and include facts and other information that is relevant to prove a point or back up a claim. So, how do you begin? What should you write about? Mr. Nemitz will go over the language to consider when writing to a large audience, as well as explain some of his experience as a columnist and give advice to up-and-coming student columnists.


LUNCH BREAK (Room 301A) – 11:50 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Food will be offered to students, with coffee provided all day. Pizza will be provided, and we can get vegetarian options for those that put in a request in advance.


12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.


Session One (Room 301A):

BROADCAST INTERVIEWING – 12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

David Pierson, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Southern Maine

Unlike print journalism, you don’t need excessive details and long-form interviews present. So how do you decide what matters? How does one compile quotes and information from the interview that will be most relevant to the audience members? In general, it takes a lot to establish a rapport with your interviewee and get them to speak on issues in order to win their trust. Learn from Professor Pierson how to craft interview questions before speaking to an individual.


Session Two (Room 303):

BUILDING YOUR TEAM – 12:20 – 1:20 p.m.

Jim McCarthy, Former Free Press staff member, retired from Times Record and currently a Senior writer at MaineBiz

As Editors, it can be difficult to balance the responsibilities of your own work while trying to mentor and work with staff, especially when you’re required to work closely with individual students and provide useful feedback. How do you keep from burning out? Mr. McCarthy will talk about how to plan ahead, make deadlines, and what to do when a story or other assignment may fall short of the mark. He will discuss how to recruit and retain staff by providing feedback on work in an appropriate and professional manner.


1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Session One (Room 301A):

WORKING IN PUBLIC RELATIONS – 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Danielle Vayenas, Director of Communications at the University of Southern Maine and Bryan Roche, Social Media Manager for University of Southern Maine.

Public relations, also known as PR, is all about managing the reputation of a business or client. Have you ever had an interest in working in public relations? Learn about what it takes to gain understanding and support for future clients, and learn how to influence opinion and behavior. You will learn the basics of the career field, as well as what media and communication forms are necessary to manage and maintain the reputation of clients.


Session Two (Room 303):


Daniel Panici, Professor in Media and Communications: Journalism Ethics and Responsibilities are the most important things to keep in mind when quoting individuals and using quotations. Fact checking, non-biased reporting and the ethics of writing an article are so important, especially in investigative reporting! Professor Panici will provide definitions of slander, libel and elaborate the concepts of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press.


2:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Final Workshop (Room 303):


Troy Bennett, Steve Peoples (via projected Skype video), Daniel Hartill, Jim McCarthy, Daniel MacLeod – All were once Free Press staff members

Former Free Press Staff members will come together in this panel discussion to briefly talk about their career after USM. Students will have the chance to ask any questions they may have in this panel setting. This discussion serves as a positive way to discuss life after college with those who once worked at the student paper and attended USM. Free Press Alumni have done a variety of things and gone in many different directions as their career has progressed forward. Learn about their trials and tribulations in this open-floor discussion platform, and hear their advice on how to continue forward in career and life success.