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Summit for Reporters and Editors in Multi-Platform Newsrooms

April 27, 2018
Teaching Date
May 6-11, 2018
The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, FL

The Poynter Summit on Reporting and Editing, taking place May 6-11, 2018, at Poynter’s campus in St. Petersburg, Florida, is an intensive week of training and personalized coaching to boost the skills of reporters and editors who seek greater impact and relevance in digital and multi-platform newsrooms.

In a 24/7 news cycle, how do you build the skills to report, write and edit stories that connect with your audience across all platforms? Break out of your routine with the Poynter Summit on Reporting and Editing. Our lineup of award-winning journalists and expert teachers will show you how digital approaches and narrative writing techniques can transform your work—whether it’s a daily story or a major project.


Two tracks will help you dive more deeply into beat/enterprise reporting and editing. And we’ll come together in large group sessions to explore the common threads that will help you tell more powerful stories, no matter what role you play in your organization. In the process, you’ll explore the tools and techniques that will help you thrive in the digital age.

At the end of this high-impact week, you’ll leave Poynter with a personal action plan to put what you’ve learned into practice.

For more information about our approach, watch this video:


To understand the Summit’s impact, read this Q&A:
Tom Huang and Jacqui Banaszynski speaking about the summit



Sunday, May 6

4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Orientation, the Real Me, the week’s goals, personal action plans

4:30 p.m.- 6:15 p.m. Large group (105 minutes)

Introduction to the writing process (30 minutes)

The idea is the story (75 minutes)

Blow up events and break down topics to discover those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that story ideas for everything from the daily turn to the big project.

7 p.m. Group dinner on your own dime at a St. Pete restaurant

Monday, May 7

9 a.m. - 9:05 a.m. Reminder about personal action plans

9:05 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Finding human stories inside news stories

How to find in-depth story ideas that will lead to something that makes a difference -- and that readers cannot resist

10:35 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Group photo in the Great Hall

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Enterprising stories from institutions and everyday life

Strategies for uncovering fresh, creative approaches to civic, complex and commonplace events

Using the Story/Reader Wheel and Seven Paths

Redefining coverage for the digital age

12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Room

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Large group (90 minutes)

How to make boring stories deeply connect with readers and viewers

We will deconstruct several examples of video storytelling to identify what creates emotional resonance

2:45 p.m. - 3 p.m. Break

3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Breakout sessions (120 minutes)

Reporting track

Beat maps and source rings

Simple tools can lead to places and people that expand your thinking, deepen your coverage and develop stories of most value to readers

Understanding power dynamics, boundaries and terms for ethical, productive source relationships

Editing track

Learning to be a two-track leader (90 minutes)

What reporters need from their editors (30 minutes)

Tuesday, May 8

9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Literary forensics: Improving writing from the inside out

A simple, foolproof technique to cut clutter, explain jargon, simplify acronyms and titles, and power up your copy. Plus: fact-checking on deadline

Note: Ask reporters to bring hard-copy printouts of their original writing; ask editors to bring the writing of reporters they work with frequently

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Large group (75 minutes)

Focus: Finding the heart of the story

Five questions that will help you discover the theme of your story

12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Room

1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Story blueprints

Structural approaches to help organize information and produce clear, complex and creative stories

2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Break

2:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Breakout sessions (120 minutes)

Reporting track

Questions that work

The Sawatsky Method of Simple, Open, Neutral holds officials accountable and gains more authentic information

Banaszynski Storyteller Questions yield better quotes, anecdotes, reconstruction and details

Approaches to adversarial interviews: How do you script out an interview to back your source into a corner of admission? How do you frame accusatory questions?

Editing track

Managing and setting priorities (60 minutes)

Managing the big story (60 minutes)

Wednesday, May 9

9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Reporting and editing with data and documents

How to wade into the data and emerge with a powerhouse project

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Large group (75 minutes)

A case study in data journalism

A deep-dive into the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Failure Factories” and the lessons that can be applied to any data-based investigation…

12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Room

1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Large group (90 minutes)

How to be a social media ninja

2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Break

2:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Large group (120 minutes)

Digital Tools to Improve Your Newsroom (For Free!)

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of digital tools available that can augment journalists’ skills and enable them to tell stories, engage with audiences and communicate with each other in new and more effective ways. In this session, we’ll run through free, easy-to-implement ones that you can start using right away. We’ll also touch on how to make them stick in your newsroom.

Thursday, May 10

9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Writing and editing for emphasis and clarity

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Community-focused sourcing and storytelling

How do our journalism routines and storytelling devices get in the way of whose voices we include? Whose perspectives in your community do you wish you were reflecting, and what could you be doing to enable those people’s participation? Learn how journalists can move beyond traditional interviews and story formats to make room for more diverse sources.

12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Room

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Ethics in the digital age

2:45 p.m. - 3 p.m. Break

3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Large group (120 minutes)

One-on-one coaching with faculty

Friday, May 11

9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Large group (90 minutes)

Participants present their personal action plans

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Large group (75 minutes)

Q&A with faculty

Open up our conversation on any topics we haven’t covered; close any open loops

12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Room (Complete your evaluations)

1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Large group (60 minutes)

Finding the meaning in our stories

2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Graduation and farewells


Who Will Benefit:

Reporters and editors, as well as bloggers, citizen journalists, copywriters, creatives, educators and freelance/independent journalists.(We’ve even got tuition discounts if you attend with one or more colleagues from your newsroom.)


As a reporter, you’ll learn to:

  • Turn your watchdog reporting and other investigative projects into compelling “reads” that hold your audience from lead to kicker
  • Improve your interviewing skills to ask better questions — and get the answers you need
  • Infuse your daily deadline reporting with narrative writing, using memorable characters, vivid scenes and focused storylines
  • Develop the heightened senses necessary for gathering the details, nuance and dialogue that distinguish the best narrative reporting and writing
  • Identify fresh, creative stories from civic or institutional beats Map non-traditional beats that reflect how people live today


As an editor, you’ll learn to:

  • Help your team generate fresh and compelling ideas
  • Edit for emphasis and clarity
  • Deliver effective feedback and coaching
  • Explore new ways of telling stories in the digital space
  • Manage big stories and projects


We will also show you:

  • How to tell powerful stories that connect with viewers, particularly on video
  • How to use social media for reporting
  • How to manage a large multiplatform story or project
  • How to make good ethical decisions in the digital age
  • How to use free, easy-to-implement digital tools that you can start applying right away (and how to make them stick in your newsroom)


Email us at


Special pricing is available for this seminar

Bring a colleague (or two!) from your organization and receive a discount. Two people can attend this high-impact week of training for $2,595. Email us at to get the promo code.

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