TV Power Reporting Academy

DEADLINE: Aug. 17, 2020
TEACHING DATES: Sept. 8 – Oct. 6, 2020
LOCATION: Online and in-person at the Poynter Institute
COST: $550

Program details

Some of the biggest names in local and network television journalism are graduates from our TV Power Reporting Academy. Our alumni include John Larson, Boyd Huppert, Byron Pitts, Stuart Watson, Byron Harris and Roberta Baskin. Now, it’s your turn to gain the skills, strategy and confidence to elevate your career in broadcast.

Power Reporting is one of Poynter’s signature seminars, and our 2020 academy will once again be led by senior faculty for broadcast and online, Al Tompkins. For more than 25 years, TV reporters, photojournalists, visual journalists and multimedia journalists have relied on Poynter to build their reporting, writing and ethical decision-making skills.

During this hybrid online and in-person training, you will get individual feedback on your work, hone your critical thinking and learn to find the stories that others miss. When you’re done, you’ll have a toolkit full of practical skills and a roadmap to move your career ahead. Here’s what one attendee said:

“I think that my attending this workshop will help my newsroom as a whole. For one thing, it gives me a bit more gravitas. Everyone was eager to hear what I’d learned, and when I suggested to my boss a different way of handling a story (by trying to find people affected by the issue instead of just getting a quote from an official), he agreed, even though it will take longer. So, WIN!”

In-Person Teaching Dates

Sept. 25- 27, 2020

The Poynter Institute

St. Petersburg, Florida

Live Video Sessions

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 12-1 p.m. Eastern

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 12-1 p.m. Eastern

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 12-1 p.m. Eastern

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 12-1 p.m. Eastern

If you’re unable to attend a live session, there will be a recording available.

Instructors

Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty, Broadcast and Online

Al Tompkins
Senior Faculty for Broadcasting and Online
The Poynter Institute

Al Tompkins has taught television news producers, reporters, photojournalists and managers in his workshops in 49 states, Canada, Egypt, Ecuador, Denmark, Cayman, Iceland and South Africa. He has taught and coached print newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad how to build interactive news websites, how to use video more effectively online and how to manage ethical issues that arise online.

Tompkins is an FAA licensed drone pilot and has organized and lead drone journalism workshops around America that produced more than 325 graduates. He co-authored the drone ethics guide.

Tompkins is the author of the book “Aim For The Heart: Write, Shoot, Report, Produce for TV and Online,” which is being used by more than 125 universities as their main broadcast writing, reporting and ethics textbook.

Tuition and Scholarships

The cost is $550, which includes tuition for the four-week online group seminar and in-person training at Poynter. Travel to and from St. Petersburg and your hotel is on your own, but we have arranged for discounted hotel accommodations.

What you will learn

  • How to write clearer, stronger stories—finding your focus, building to big surprises and more
  • What every reporter needs to know about lighting, motion, sequences, action/reaction and cameras
  • How to be a story idea machine and how you can never be without a pitch
  • How to get beyond announcements, fake claims and spins
  • The Tough Calls Toolbox: Practical ethics when you are tight on time
  • How to include new voices and see new parts of your community that are seldom covered
  • How you can grow in your newsroom and organization and create a roadmap to move your career ahead

Schedule

Schedule is subject to change.

Sept. 8, live class at noon ET

  • Finding the lead and focus of your story
  • Story shapes; What goes first, and why
  • Building to the big surprises
  • How breaking news writing is different

Sept. 15, live class at noon ET

  • The eight BIG motivators to make every story more interesting
  • Building memorable characters
  • How to write in active voice every time (and why it matters to your journalism)
  • How to avoid clichés and muddy modifiers
  • Capturing sound bites that sing
  • The importance of natural sound

Sept. 25-27, at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida

  • What every MMJ/VJ reporter needs to know about photojournalism, lighting, motion, sequences, action/reaction and your camera
  • How to be a Story Idea Machine (never be without a pitch)
  • How to “Think Critically” and get beyond announcements, fake claims and spins
  • The Tough Calls Toolbox: practical ethics when you are tight on time
  • How to use FOIA laws and public databases to find stories others miss
  • How to be a mobile and social media superstar and drive viewers to your stories
  • How to talk with kids, crime victims and other vulnerable people
  • 30 Minutes of Fame: In-person focused feedback on your work including on-camera performance as well as journalism and storytelling content
  • Amazingly cool online tools and apps (learn to capture 360-degree interactive photos, build edited videos on your phone, produce animated gifs on your phone and more. Every tool is free and takes less than two minutes to use.)
  • How to be a social media superstar
  • How to effectively move your TV reporting to online

Sept. 29, live class at noon ET

  • In this TWO-hour session, we will focus on Stand-ups and Teases. You will submit examples of stand-ups and teases and the seminar group will offer feedback on your work.

Oct. 6, live class at noon ET

  • Your road ahead: you will interview your bosses to get insight on how you can grow in your newsroom and organization.
  • You will draft a plan of action to move your career ahead. We will be right there with you.

Who should apply

TV reporters and VJ/MMJ/backpack journalists for television, as well as college educators and international journalists. This seminar also is perfect for photojournalists who want to learn to write and report.

Application process

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interests and basic demographic information.

Questions?

We’d love to hear from you. Email us at seminars@poynter.org.