Archived PNA Foundation Training

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Still inexpensive, still valuable and now more convenient.

No matter in what department you work, the PNA Foundation is your source for news media training. In addition to half and full day workshops held in Harrisburg and across the state, we offer a growing slate of webinars. Typically, our webinars last one hour or less and cover a variety of topics, traditional as well as cutting-edge. Check our calendar for the latest schedule.

We encourage you to take advantage of webinars at scheduled times. However, if you are unable to attend or find yourself needing information at a later date, our webinars are recorded, archived and available at no charge for PNA and PSNE members. Non-members may be required to pay a processing fee.

Recent available sessions are listed below alphabetically by topic.  A list of sessions from prior to 2021, can be found here.

To request a recording of a webinar, email the PNA Foundation. Please note the code and original date of the webinar when ordering. Please allow 24 to 48 hours for a reply.

Sponsored by the Calkins Foundation, the PNA Foundation’s Leading Local: The Media’s Impact on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity is a series of webinars focusing on systemic racism and bias and how news media companies in Pennsylvania can combat it. View the entire list of sessions on the Leading Local webpage.


Be Prepared: Safety For Journalists Covering Protests, March 25, 2021 (E0325) Free for PNA members

Sean Stajkowski, Intelligence Analyst at the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center, will present on threats to the news media during protests. His presentation will include trends in physical threats, mitigation techniques, and suspicious activity reporting.

Community Engagement: Creating A Successful Spanish-Language Section, Oct. 8, 2021 (E1008) Free for PNA members This is the fifth of the PNA Foundation’s special diversity webinar series Leading Local: The Media’s Impact on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Be a voice.  Recognize and reach more readers and increase engagement in your community by creating Spanish-language products.

Initially started as a three-month-long project, La Voz de Chatham is now a permanent part of The Chatham News + Record (North Carolina). Articles are posted on multiple platforms and are dedicated to providing essential information for the county’s Spanish-speaking community.

Bill Horner, editor/publisher, and Victoria Johnson, lead reporter, will explain how this worked at a small, local paper with limited resources and how you can replicate their model.  They’ll share insights into how they got started, how much time, money and staffing were needed, how they’re engaging readers and measuring impact, what worked and didn’t work both in print and digitally, and more.

Cops, Courts and Crime: How to Transform Your Public Safety Coverage, Feb. 25, 2022 (E0225) Free for PNA members

A discussion of how public safety coverage can become people-centered and community-based to help create more three-dimensional journalism and repair relationships and build trust with members of marginalized communities.

As newsrooms get smaller and fewer reporters are available to cover cops, courts and crime, it could be time to transform your coverage strategy.  Step away from police blotters and dedicate your limited resources to more productive and equitable coverage.  Learn how from editors who have successfully instituted a company-wide initiative.

Especially helpful for editors and reporters struggling with cops beats or looking to enhance their current efforts.

COVID-19 Vaccinations: Can Employers Require Employees to be Vaccinated? Jan. 28, 2021 (E0129) Free for PNA members

With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, a host of questions about who may receive the vaccine and when have arisen. Your workplace and your workers’ safety and health are of upmost importance. But, can you require your employees to be vaccinated?  There are a number of considerations that an employer should review when determining whether its employees will be mandated to be vaccinated. Precedent, ADA and religious exemptions, specific COVID-19 requirements, emergency and experimental use issues, union agreements as well as liability will be explored. Benjamin C. Dunlap, Jr., Esq., of Nauman Smith Shissler & Hall will lead this discussion, offering direction and explanations.

Defamation, Libel and Other Concerns of Newsgathering, Jan. 22, 2021 (E0122) Free for PNA members

News happens quickly, especially in the midst of a pandemic, political drama and racial unrest. Are you being careful to avoid lawsuits and litigation throughout your coverage? Melissa Melewsky, PNA’s Media Law Counsel, offers advice on protecting you and your news organization from libel and defamation suits. If you’re gathering news in Pennsylvania, you need to know about defamation, invasion of privacy and other causes of action. Online issues can be especially daunting. And, the ongoing pandemic as well as PA’s Clean Slate have had effects on access and coverage.

Amplifying Diverse Voices in Your Coverage and Newsroom, May 21, 2021 (E0521) Free for PNA members. This is the second of the PNA Foundation’s special diversity webinar series Leading Local: The Media’s Impact on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

From small to large newsrooms, diversity, equity and inclusion are being successfully addressed.  Whether it’s been done by focusing on particular audiences, establishing a database of diverse sources, creating different language editions, hiring a more diverse staff or reporting on certain topics, how have they moved forward?  We’ll learn the paths – from baby steps to leaps – that have made a difference, grown readership and amplified diverse voices.

Enhancing Newsroom Diversity Efforts through Source Data and Auditing, January 27, 2022 (E0127) This is the sixth of the PNA Foundation’s special diversity webinar series Leading Local: The Media’s Impact on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

As the conversations about race, equity and inclusion continue, Pennsylvania newsrooms are working to acknowledge and improve their diversity efforts.  While considering not only staffing, editors and reporters are also grappling with their coverage and sources.

Spotlight PA’s diverse source database was a ground-breaking statewide resource when it debuted in 2020, featuring more than 120 diverse sources searchable by expertise, location and name. Newsrooms across Pennsylvania are encouraged to utilize it to ensure that their work better reflects the communities they serve.  Expanding upon these efforts, Spotlight PA is building a follow-up source auditing platform that creates a baseline of source diversity while producing data for accountability.

Ten Steps to More Inclusive Reporting, June 18, 2021 (E0618) Free for PNA members. This is the third of the PNA Foundation’s special diversity webinar series Leading Local: The Media’s Impact on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Explore ten steps that you and your newsroom can take to produce more diverse, equitable and inclusive reporting.  This session features a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellows project completed by Melba Newsome, RJI Fellows Class of 2020-21. Using research and findings from her fellowship, Newsome will outline the necessary steps and lead participants through an evaluation of published journalism for diversity and inclusive reporting. From common challenges to rethinking the whys and wheres of diverse sources to understanding and overcoming barriers, Newsome details what you can do to be more inclusive storytellers.

Seeing the Whole Community: Diversity and Inclusivity through Design, Aug. 12, 2021 (E0812) Free for PNA members. This is the fourth of the PNA Foundation’s special diversity webinar series Leading Local: The Media’s Impact on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Communities, readers and audiences want to see themselves reflected in your local news coverage.  Not just through words and stories, but also through the visuals, photos, art and designs in your various print and digital products.  Doing so requires you to look, listen and learn. This session will help editors and reporters visually cover their whole community.  Topics include visual inclusion, intention and diversity as well as making tough visual calls.

From Once Upon a Time to the End: Tips for Keeping Readers Engaged in Your Stories, June 9, 2022 (E0609) Free for PNA members.

Or as journalists say, from the lead to the kicker. This session explores why beginnings and endings are so important to your writing, and how to nail them every time. Plus, beginnings and endings are just as important in a paragraph as they are to the overall arc of the story. This isn’t just an academic session on writing. This is about grabbing readers’ attention, keeping them engaged, and rewarding them at the end. Where are you likely to lose a reader? In the middle. This hands-on session will leave you with concrete tips to keep readers’ attention until the end.  Presented by: Jean Hodges, Senior Director of News Culture & Communications, Gannett/USA TODAY Network

A Primer on the NewStart Program and How It Can Help Community News to Endure, March 25, 2022 (E0325) Free for PNA members.  

Do you want to own a weekly or daily newspaper or aspire to start your own print or online publication?  Or, are you already a publisher, manager or owner and want to explore how to position your company for future success?  Then, you should check out the NewStart program.

NewStart is a local news ownership initiative, created by West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media in collaboration with the West Virginia Press Association.  NewStart has a mission to recruit, train and support the next generation of community news publication owners and publishers across the country.  Participants learn how they can create or purchase existing community newspapers or other media outlets and transform their business models.

This informational session is being offered to PNA members as way to learn more about what the program has to offer – for potential students and for current owners and publishers.

PA’s Right to Know Law: Best Practices for Access, March 17, 2022 (E0317) Free for PNA members

During this jam-packed session, we’ll not only review the basics of the Right to Know Law, but also explain other essentials of access in Pennsylvania.  Topics to be covered include tips for drafting a successful RTK request, details about administrative appeals, mediation and enforcement as well as a review of important court decisions and pending cases.  We’ll also take a look at what’s developing and what to expect from proposed legislation. Panelists include: Liz Wagenseller, Executive Director, PA Office of Open Records; Craig Staudenmaier, Esq., Partner, Nauman Smith Shissler & Hall, LLP; and Melissa Melewsky, Esq., Media Law Counsel, PA NewsMedia Association.

Right to Know: Open Records Basics, Changes and More, Feb. 5, 2021 (E0205) Free for PNA members

In the past year, pandemic-related access laws have impacted agencies’ duties and public access rights, making this session more important than ever. Melissa Melewsky, PNA’s Media Law Counsel, reviews Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law while defining aspects of the law and citing specific cases and examples. She’ll take a closer look at any changes, including how Act 77 affected access. Melissa will be joined by Paula Knudsen Burke, Pennsylvania’s Local Legal Initiative Attorney with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Paula will detail some of the cases she’s handling as well as how she can assist you with legal matters.

Tips for Taking Better Photos…when you know nothing about photography, July 15, 2021 (E0715) Free for PNA members

Reporters, are you being asked to shoot photos for your stories?  Yet, you aren’t trained in photography and only have a cell phone or basic camera to use?  This session is for you!  Learn the fundamentals of photojournalism and improve your visual storytelling through this one-hour webinar led by award-winning photographer Jimmy May.

Best Practices for Scientific Reporting: Clear, Compelling and Convincing Science Communication, Feb. 11, 2022 (E0211) Free for PNA members

A quick look at the headlines and stories trending in traditional and social media show how pervasive science and technology stories have become – from the ongoing pandemic to the future of genetic engineering, from drug trials to vaccine mandates, and from climate change and new energy to artificial intelligence and big data algorithms.

Reporters are tasked with not only conveying this incredibly complex information in accurate and compelling ways, but also in ways that people can use to guide their own choices.

In this webinar, we will look at best practices in conveying scientific information and findings for the general public in clear and compelling ways. But, we will also review evidence-based strategies to better guide and persuade people to use this knowledge to improve their own decision making in their health and day-to-day lives.

Presented by Matt Swayne, Faculty, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Penn State University.

Self-Editing for Today’s Journalist, Friday, February 26, 2021 (E0226) Free for PNA members

Today’s newsrooms are digital first and even more so now that reporters and editors are working remotely during the pandemic. There’s often no safety net, and not much time, to have stories, headlines, cutlines, etc., reviewed and edited before readers receive them.  Learn how you can prevent mistakes and streamline the editing process with careful self-editing. Tips will be presented by Shane Fitzgerald, Pennsylvania State Editor, USA Today Network and Executive Editor, Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer.

The Sunshine Act: Pennsylvania’s Open Meetings Law – March 18, 2021 (E0318) Free for PNA members

Can’t miss! This session includes an important review of the Sunshine Act as well as a chance to meet the new Executive Director of the PA Office of Open Records. Melissa Melewsky, PNA’s Media Law Counsel, reviews Pennsylvania’s Open Meetings Law, touching on public comment, executive sessions and other topics that frequently challenge coverage. She takes a closer look at any changes, including how the pandemic has affected public access.  Melissa is joined by Liz Wagenseller, the newly-appointed Executive Director of the PA Office of Open Records. During this introduction, Liz shares her thoughts and visions for the OOR and will take questions.


Advertising Laws: The Top Ten (and more) Legal Issues You Should Know, July 14, 2022 (E0722) Free for PNA members

Melissa Melewsky, PNA’s Media Law Counsel, offers valuable information on the laws of advertising. She’ll highlight some of the most common questions she sees on PNA Legal Hotline.  While maintaining ad revenue, be sure that you’re compliant with fair housing and fair employment laws as well as laws governing medical marijuana, CBD, tobacco and vaping products, beer and liquor, contests and gambling, bingo and smalls games of chance, trademark, copyright, and – in this election year – political advertising. Melissa will also be happy to answer questions from attendees on these, and other, issues impacting advertising staff. Most appropriate for advertising directors, managers and sales reps. 

Advertising Legal Issues, May 11, 2021 (E0511) Free for PNA members

Melissa Melewsky, PNA’s Media Law Counsel, offers information on legal issues concerning advertising. She’ll look at laws and regulations for housing, employment, automotive, tobacco, beer, and liquor advertising and may answer the questions you have about specific ad content.

PNA Advertising Symposium, April 25-29, 2022 (PAS2022) Free for PNA members

  • Hear from the best of the best sales superstars, who will share their secrets for advertising success
  • Learn about DISS – Digital Inventory Sales Simplified
  • Gather proven products and promotions that you can replicate at your publication
  • Understand how to build a positive readership message to increase advertising sales opportunities
  • Discover tips and tricks for hiring and retaining a successful advertising sales team

PNA Advertising Symposium, April 19-23, 2021 (PAS2021) Free for PNA members.  Email PNA Events for details on these sessions:

    • Building Better Ads: Advice from the Design Desk
    • Branded Content: A unique, engaging and profitable advertising option
    • Practices from Around the World: Who is winning the revenue war and why?
    • Best Practices for Optimizing Your Programmatic Campaigns
    • Build Better Relationships with Advertising Agencies
    • Proven and Successful Revenue Generating Ideas
    • Data-Drive Advertising: Using data and information to create more effective sales calls
    • Securing Profitable Salespeople

Branded Content: The Business of Storytelling, February 3, 2022 (E0203) Free for PNA members

Join us for an energetic 60-minute session where we’ll explore why branded content is so effective for media organizations. We’ll spend time learning about the revenue potential, how the best campaigns are created and what is included in a successful sales strategy. We’ll also share real world examples on what works for media companies and dive into the details on successful pricing, packaging and prospecting. Get ready to create a successful, sustainable and PROFITABLE branded content program for your organization!  Presented by: Julia Campbell, General Manager, The Meta Branded Content Project, and Peter Lamb, President, Lamb Consulting

Revenue Generation: Why Bother With Political? Feb. 22, 2022 (E0222) Free for PNA members

Why bother with political advertising? For one thing, political is a multi-billion dollar category and it just keeps growing!  Our industry has made great strides over the last 10 years in turning the bright lights on political and delivering new revenue to news media companies.  But there is always more that we can do.

During this webinar we will discuss:  Why it’s not too early to start your political sales planning, why this 2022 mid-term election is different, more expensive and full of new opportunities, where the money will be spent, finding out who the candidates are and what to say when you get in front of them, the importance of Political Action Committees (PAC’s) and other advocacy groups, the role of state Republican and Democratic Party chairs, and the importance of making the buy easy and examples of successful packaging from newspapers around the country.

Presented by: John Kimball, Managing General Partner, Founder and CEO of The John Kimball Group.


Amplifying Diverse Voices in Your Coverage and Newsroom, May 21, 2021 (E0521) Free for PNA members. This is the second of the PNA Foundation’s special diversity webinar series Leading Local: The Media’s Impact on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

From small to large newsrooms, diversity, equity and inclusion are being successfully addressed.  Whether it’s been done by focusing on particular audiences, establishing a database of diverse sources, creating different language editions, hiring a more diverse staff or reporting on certain topics, how have they moved forward?  We’ll learn the paths – from baby steps to leaps – that have made a difference, grown readership and amplified diverse voices.

Understanding the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) and Making It Work for You, July 7, 2021 (E0707) Free for PNA members

Your company may be eligible for an Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), allowing for large percentage deductions in qualified wages paid per employee per quarter.  If, during the COVID-19 crisis, you chose to keep employees on your payroll, you should explore this option.  This credit could be a significant bonus.  During this webinar, experts from Kreischer Miller will answer questions such as who is eligible for the ERTC, how much can be claimed and how to process your claim.  And, yes, you can claim both PPP forgiveness and ERTC!  Learn more through this complimentary session.

Respect at Work: Building a Culture of Respect, March 30, 2021 (E0330) Free for PNA Members. This is the first of the PNA Foundation’s special diversity webinar series Leading Local: The Media’s Impact on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Harassment in the workplace is a serious and widespread problem. Respect at Work™ is designed to provide a holistic approach to creating workplace cultures where all employees are valued. Focusing on core tenets of safety, equality, and respect, this training invites participants to explore ways to prevent and respond to disrespectful behavior in their workplaces.

While sexual harassment is what most people think of, it’s important to remember other forms of workplace harassment, such as race, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, etc. Each one of us has all of these identities. Very often, harassment targets more than one of a person’s identities at a time. To create a safe and respectful workplace, we need to be prepared to step in to prevent disrespectful or harassing behavior that targets any aspect of someone’s identity.

What You Need to Know to Safely Return to the Office, May 13, 2021 (E0513) Free for PNA members

It’s been over an year of working remotely during the pandemic and now you may be close to inviting staff back into the newsroom, ad department and other vital areas of your news company.  What should you be thinking about? Listen, talk and learn!  This webinar will feature legal tips as well as an opportunity for a roundtable discussion with your colleagues around the state.

Vincent Candiello, Esq., a member at Cozen O’Connor, Harrisburg, will discuss legal liabilities and potential challenges as well as best practices for an effective return.  What will the new normal look like?  Safety and well-being are of utmost concern.  But, how? What can you require or not dictate as far as masks, distancing, vaccines, illness, etc.  Ensure that you are prepared and not putting yourself, your company and your valued staff at risk.


Best Practices for Circulation and Audience Development #1: Digital Subscription Sales, June 10, 2020 (CBP001) Free for PNA members

Learn about the impact of a hard paywall on digital subscriptions, web traffic, and revenue. See the metrics. Discuss the pros and cons.  Presenter: Dave Sickle, Director of Circulation, Republican Herald (Pottsville) & Standard-Speaker (Hazleton)

Best Practices for Circulation and Audience Development #2: AAM Updates and Guidelines, June 24, 2020 (CBP002) Free for PNA members

The coronavirus has most likely impacted your circulation numbers.  Learn of any updates or changes to AAM reporting and audits. And, be sure that you continue to adhere to the rules and guidelines of the Alliance for Audited Media.  Presenter: Joe Salomone, Director, FP&A and Circulation Audit Compliance, The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Inc.

Best Practices for Circulation and Audience Development #3 – Solutions for a Post-COVID-19 World, July 8, 2020 (CBP003) Free for PNA members

The crisis may be easing, but how do you retain subscribers in a hurting economy?  How do you build sales?  How do you manage reduced print days?  These and other questions will be addressed during an open discussion.  Looking for particular solutions and ideas? Presenter: Roque Carrasco, Circulation Manager, The Indiana Gazette


Additional Archived Training Resources:

The Associated Press offers a variety of helpful sessions. Check out their available archived webinars and other training resources at AP Academy.

The Online Media Campus has been providing high-quality webinars for many years, all of which have been recorded and are available for purchase. Visit their website for more information.