Archived PNA Foundation Training

Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation Logo


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 2022, 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.

PNA Foundation Fellows Funds were instrumental in the creation of Spotlight PA’s groundbreaking statewide diverse source database.  We encourage all Pennsylvania newsrooms to utilize this valuable resource as they work to improve diversity efforts and better reflect the communities they cover. Explore the database and search for sources by name, area of expertise and location by clicking here.


Biosolids – What your community needs to know and will never want to forget – Oct. 20, 2022 (E1022) Free for PNA members

The value of biosolids treatment, processing, and land application for all Pennsylvanians is something of a lesser known fact, yet one that becomes increasingly important when they are considering increases in water and sewer bills or considering higher prices for their local produce, or even more so for those more rural Pennsylvanian communities whose chief industries include agriculture and agriculture related industries.

This webinar will cover the history of biosolids in the United States and Pennsylvania, as well as the importance of biosolids to every Pennsylvanian.  Practitioners in biosolids will be identified and clearly defined, including public agencies who treat wastewater, the engineers and other organizations they work with to do so, and the farmers who use them on their land, as well as the state and federal regulators who oversee the process. In addition, the webinar will cover the latest technologies and trends for the future, including fertilizer pellets, compost, nutrient recovery and renewable energy options.

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.

Good Grief: Access to Coroner Records – July 19, 2023 (E0719) Free for PNA members

As a reporter or editor, are you finding access to your county coroner records closed as tightly as a casket? Is it difficult to get the cause and manner of suspicious deaths in your community? During this session, media lawyers Melissa Melewsky and Paula Knudsen Burke will explain what information you are entitled to and what to do when the public’s right to know is endangered. Open records access to coronor reports as well as recent challenges will be reviewed. Presented in conjunction with Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

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.

Ethics for Today’s Journalist – Feb. 17, 2023 (E0217) Free for PNA members

Ethical challenges abound in today’s media world.  What should you do?

Newsroom veterans as well as inexperienced journalists can face many moral dilemmas.  From gun violence to war to political divisions to social media posts and more, violent, unsettling and unprecedented news seems almost constant.  How can you make better decisions about what you publish or don’t publish while serving the public good and informing your communities?

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

Keystone Winners Series: How Best to Tell Your Stories – Aug. 22, 2023 (E0822), Free for PNA members

Dive into visual storytelling tools. This session will demonstrate how photos, graphics and sidebars add to your “complete” storytelling as well as what roles each individual in the newsroom plays in the process.  Reporters will receive tips on how to incorporate visuals that enhance the readership of their stories (through design) in print and online.  This session is in conjunction with the PA News Leaders Association. 

Covering Mental Health Issues – March 23, 2023 (E0323) Free for PNA members 

Recently, Senator John Fetterman made headlines for seeking treatment for clinical depression.  Every day, across the state and country, individuals, families and communities are grappling with the impact of mental health illnesses.  Through this webinar you will learn from award-winning journalist Brett Sholtis how to report on this important and powerful topic, covering people as people.

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.

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.

Score More Readers: Improving Local Sports Coverage (Sharon Johnson Memorial Workshop) – Nov. 15 & 17, 2022 (SJ2022) Free for PNA members

Through this series of four virtual sessions in two parts, we’ll take a deeper dive into how newsrooms – of any size – can enhance coverage of local sports and win more readers.  From reporting on high school games to podcasts to alternative story forms and enterprise projects, learn how you can grow this valuable and popular journalism while engaging your community.  Topics include (Part I) High School coverage beyond the box score; and Supplementing coverage with podcasts and tips/ideas on ways to monetize; (Part II) Alternative story forms and ways to keep you (and your readers) interested; and Adding enterprise/small projects to your sports coverage, with best ideas.

Get the Scoop on the SpotlightNews App – March 29, 2023 (E0329) Free for PNA members

Looking to reach more readers, especially younger and possible lifelong news consumers?  Register for this informational session to learn more about how you can easily draw students and young readers to your news site.

SpotlightNews is a next-generation news application built to engage college students while helping digitally transform local papers.  Spotlight will help drive incremental revenue and provide you with a young audience at no cost. With over 250 partners, including the Centre Daily Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Miami Herald and The Daily Collegian, Spotlight supports publishers of all sizes by offering them national reach on a digital platform.  We invite you to learn more and to consider this opportunity.

Presented by: Tamer Morsy, CEO and Founder, SpotlightNews

Become an All-Star through Your Social Media Profile, Jan. 16, 2024 (E0116) Free for PNA members

Learn social media etiquette, original content generation tips and the essentials to build a professional LinkedIn profile. Gabby Pogel, founder of Crescent Moon Media and social media manager with PNA and MANSI Media, will help you to discover the tools needed to optimize your LinkedIn profile. You can increase engagements, leads and connections.

This virtual session includes an overview of LinkedIn etiquette, digital footprints and how to generate original content that drives interactions. Learn how to differentiate your behavior across popular social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter/X. You will be taken through a step-by-step 30-point LinkedIn checklist, guaranteed to take your profile to All-Star status. Achieving this status not only enhances your networking capabilities, but also arms you with the tools needed to drive sales on the platform. All attendees will receive a PDF takeaway of the checklist, providing a valuable resource for ongoing profile optimization.

Presenter: Gabby Pogel, founder of Crescent Moon Media and social media manager with PNA and MANSI Media

The Sunshine Act: Pennsylvania’s Open Meetings Law – March 17, 2023 (E0317) Free for PNA members

This session reviews PA’s Sunshine Act with a focus on recent changes and frequently asked questions.  Melissa Melewsky, PNA’s Media Law Counsel, explains Pennsylvania’s Open Meetings Law, including reporters’ most common concerns such as remote meetings, agenda requirements, misuse of executive sessions, public comment restrictions, deliberations via email/texts and pursuing penalties for alleged violations.  Presented by: Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel, PA NewsMedia Association


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. 

Building Revenue: Finding that needle in the billion dollar political golden haystack, Jan. 9, 2024 (E0109) Free to PNA members

Every two years it seems that the money spent by candidates and advocacy groups just keeps growing – regardless of what else may be happening.  This election will be no exception – in fact it will set records… again! This webinar will take a look at what’s happening in Pennsylvania, what races are in play, how to take advantage of a database of candidates, issue groups and their buying agencies, why you should call on your state political party chairs, and a couple ideas from other newspapers across the country that have proved successful in generating new revenue from this multi-billion dollar category.

Presenter: John Kimball, Managing General Partner, Founder and CEO of The John Kimball Group

8 Tips for Prospecting in Ad Sales – July 25, 2023 (E0725) Free for PNA members

Prospecting is a vital tool for any sales consultant or ad manager who wants to expand their client base and drive revenue growth. Prospecting involves identifying and nurturing potential customers as you move to establishing valuable connections, building lasting relationships, and closing deals.  With seasoned veteran sales leaders as presenters, this session will provide strategies, tips, and best practices to help you succeed.

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

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.

Advertising Sales Webinar: Using Video to Generate Revenue, Aug. 29, 2023 (E0829), Free for PNA members

In today’s challenging sales environment, a variety of revenue streams are needed.  From simple, small efforts to large campaigns, learn how you can build revenue through video.

With a team of award-winning videographers working closely with their sales department, PA Media Group has successfully generated revenue through video. Production and design are matched with marketing, digital advertising and distribution services to deliver advertisers’ messages to the right audiences on the right devices.

Presenter: Salim Michel Makhlouf, Creative Director, Penn Studios, Harrisburg


The Nuts & Bolts of Exceptional Dispatch – Aug. 31, 2023 (E0831), Free to PNA members

More and more newspapers are being delivered to subscribers through the USPS. Converting to postal distribution can be challenging as can maintaining timely mail deliveries in your community. Learn best practices for working with your local post office, with insights from Bob Brown of the USPS. Also hear from Holly Lubart of the News/Media Alliances, who will share a national perspective on postal reform, its effect on local mail and what your advocates in D.C. are doing to help.


Lost in the Weeds: An Employer’s Guide to Navigating Medical Marijuana in the Workplace, May 25, 2023 (E0523) Free for PNA members

The legalization of medical marijuana has left many employers uncertain about their legal rights and duties regarding on- and off-site use of marijuana. In Pennsylvania particularly, the case law is still developing, and it can be unclear how the medical marijuana laws interact with other employment law requirements in the state. This webinar will explore the current legal landscape for medical marijuana use in the workplace and provide practical advice for areas including workers’ compensation, drug testing, employment discrimination, and best practices for creating a safe work environment.

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.