Archived PNA Foundation Training – 2016-2019

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 for purchase.

A list of sessions from prior to 2019 can be found below. More recent available sessions are available here.

To request a copy of a webinar, email the PNA Foundation or phone (717) 703-3003. Please note the code and original date of the webinar when ordering. Upon receipt of payment, a link to the video recording will be emailed to you.

Purchase three or more sessions and receive a 20 percent discount. All rates apply to PNA and PSNE members only. Non-members: please add a $5 processing fee.


2019 AP Stylebook: New Entries and Updates, June 13, 2019 (E0619) $10.00

Wondering what new and updated entries you’ll find in the 2019 AP Stylebook?  Hear all about them from AP Stylebook editor Paula Froke.  This presentation recaps changes editors have made on Stylebook Online since last year and detail the changes – large and small – taking effect in late May, 2019.  Stay up to date and attentive to writing rules.  Appropriate for editors as well as reporters.

Data Journalism: Visualizing Data 101, June 9, 2016 (E1603) $5.00

This webinar will instruct you on how to visualize and transform data into stories, infographics and interactive visuals. Where are the most dangerous highways in the region? What about structurally deficient bridges? How about the vacant or blighted properties in your city? All of these data are easy to find and download from the government. But visualizing them for readers can be tricky. Hear how to transform data into stories, infographics and interactive visualizations on deadline and without involving your IT department.

Data Journalism: Finding Stories in Data, May 12, 2016 (E1602) $5.00

Who among your neighbors is giving money to Donald Trump’s campaign? Which local school has the highest SAT scores? How much are my teachers and principals being paid? What’s the violent-crime rate in my city, and how does it compare to similarly sized cities? Where are the wealthiest and poorest ZIP codes in Pennsylvania? All of these data are easy to find and download from the government. But how can you actually use them in your newsroom to spot trends and report stories? We’ll walk through some of the tricks reporters can use, on deadline and in newsrooms big and small. Hear how to use data to find and report stories.

Best Practices and Creative Ideas for Drone Photos, May 8, 2019 (E0508) $10.00

John A. Pavoncello, staff photographer at The York Dispatch and Jimmy May, photographer at the Press Enterprise in Bloomsburg, are teaming up to present this webinar. This seminar is geared to both editors and photographers.

John and Jimmy cover:  What you need to know about getting certified, buying and publishing drone footage; What are the best practices?; What drone photos work and what ones don’t work?; Creative ideas for drone photos that every newsroom can use.

Drones: So You Want to Get Certified, Feb. 22, 2017 (E1702) $10.00

Considering using a drone for coverage for your publication? Curious about what to expect with the FAA test required to operate an Unmanned Aircraft System (drone) for commercial use? Then this webinar, featuring two FAA certified drone pilots, is for you! John Beale, a photojournalism professor at Penn State, and David McKeown, staff photographer for The Republican-Herald, Pottsville, offer insight into the FAA remote pilot test and the use of drones for daily assignments and advertising.

Everyday Watchdog Journalism, March 30, 2017 (E1703) $10.00

Watchdog reporting doesn’t have to mean months’-long investigations. Every reporter no matter how small the staff can practice it. Our panel of seasoned watchdog reporters will share their organizational methods that enable them to act quickly when news breaks and their go-to databases and sources that they use on deadline or when they are looking for a quick-turnaround watchdog story.

Facebook Live for Newsrooms, Jan. 18, 2019 (E0119) $10.00

Learn best practices for using Facebook Live as one of your social media tools. Panelists John Misinco and Kayla Dwyer from The Morning Call/ and Stephanie Sadowski of LNP/Lancaster Online will discuss the mechanics of doing Facebook Live feeds for best results and what types of news events draw the biggest audiences. If you’ve never used Facebook Live, you will learn what to do. If you already use it, you will pick up some best practices. We’d also love to hear about your experiences during the webinar.

Gerrymandering: Beyond the Political Hyerbole, Oct. 3, 2019 (W1019) Free to PNA members

The issue of legislative redistricting (and more frequently, its extreme version – gerrymandering) has been top of mind in recent years. Pennsylvania’s General Assembly is charged under the U.S. and State Constitutions with revisiting state and Congressional legislative districts after each National Census every ten years. And just this summer, the United States Supreme Court handed down a ruling declining to find federal jurisdiction over state redistricting, punting the issue squarely back to the states to sort out on their own, at least for now.  Draw The Lines PA staff will present a legal and factual overview of redistricting and a tour of the Draw The Lines PA digital mapping platform and contest.

How the Clean Slate Act Could Affect Your News Reporting, Aug. 15, 2019 (E0815) $10.00

PA’s new Clean Slate Act automatically seals all criminal records for people with charges not resulting in convictions and summary offenses and low-level misdemeanors committed by people who have not incurred any other charges within ten years.  How could this affect your coverage, your use of police logs, etc.  How concerned should you be about defamation suits?  Hear from PNA’s Media Law Counsel Melissa Melewsky.

Winning Ways: Investigative Reporting Done Right, Oct. 28, 2019 (E1028) $10.00

Investigative journalism at its best. Hear from PNA award-winning investigative journalists.  Jo Ciavaglia of the Bucks County Courier Times has won many awards over her illustrious career. Most recently, she won a Keystone Award for “Death of a Little Angel” an investigation into the death of a 19-month-old girl in an unlicensed and illegal home day care. She is joined by Sarah Hofius Hall, Joe Kohut and Jim Lockwood of The Times-Tribune, Scranton, winners of the 2019 John V.R. Bull Freedom of Information Award.  Presented by the PNA Foundation and the Pennsylvania Society of News Editors (PSNE).

Improving Your Coverage of Local State Legislators, Aug. 8, 2019 (E0819) $10.00

The PA State Legislature has a big impact on citizens through a variety of issues, ranging from taxes to abortion. Find out how you can improve coverage of your local state legislators. Learn how to cut through the fluff and hold local legislators accountable for their votes. Look beyond press releases while exploring bills, committees, seniority, calendars and other topics that impact your coverage. Featuring Mark O’Keefe, who spent much of his 45-year career in newspapers as a reporter and editor covering the state Legislature.

Newswriting: How to go from mediocre to great, April 13, 2018 (E1804) $10.00

Take just a few minutes to learn some tips for better writing! Russell Frank, writing coach and associate professor of communications, Penn State University, talks about how to improve your writing. According to Frank, it’s a shame when reporters gather all that information (or sit through that interminable meeting) only to write a story so dull that no one’s going to read it. He’ll talk about digging up buried ledes, cutting clutter, writing for your readers rather than for the insiders, separating primary from secondary information and achieving the magical balance between thoroughness and brevity.

Online Comments: Braving the Comments, Feb. 4, 2016 (E1601) $5.00

Are the comments on your news site a chance for learning and engagement, or a hostile neighborhood you enter only if you have to? Increasingly, news organizations are trying to figure out how to encourage healthy discussion in comments, and how to make the most of that online community. Hear discussions on research, best practices and first-hand experience involving journalists and comment threads.

Open Meetings, March 15, 2019 (E1907) $10.00

Stay up to date and be prepared. The Sunshine Act might not have changed, but it’s always valuable for reporters and editors to revisit the law. We’ll touch on public comment, executive sessions and other topics that frequently challenge your coverage. Features PNA’s Media Law Counsel Melissa Melewsky sharing invaluable information.

Open Records: Finding Great Stories in the Requests, Feb. 9, 2017 (E1701) $10.00

The Right-to-Know Law, under which government records are presumed open to the public unless specifically exempted, is perhaps the investigative reporter’s most important tool in Pennsylvania. So what kinds of records are available from your municipality, school board, and county and state governments? And what kinds of stories are being written using those documents? Learn what documents to obtain using the Right-to-Know Law and how they can lead to interesting stories.

Planning and executing news enterprise: Staffs of all sizes can succeed, December 5, 2018 (E1218) $10.00

Enterprise reporting can work in your newsroom! Solid, sometimes investigative, very local enterprise stories give our readers information they need and cannot get anywhere else. You can dig beyond the surface and ask questions readers want answered. And, you can do it, even with a small newsroom staff, through planning. Dennis Lyons shares his knowledge on planning, getting started and moving forward to complete successful enterprise stories in your newsrooms. For editors of all sizes looking to enhance coverage of their local communities.

Unlocking Police Records & Mining Databases with the Right-to-Know Law, May 7, 2019 (E0519) $10.00

In the course of newsgathering, reporters often find themselves requesting criminal records and attempting to access databases for valuable story information.  Hear from Erik Arneson, executive director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records and Melissa Melewsky, PNA’s media law counsel, as they offer suggestions for access while sharing examples from court and case files.  Enhance your watchdog journalism efforts with this valuable training.

Understanding the Value and Finding Stories in Public Notices, March 5, 2019 (E1908) $10.00

From story ideas to government accountability, learn how important public notices are to newspapers.  Jim Lockwood, staff writer at The Times-Tribune, Scranton, and five-time winner of the PNA Foundation’s Public Notice Journalism Award, leads this valuable webinar, on how to dig into important – yet often unnoticed – local issues by checking your notices.

The Safe Harbor Bill and What It Could Mean for You, Sept. 19, 2019 (E0919) Free

The News Media Alliance has been closely watching and advocating for the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which would provide a safe harbor for publishers to collectively negotiate with tech platforms such as Facebook and Google. Hoping to create an even playing field for the free and diverse press, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act creates a temporary safe harbor for news publishers to band together to negotiate with online platforms to protect Americans’ access to trustworthy sources of news online. Introduced by both the U.S. House and the Senate judiciary and antitrust committees, the bill also aims to protect a free market, jobs and the marketplace of ideas. The majority of Americans are “more concerned” that not enough is being done to address the “relentless spread of fake news on their platforms,” representing “a seismic shift in the public’s perception” in a short time on the issue, according to an Axios-SurveyMonkey poll. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of people say they can’t tell the difference between good journalism and falsehood online. Learn how what happens in Washington could affect your local news company. Presented by Danielle Coffey, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Counsel for the News Media Alliance, which represents 2,000 news media outlets worldwide.

School Safety Efforts, an Exclusive Statewide Conference Call with PA Senators, August 15, 2018 Free for PNA members

With schools around Pennsylvania getting ready for Back to School, join our statewide conference call to hear what Senate leaders on school safety have been working on and hear what it is in store for the future on this issue.

Web Heads That Work, Oct. 26, 2017 (E1704) $10.00

SEO-friendly headlines don’t have to be boring! Learn how to write headlines that will grab the attention of both your readers — whether on your site or on social media — and Google. Learn more from John Misinco, assistant managing editor – digital, of The Morning Call, Allentown.


Inserting Digital into Your Sales Calls, April 23, 2019 (A1903) Free for PNA members

Learn how to incorporate digital options into your visits with advertisers. Matt Caylor, PNA’s Director of Strategic Services, offers concrete steps for preparation, strategy and execution. This is a great way for sales managers and ad reps to enhance revenue through various platforms.

Revenue Webinar: 5 Ways To Grow Your Obituaries, July 17, 2019 (A0719) Free for PNA members

For most publishers, the obituary category is a huge traffic driver and an important classified revenue stream. To help PNA members learn more about this vital revenue category, the PNA Foundation has partnered with to offer a complimentary webinar to help grow your obituary category. Using insights from the 1,500+ newspapers who work with, this session will detail the growing decline in obituary volume nationwide.  Whether you work with Legacy or not, this session is designed to provide you with useful information on issues related to obituaries along with ideas to address them.

Use Research Information to Increase Advertising Sales, Jan. 15, 2019 (A1802) Free for PNA members

Jumpstart your advertising sales efforts in 2019 by utilizing current research statistics and information from Nielsen Scarborough and AudienceSCAN® to demonstrate the power of newspapers to your advertising clients. During this webinar, we will review how to analyze Nielsen Scarborough data, discuss the findings of key research reports that tout the strengths of newspaper readership and advertising and demonstrate how to quickly and easily customize one of the 50+ marketing flyers that PNA has created for your use.


Active Shooter (How to Prepare and Respond to an Active Shooter), August 2, 2018 Free for PNA members

Recent tragedies, including the June 28 shooting at The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, remind us that the risk is real. An active shooter incident can happen in any place at any time. We are offering this training in order to help news companies, newsrooms and individuals to be prepared.

Defining Unlawful Harassment and Minimizing Your Risk, March 1, 2018 (M2018) $10.00

You report the news, but you sure don’t want to BE the news, do you? From Hollywood to PA, the #metoo and #timesup campaigns are going strong. Is your organization ready? Do you or your supervisors know what TRULY defines unlawful harassment and sexual harassment? Are your policies up to snuff with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines? Have your supervisors and employees been trained to recognize inappropriate behavior? More importantly, do they know what to do if they witness unlawful harassment of any kind? Led by Karen Young, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and President, HR Resolutions, this important webinar will help you and your supervisors learn about how to best minimize your risk against claims in this area. For any manager – from publishers and down – who wants to be fully informed and prepared. For any department including news, sales, production, distribution, etc.


Strategies for Mitigating the Impact of Newsprint Tariffs, August 23, 2018 (C001) Free for PNA members

Calling all circulation managers and directors! Don’t miss this interactive session on what your peers in circulation, audience development and operations departments are doing to save costs as newsprint tariffs loom. No matter the size of your newspaper, you can make changes today that can help keep your presses running and newspapers being delivered. Tools, ideas, suggestions and solutions will be shared.

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.