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SPJ Training: Sources and Stories in Minority Communities

In a recent essay discussing the portrayal of Asians in mainstream media outlets, Tom Huang, Sunday and enterprise editor for the Dallas Morning News, suggests that “what’s missing in our coverage are the everyday acts and opinions, quirks and foibles, that make Asians individuals, that make them human.” He might very well have been talking about African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and members of other racial minority groups, too.

Too often, stories involving racial minorities fit stereotypes rather than reflect the richness of ordinary life. To help journalists in Madison and across Wisconsin better incorporate the voices of racial minorities in their stories and newscasts, the Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists invites you to a unique, day-long training session.

“Developing Sources and Uncovering Stories in Minority Communities” will take place Friday, April 11, in Room 226 of the UW-Madison Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison. It will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m., with registration starting at 9:30 a.m. It is free for SPJ members and high school and college students; there is a charge of $30 for non-members. A catered lunch and snacks are included.

Generous sponsorship is offered by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, WISC-TV-Channel 3, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.

The training session schedule is as follows:

9:30-10:00: Registration

10-10:10: Welcome

10:10 am-11:15 am: How diverse are your sources? UW-Madison Prof. Hemant Shah discusses his research on race and the media and walks journalists through how to conduct a sourcing audit. The audit will provide journalists with a baseline for one month of the racial makeup of their sources.

11:15 am-12:15 pm: Lessons from the minority press. Ray Allen, owner, Madison Times; Derrell Connor, host, Outreach, WIBA, Madison; and Luis Montoto, owner, LaMovida Radio, discuss their work and what the mainstream media can learn from it.

12:15-1:00 pm: Lunch and Networking

1:00 pm-2:15 pm: Enriching words and images: Sources and stories. Brenda Gonzalez, community marketing equity manager, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, board of directors, Urban League of Greater Madison; Nichelle Nichols, chief academic officer, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County; Anne Thundercloud, owner, Thundercloud Communications, former spokeswoman, Ho-Chunk Nation; and Peng Her, vice president of promise zone and partnerships, Urban League of Greater Madison, share strategies to incorporate minority voices in every day work and find stories in minority communities

2:15 pm-3:15 pm: Media Case study: The Capital Times Katie Dean, city editor, and Jason Joyce, news editor, of The Capital Times discuss the newspaper’s approach to covering race in Madison and commitment to providing a forum for the discussion of race relations.

3:15-3:30 pm: Wrap up and evaluation

To register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spj-madison-minority-communities-training-tickets-10903614003a. College and high school journalists should contact Mark Pitsch, Madison SPJ president, for complimentary registration; 608-252-6145, [email protected].

Journalists can also join the Madison chapter of SPJ for $75 annually and attend the Minority Communities training and future training opportunities for free. Go to https://www.spj.org to become a member. On-site training registration may be available depending upon the number of advance registrations. Room capacity will limit the number of registrations.

The Pyle Center has wireless access, but attendees may want to consider bringing a wireless air card or hot spot. Parking is available at the Lake Street Ramp, 415 N. Lake St.

Direct questions to Mark Pitsch at 608-252-6145 or [email protected].

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