Campus Progress offers trainings to help you hone your skills in organizing and journalism. We are available to present them for members of our student network, other student organizations or publications, as an open campus event, and at conferences.
Please email email@example.com if you are interested in one of our skills or issues training workshops.Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in one of our journalism training workshops.
Wondering how you can leverage the power of the media to increase the power of your message, campaign, or event? This workshop is designed to help you navigate the waters of basic media relations and provide you with the tools and guidance you need to make your voice heard. The goal of the training is for you to come away from it feeling more confident about picking up the phone and calling a reporter, and to get you to start thinking creatively about what angles to explore during the planning process that will make your idea more attractive to reporters. The workshop covers a variety of topics, including: writing press releases and media advisories, making pitch calls, writing op-eds and letters to the editor, working with social media, and trouble-shooting.
Planning an Issue Campaign
Do you have a pressing issue you want to tackle but aren’t sure how to get started? Are you in the middle of a campaign and realize that you do not have a solid plan to win? This workshop can help by covering the basics of planning a campaign, like power mapping, creating a timeline, setting goals, and creating a strategy.
Campus Progress helps young people organize hundreds of successful events on campus each year, as well as a major national conference with 1,000 students from across the country. We want to share what we’ve learned! This workshop covers the basics of event planning, like getting speakers, making sure your event is well attended, generating press coverage, and logistics.
Want to change the way our governments are run? Our elected representatives often return to their districts to reconnect with voters, but they seldom engage young people. We will tell you how to find out when your representative will come to your home town, how to set up a meeting, and how to talk effectively with your representative.
Recruitment and Retention
If you've ever had trouble boosting membership or sustaining leadership in your organization, then this training is for you. The recruitment and retention training lays out strategies for finding volunteers, growing the membership of your group, and ensuring that these volunteers and members stick around for the long haul. Topics include volunteer motivation, recruitment tactics, and practices like creating leader ladders and scheduling one-on-ones, that help to make sure that new members stick around and become more involved. Participants also get to take a quiz to measure their level of burnout and discuss how to prevent it.
There’s so much more to working in coalition than inviting people to join you in your efforts. It’s hard work and requires skill, understanding, and strategy, but the rewards for you, your partners, and your cause are endless (and fun!). Learn the importance of working in coalition, how to identify allies, how to engage non-traditional partners, where coalition building fits in with your campaign plan, and why it might be just what you need to take your issue campaign to the next level.
Please email email@example.com if you are interested in one of our skills training workshops.
The introduction, or lede, is the most important element of journalistic writing. Readers give you only a few seconds to capture their attention, and if you fail they won’t read your story. This training addresses the differences between news and feature ledes, with an emphasis on how each is different from introductions in academic writing. Participants will have a chance to critique ledes from student and professional publications and web sites. Toward the end of the training, participants receive a “reporter’s notebook” and write a lede based on the facts provided. Ledes are anonymously shared with the group and critiqued.
Story Idea Generation
It sounds simple enough, but developing good story topics can be the most challenging part of alternative student journalism. How can you differentiate yourself from the school newspaper without losing relevance, and how can your publication, web site, or radio show become a “must-read” or “must-listen” on campus and in your community? We’ll read some professional journalists’ takes on where story ideas come from and what makes a topic good or bad. We’ll consider how a broad, relevant topic—climate change—can be covered from dozens of local angles. Then we’ll conduct a group brainstorm of ways to cover another broad topic. We’ll also read an article or two from the school newspaper as a jumping-off point for a discussion into whether and how alternative media can improve on the work of mainstream outlets.
Opinion in Journalism
The role of commentary is one of the most controversial issues in journalism. Do opinions belong in your news coverage, or should you aim for a more detached, objective approach and relegate commentary to a separate section? Speaking of objectivity, is it a noble goal for journalists to check their opinions and preconceptions at the door? What about dissenting opinion—is there any obligation to print conservative voices? We’ll read the opinions of one academic and one journalist, and then we’ll have a group discussion to gauge your reactions.
Grammar and Punctuation
Get out your Associated Press stylebooks for some copy-editing fun! This might be one of the harder elements of journalism, but you’ll lose trust from readers if they see lot’s of errers in your righting. We’ll cover about 20 of the most common mistakes and then distribute an informal quiz, which we’ll go over as a group.
Quick: A source you’re interviewing asks to go off the record. You have to decide fast. What do you do and say? In this training, we’ll cover this and several other ethical dilemmas student reporters face in the field, including how to handle situations in which your friends are sources, what to do on deadline night if you’re concerned about facts in a story, and how to handle a source who wants to see your story before it’s published.
You might admire Ta-Nehisi Coates or Jane Mayer, but let’s face it: It’s going to take a few decades before you’re that good. Journalists get their start by writing articles that contain original reporting, and interviewing is the best, easiest and most common way to accomplish that. We’ll talk about some tricks of the interviewing trade, and we’ll especially emphasize how to handle a source who’s unresponsive to your interview requests.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in one of our journalism training workshops.