TV Assignment Editor Workshop (Spring 2017)

Course Overview

TV Assignment Editor Workshop (Spring 2017)
Online Group Seminar
Time Estimate:
Each week of the online course will take about four hours, including weekly live discussions and one-on-one coaching sessions.

Enroll by Feb. 20, 2017, and save $50. Poynter Prepared members can save 20-25% on this course and all Poynter training. Learn more and join now.

About Online Group Seminars

In an online group seminar, you will gather with other participants in a virtual space, logging in from anywhere, day or night, over the course of several weeks. A faculty member guides the group through new material, moderates discussions and provides individual feedback.

This archived Online Group Seminar was originally available on:
March 6 to March 31, 2017

For the second year, Poynter is offering training exclusively for TV assignment editors. And to make it easy to attend, we are offering the training in LIVE one-hour online segments.

We will show you how to find stories and sources online, how to use great new tools to get stories online and on social media faster and how to help others to “get” your vision for the stories you are pitching. Assignment editors also have to help newsrooms drill down to find the truth in stories. We will strengthen your critical thinking skills to help inoculate you from the noise and nonsense that is constantly coming at you.

In this seminar, Poynter's Al Tompkins will guide you through weekly readings, activities and live group discussions.

Throughout this course, you'll gain practical and creative ideas to share with your colleagues and a new energy to bring to your work.

We have broken the course into four parts. Here's a quick breakdown of what we will cover:

Open House: Monday, March 6 at 1 p.m. Eastern

Part 1 (week of March 5): Story motivators and finding focus

  • Eight key motivators that make great stories. When you develop story ideas, these motivators should shape your pitch.
  • Finding Focus: Once you find a motivator, hone the pitch and help others to learn this skill as well. It will keep you from chasing every idea and will help producers know what to tease and promote.

Part 2 (week of March 12): Where to go to mine stories others miss

  • Learn how to mine campaign-spending reports, investigate corporations using SEC data, investigate airlines, OSHA, EPA, property records, government salaries, contracts and more.
  • We will also explore FOIA laws and show you the data trails that we all leave behind and journalists can use to find information about practically anybody.

Part 3 (week of March 19): Jaw-droppingly cool web tools

As an assignment editor, you often find yourself having to coach others to help them think of new ways to find and tell stories. You will learn how you can:

  • Capture videos from your computer screen and use you mobile phone to produce edited videos in breaking news. You can become invaluable to your online and social media team.
  • Create interactive maps and use Twitter’s deep search tools.
  • Mine metadata on photos and discover their origin.
  • Best of all, nearly all of these tools are free.

Part 4 (week of March 26): The power of critical thinking

Assignment editors are one of the newsroom’s key lines of defense for testing the truth of what we are reporting. Learn four key questions AEs should ask about every story. Critical thinking will force you to push beyond announcements and events to discover deeper more meaningful stories--the kind of journalism that sets you apart from the pack.

Each week you'll join live discussions. Because we know that “news happens” especially for assignment editors, we will record each segment to watch later--or any many times as you want.

What Will I Learn:
  • How to find stories that others miss
  • How to find a focus for your story
  • How to use new Web tools to enhance your storytelling
  • How to think critically about stories
Who should take this course:

TV assignment editors