Regional journalists gather at the Reynolds School for a digital storytelling workshop

Regional journalists gather at the Reynolds School for a digital storytelling workshop

From an exhaustive list of cutting edge digital storytelling tools to a in-depth look at how we can break out of our bubbles and see things from other people’s perspectives, the Online News Association’s Digital Storytelling Workshop gave regional journalists a chance to network and pick up new skills.

The event took place all day Friday and was hosted by the Reynolds School of Journalism on the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

Michelle Billman, Reno Public Radio news director, sent her reporters to the training and caught a couple sessions herself.

“We’re a small newsroom and it means a lot to have access to this level of expertise that’s available, local and free,” Billman explained. “It’s always refreshing to meet with other media professionals, especially folks from different kinds of media outlets.”

Professionals came from across the West Coast came together to share ideas and connect around digital storytelling.

Robin Epley is an Associate Editor at Comstock’s Magazine in Sacramento. She drove up for the day.

“I think I mostly enjoyed being around other journalists all day who wanted to discuss the nitty-gritty of the industry. It wasn’t just a group of people I had something vaguely in common with, it was a group of fellow journalists who wanted to know what I had to say — and I wanted to know what they had to say, too,” explained Epley. “We traded thoughts and strategies all day, and I walked away with a dozen new ideas to implement back at my office. I am full to brimming with excitement over it all.”

The day started with a light breakfast and then Kim Bui, NowThis and ONA LA, Robert Hernandez, USC Annenberg and ONA LA, and Victor Hernandez, of Banjo and ONA Las Vegas provided a lighting round of digital tool suggestions – resulting in a lot of furious note taking and app downloads. Hernandez drafted a post with all the suggestions.

Then there were two sessions, one about instagram strategies with ONA Reno’s own Caren Roblin, Swift Communication. Roblin stressed the importance of constancy and quality in your instagram images and explained the strategic differences between Instagram Stories and regular posts. You can watch the entire session on ONA Reno’s Facebook page.

The other session tackled the Reaching New Audiences in the Age of the “Filter Bubble.”

Jessica Estepa, Reynolds School Graduate and writer and editor for USA TODAY OnPolitics presented with Vincent Chang of SmartNews, and Julia Ritchey of KUER in Salt Lake City. The panel was moderated by Ernie Ting, CivImpact Labs and ONA SF. They panel discussed how they could reach “red” and “blue” audiences

After the morning sessions workshop attendees broke for lunch and then reconvened to discuss tips for remote working and challenges with live video. Presenters Kim Bui and Kelly Jones talked about how weird things can get when you spend too much time working alone and provided tips for navigating the challenges and enjoying the freedom remote working affords. Here’s their list of remote working tips.

The afternoon sessions wrapped up with “F*** it, We’ll Do It Live!” presented by

Victor Hernandez, and Greg Retsinas of KGW Media Group and ONA Portland. With so many newsrooms working on getting news to consumers faster, better and cheaper live video is a game changer. This session helped journalist figure out how to do it right. Here are the slides from the live video session, which, ironically, was not live streamed.

During the two afternoon sessions Cole Goins and Katherine Mieszkowski from the Reveal podcast presented a very special hands-on podcasting 101 session. They showed journalists how to produce a print and audio product in tandem.

The festivities wrapped up with a happy hour sponsored by the Reynolds School at the Depot in downtown Reno.

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