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Need to Know: webinar series focusing on elections

MDDC’s Need to Know series focuses on how newsrooms can navigate the upcoming election season.  Webinars present concise, useful tips and knowledge that reporters and editors will benefit from. The small class size (limited to 18 participants) promotes discussion and interactive activities.  Join us for one or all of these FREE sessions.

Copyright Law
Wednesday, September 9 from 9:30 am - 10:15 am


Can I use this picture? What about this social media screen grab? Alia L. Smith, of the Washington D.C. office of Ballard Spahr, will discuss the dos and don'ts of copyright in the newsroom.

Alia's practice focuses on defending publishers and broadcasters against claims of defamation and other newsgathering torts, and representing them in litigation over access, the Freedom Of Information Act, subpoenas, copyrights, and trademarks. In addition, she provides counseling and prepublication advice to a number of the firm’s clients.



Creating election coverage that's trusted
Wednesday, September 23 from 9:30 am - 10:15 am


Are you explaining your ethics, sourcing and processes to your audience? Do you know what people DON'T trust about your work, and are you ready to defend your election coverage if its credibility is questioned? (If not you, who will?) In this session, Trusting News Director Joy Mayer will share quick things you can build into your work that will demonstrate your credibility and actively earn trust.

Joy Mayer, Trusting NewsJoy founded Trusting News in 2016 after a 20-year career in newsrooms and teaching. She spent 12 years at the Missouri School of Journalism, where she created an audience engagement curriculum and a community outreach team in the newsroom of the Columbia Missourian and also taught web design and print design. In addition to Trusting News work, she is an adjunct faculty member at The Poynter Institute. She can be reached at joy@TrustingNews.org.




Following the Money: Campaign Finance reports across the region
Wednesday, September 30 & Thursday, October 1

In advance of campaign finance report deadlines, learn the ins and outs of reporting with these critical, yet dense, documents.  There will be separate webinars for Maryland, Delaware, D.C. and the federal level, so you can do a deep dive or stick to your specific jurisdiction.

Maryland Campaign Finance Reports
Wednesday, September 30, 9:30 am - 10:15 am


Pamela Wood of the Baltimore Sun and Jared DeMarinis of the State Board of Elections share the ins and outs - and reporting opportunities - of Maryland's dense yet critical campaign finance reports.

Pamela Wood, BSMGPamela covers Maryland politics from The Baltimore Sun's State House bureau in Annapolis. She's been with The Baltimore Sun since 2013, and previously wrote for The Capital, the Maryland Gazette, the Daily Times (Salisbury) and Gannett News Service.



Jared is the Director of Candidacy and Campaign Finance for the Maryland State Board of Elections. His main duties include the implementation of electoral policy and the interpretation of state candidacy and campaign finance laws and regulations.



Delaware Campaign Finance Reports
Wednesday, September 30, 10:30 am - 11:15 am


Karl Baker of the Wilmington News Journal will share his expertise deciphering the Delaware Campaign Finance reports.

Karl is a reporter who has worked in Delaware for 5 years, focusing on the movements of money in the state and in particular the Delaware corporate franchise.




Local D.C. Campaign Finance Reports
Thursday, October 1, 9:30 am - 10:15 am


Fenit Nirappil of the Washington Post will share his expertise cracking the D.C. Campaign Finance reports and the new website.

Fenit covers D.C. government and politics for The Washington Post's local politics team. Before moving to the D.C. beat, he was part of a team of reporters covering the governor's race and other elections in Virginia. Since joining the Post in 2015, he has written stories across the Washington region spanning breaking news, campaigns and government accountability.



Details of the federal finance report webinar will be posted soon.

Making sense of polls
Wednesday, October 7 from 9:30 am - 10:15 am


Sample size?  Margin of error?  Wait, statistics?  Mileah Kromer, founder of the Goucher College Poll, explains what you need to know to analyze and understand polling data during election - or any - season.

Mileah currently serves as the Director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College which conducts the Goucher College Poll. Mileah founded the Poll in 2012 and has since grown it into a highly respected survey of Maryland public opinion, with results that have gained national recognition and been cited in the New York Times, MSNBC, The Atlantic, FiveThirtyEight and Real Clear Politics.  She also owns a private survey research firm, Federal Hill Research Group, that helps non-profits, public advocacy organizations, public affairs agencies and businesses understand what the public is thinking.



Interviewing sources about sensitive subjects
Wednesday, October 21 from 9:30 am - 10:15 am


Reporters are there at the high and low moments, interviewing people in tough situations or when emotions run high.  How can you get your source to open up and trust you with their story - not just what they want you to hear? Join Susan Canfora of Coastal Point to learn how to gain trust with sources, even if you've just met.

Susasn Canfora, Coastal PointSusan is a veteran news reporter who has written for many newspapers and held positions ranging from managing editor to her favorite, news reporter. She joined the Coastal Point in June 2019. She teaches college writing, tutors and professionally edits.

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