The Radio Television Digital News Association is offering access to an upcoming webinar for free. In exchange, RTDNA is asking journalists to donate to a fund supporting victims of the Capital-Gazette shooting.
How to hack it? Each year, the Radio Television Digital News Association hosts about a half-dozen webinars that offer essential training on everything from ethics to reporting techniques. One upcoming edition offers training on how to cover a mass shooting.
After one such tragedy struck the Capital-Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, RTDNA immediately decided to waive registration fees for the webinar, scheduled for Wednesday. Instead, attendees are being asked to donate to a GoFundMe page supporting the newsroom.
Covering #breakingnews actually takes planning ahead and practice. That’s why we’re offering a free training next week on preparing for the ethical decisions required to cover mass shootings. Sign your newsroom up! https://t.co/xTluyYyg4L pic.twitter.com/2LdVBjAAG1
— RTDNA (@RTDNA) July 12, 2018
Why does it work? Freeing up the webinar and giving attendees an option to donate felt like the right thing to do, says RTDNA Executive Director Dan Shelley.
“The reason we’re doing this is not to gain members. It’s to serve both our members and other people in the broadcast and digital journalism profession, giving them some real-world guidance and guidelines that could perhaps keep them safe and [provide] knowledge and sensitivity when covering a mass shooting,” he says.
What’s the bonus? Shelley says he’s expecting Wednesday’s webinar to attract a large audience of members and nonmembers alike. “This is our way to educate more journalists now that a newsroom in America has been targeted, and also to give something back to the affected journalists in Annapolis,” he says.