Free Observer workshop helps citizens cover the news

Journalist Bob Rosenbaum.  Photo courtesy of Bob Rosenbaum.

“You Too Can Write the News,” a free workshop for citizen journalists, will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, in Meeting Room A of the Noble Neighborhood Library, 2800 Noble Road.

The workshop, hosted by the Heights Observer and FutureHeights, is the first in a series, and is designed to help people who want to foster discussion of community issues by writing in the Heights Observer or any other citizen journalism project.

Topics covered in the first workshop are vital reporting skills and techniques to make the writing process fast and easy. They are comparable to those taught in college-level journalism courses.
The workshop will be conducted by Bob Rosenbaum, an award-winning reporter, editor and publisher -- at local, regional and national newspapers and magazines -- for nearly 30 years.

Rosenbaum is a life-long resident of Cleveland Heights and a member of the Heights Observer editorial board.

“This is for the many people who are already contributing to the Heights Observer, and for anyone who would like to contribute,” Rosenbaum said. “People who attend this seminar will walk away with all the basics for reporting a news story accurately and fairly; and they’ll have a set of tools to help them write that story quickly and easily -- without any of the anxiety that many people have when faced with a blank computer screen.”

Information will include who to interview and what to ask; which facts to include in the article; how to start the article and how to assure its readability.

“Newswriting doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, there's a lot of formula involved,” Rosenbaum said. “Our goal in this workshop is to provide that formula so everyone can feel qualified to make their contribution.”

The workshop will include hands-on exercises with guidance from other working journalists who are involved with the Heights Observer project. It will conclude with ample open time for additional questions and one-on-one guidance.

The workshop is free, but reservations are highly recommended. To make reservations, please call the Heights Observer/FutureHeights at 216-320-1423. You can also sign up on, in the “events” box of the “FutureHeights” group.

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Volume 2, Issue 5, Posted 12:48 PM, 04.23.2009