Multimedia Immersion Workshop


The next Multimedia Immersion will take place in Syracuse NY on May 12th through 16th, 2015. It is an intense, five-day, hands-on training workshop for visual journalists looking to expand and grow their multimedia skillsets using the latest technology.

Our focus is on mixing photos, video and audio content and editing them into multimedia presentations.

To view a showcase of examples of video storytelling from the Multimedia Immersion click here.

Our previous students have ranged from multiple Pulitzer Prize Winners, Best of Photojournalism winners, the current White House Photographer, academics, editors, students, working professionals and freelancers all looking to supercharge their careers.

What You Will Learn:

  • Effectively planning and developing your story to save time on your workflow and increase the quality of your pieces
  • Professional audio recording techniques in the field from audio documentary experts
  • Hands-on explanations and experiences on how to use audio, video and photo gear -- along with recommendations on gear
  • Training on how to shoot visuals for multimedia storytelling including techniques for documentaries and working as a one-man-band or mobile journalist
  • Hands-on video production editing training and experience on Adobe Premiere and ethics and legal issues
  • How to navigate modern freelance and business issues when working in multimedia
  • Inspiring information on how the most cutting edge multimedia projects were created from the industry leaders that worked on them

Every student will produce their own finished, professional project -- from capturing all the content to editing to compressing the final files.

Hands-on Coaching: Unlike other multimedia training workshops, we provide the most personalized training experience with the lowest student-to-teacher ratio (with about 20 coaches for 40 students). Students will be personally coached by industry leaders and the best educators in the country.

Tools: Participants will be provided with computers and software to use for the week from the S.I. Newhouse School for Public Communications at Syracuse University. Cameras from Canon and Nikon will also be provided for use on site.

Students are strongly encouraged to bring whatever audio and video equipment you use on an everyday basis so learning can be done on gear that will be used back at home in the field. But if you cannot bring your own there will be equipment onsite for you to use.


Follow the Multimedia Immersion on Twitter and Facebook for updates and news throughout the year:





Member    $1,095
Non-member    $1,205

You must be logged in to your member account to receive the discount.

Hotel reservations should be made at the Sheraton Syracuse University at 801 University Ave · Syracuse, NY 13210, which is very close to the Immersion. Special rates have been secured for Immersion attendees. The group rate will be available until April 11, 2015. Subject to availability by calling(315) 475-3000 Be sure to mention that you would like the NPPA Rate.

Attendees can arrange to share rooms through the Multimedia Immersion discussion group.

Students that do not drive to the event are encouraged to rent a car to go out and shoot stories.

If you have additional questions about the 2015 Multimedia Immersion, please contact event co-chair, Seth Gitner.

Who is the workshop for?
This is a workshop for still photographers to learn how to properly use a HDSLR to tell video stories. From freelancers, to non-profit and NGO storytellers, to university and corporate multimedia producers, to military photographers, to photojournalists, to advanced hobbyists, to educators looking to raise their visual skill sets -- we have a very diverse array of student backgrounds at the Multimedia Immersion.

What should I expect from this workshop?
Rest up, because we work hard and we play hard. Here’s a visual view of some of the previous workshops.

You should expect to have the most rich learning experience available, immersing yourself deep in multimedia storytelling and technology in five intense, long days.

We start early in the morning and some nights go late (especially on the production nights. So expect 12 or more hour days. On most days, we start at 8 a.m. and end by 9 p.m. (and then we usually have some sort of optional happy hour or social networking event planned), except for on the final production day, which can run late into the night (luckily, Insomnia Cookies is across the parking lot to keep you on a sugar high). Don’t worry though, your coaches and the support staff will be there with you.

At the end of it all, every student produces a polished story that they can take home and add to their portfolio. They also receive a binder full of training materials, extra information and tutorials from the week, as well as dozens of new friends, leading experts and a whole new network of resources to call upon for future questions, advice and job opportunities.

How much money will I need to spend in addition to the fee?
In addition to registration, plan on budgeting for:
Travel (train, plane, bus, hovercraft, whatever you need to get to Syracuse)
Hotel (the official hotel at the Syracuse Sheraton is one block from the workshop and dozens of restaurants and bars, so it’s very convenient logistically and with the NPPA rates of $127 (single/double) $137 (triple),and  $147 (quad), not a bad deal, especially if you split with another student. It’s location alone is worth a little extra money because it will save you valuable time during the Immersion. You don’t need to stay there though, Syracuse is pretty cheap especially off-season when school is out so you can usually find deals comparison shopping at or
Most meals and drinks (we usually are able to get a couple meals sponsored and provide coffee in the morning)
In-town transportation (Planning on having a rental car for Wednesday and Thursday, or cab fare, to get to your story is also needed)

We do our best to help keep down the costs associated with the workshop, so we heavily encourage students to share rooms, travel and car rentals if they’re interested. Prior to the workshop we will set up a Facebook group where participants can meet and connect with each other to do this.

We also recommend that each student bring an external hard drive (to take all their finished project files and raw multimedia home), extra memory cards, a tripod or monopod and headphones (because other people’s earwax is gross).

When should I plan my travel for and when/where should I show up?
For flights/travel arrangements, we'll begin at 7:30 a.m. on the Tuesday that the workshop starts and we wrap everything up around 4 p.m.ish on Saturday when it ends.

Most people stay that night and go out dinner/drinks together, then leave on the following Sunday, but if you need to to get out that evening, we'll be finished by 4 p.m.

Please plan on working full days for the workshop. If you want to do some tourist activities, meet with locals you might know or things like that, please save that for before or after the Immersion. This is an intense, fully-immersive workshop and we want to give you as much as humanly possible for you money, so we normally go from at least 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, with a couple days that sometimes go later than that when we're doing final production on the projects. You get what you put into the workshop and we want you to get a lot out of it, so we expect a lot out of our students.

Where does everything happen?
Here’s a Google map with some of the important locations including parking (for those of you not staying at the conference hotel), the workshop location (Newhouse III at Syracuse University), the official hotel and the area where there’s a lot of restaurants and bars nearby.

Where should we park?
Parking at the hotel is included if you’re staying there, and it’s only a block from the workshop.

For those of you NOT staying at the Sheraton Hotel, you should park at the Van Buren and Irving Street garage (it's on the google map above). It costs $7-15 a day depending on which lot you stay in and when you arrive. Here's more info about the parking lots and pay structure:

How do I get from the airport to the official hotel?
There is a free shuttle from the airport to the Syracuse Sheraton Hotel (the official hotel with the NPPA discounted rate) The airport is 15 to 20 min ride from Syracuse University / the Sheraton When you land at the just call the hotel and they will come to pick you up from: 5 am to 10:30 pm. Phone: (315) 475-3000 Toll-Free: (866) 716-8115

Do I need to find my own story?
Nope, we find local story topics and characters for you. Each participant picks their story out of hat at the start of the workshop, so you can focus on learning the technology and storytelling, and less about parachuting into a foreign town to try and find an interesting story out of the blue.

Having said that, if you are working on a beat or want to cover a certain topic in Syracuse and already have a story idea, you’re welcome to do that, but setting up those logistical details are up to you.

What kind of stories have students produced in previous years?
Check out the hundreds of examples from Pulitzer Prize winners, White House Staff Photographers,  leading educators and more Immersion alumni.

What software will I be learning?
We will be training with Final Cut Pro X on 24” iMacs provided by Syracuse University.
Do I need to bring my own gear?
We recommend you bring your own gear so that when you return to work you have all the answers to your gear questions, but having your own gear prior to the workshop is not required both Nikon and Canon will be on hand to loan out gear -- usually the latest gear that each brand has available, and Syracuse University provided 27 inch iMacs and the software installed on them to be used for the workshop.

What is the student to teacher ratio?
We make it so that there is 1 coach for every 2 participants, the highest of any workshop or other training experience short of a personalized mentorship! This allows you to get very personalized training from the top visual storytellers and educators in the industry.

Who are the coaches?
The team changes a bit every year, but here’s last year’s warriors to give you a feel. We pride ourselves on the extremely high quality of our family of coaches. We select them specifically for five core reasons:
They’re excellent teachers with years of experience coaching.
They’re innovative visual storytellers who have a mastery of the technology.
They’re hard workers. (This workshop goes long and it goes hard. It’s an Immersion, so your coaches will be up with you, coaching by your side throughout the night if needed.)
They’re from a diversity of backgrounds, mediums, skillets and experiences.
They’re great to have a beer with. (We work hard, we play hard.)

We also have official reps from Nikon and Canon on hand throughout the week to answer questions and help with the gear (as well as show off some of their advanced features and pro-tips).

Do you have any discounted rates?
Outside of the discount for NPPA members, we don’t offer any other discounts. Those rates are $1,095 for NPPA members or $1,205 without a membership.

Do you have any grants available?
Sometimes, but they depend on outside grants and are offered on a first come, first served basis. Watch,, Multimedia Immersion Facebook or the @NPPAImmersion Twitter account for announcements. You can also contact the NPPA national office for more information.

I don't want to take the workshop I just want to observe can I do that?
Sorry, we don't allow any outside observers due to space constraints.

Can I ask for a specific coach to work with?
We match coaching teams to the participants skill sets, so while we will do our best to match up participants with appropriate coaches, we can’t guarantee anything.

Where can I get more information about the workshop?
Feel free to email us! We are very good a responding to email quickly.

Do you ever sell out?
Yes, in the past we have sold out almost every year and we cap the workshop at 40 participants.

When do you start registration?
We plan to start registration in mid-February, if you want us to notify you when we launch registration email us and put *immersion* in the subject line or follow the @NPPAImmersion Twitter, Multimedia Immersion Facebook , or

Confirmed coaches for the 2015 Multimedia Immersion are listed below to give you an inidication of the quality of the coaching you will receieve. More coaches TBA.

McKenna Ewen - The Washington Post

Luanne Dietz - Cause Beautiful

Jamie De Pould - The Cleveland Clinic

Curt Chandler - Penn State University

Alexandra Garcia - The New York Times

Lauren Frohne - The Seattle Times

Regina McCombs - Minnesota Public Radio

Dan Kraker - Minnesota Public Radio

Eric Seals - The Detroit Free Press

Nyier Abdou - Freelance

Ben de la Cruz - National Public Radio

Drew Jordan - Spēk Pictures

Guest Speakers 

Mickey Osterreicher - NPPA Attorney

Bruce Strong - S.I. Newshouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University

Jason Kohlbrenner - S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University


Lenny Christopher - Graduate Student, S.I. Newshouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University

Maura Lisson - Graduate Student, S.I. Newshouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University

Workshop Co-Directors

Seth Gitner - S.I. Newshouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University

Will Sullivan - Broadcasting Board of Governors

Seth Gitner is an Assistant Professor of Newspaper and Online Journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Previously he was the multimedia editor for The Roanoke Times/ in Roanoke, Va. Before entering the online news side of journalism, Seth was a photojournalist for 10 years. Each month he writes a column for the National Press Photographers Association's News Photographer Magazine called Multimedia Moments. Gitner's multimedia storytelling has been recognized by both the Pictures of the Year International Contest and the NPPA Best of Photojournalism Contest.

Will Sullivan is the Mobile Products Manager for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency that operates digital and broadcast properties including The Voice of America, Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia. He was previously the Director of Mobile News for Lee Enterprises and a 2010-2011 Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Fellow at the University of Missouri, where he studied mobile, tablet and emerging technologies. Before that, he was the Interactive Director of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he lead the organization’s mobile, social and multimedia initiatives. Sullivan was recently selected by Editor and Publisher as one of 2012’s “25 under 35” innovative young leaders in modern journalism. Sullivan’s work has won more than a dozen professional awards from organizations including the Online News Association, Society for News Design and National Press Photographer Association; projects he’s worked on have twice been declared finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and twice been named to Editor and Publisher’s annual list of “10 That Do It Right.” His personal website,, was also recognized by Harvard University’s Nieman Journalism Lab as one of the 10 best “future-of-journalism” blogs. He’s the secretary of the Online News Association’s board of directors as well as a board member for the Society for News Design foundation and co-creator and co-director of the NPPA’s Multimedia Immersion. Sullivan also frequently offers strategic and technical consulting in emerging technologies, as well as hands-on training at organizations, universities, workshops and conferences around the world including the Knight Digital Media Center, South by Southwest Interactive and The Poynter Institute. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @Journerdism.