Conference Highlights

Register by September 3rd, go to Disney World on us!

Walt Disney World Resort is generously providing two (2) one-day Park Hopper passes for each attendee who is registered for EIJ15 by the registration deadline of Thursday, Sept. 3. The passes will be valid from September 14-21, 2015.

Important: Passes must be requested by Thursday, Sept. 3 from Walt Disney World by sending an email to WDW.EIJ.CONF.TICKET.REQUESTS@DISNEY.COM. Please include your name, the email address you are using for the convention registration, the name of your news organization/school, and your title in the email.

Also important:
– Each EIJ15 pre-registered attendee must pick up their own passes from any of the Disney parks’ guest relations windows.
– Confirmation emails will be sent to those requesting passes approximately one week before the conference.
– This confirmation email and a photo ID are required when picking up passes at a park's guest relations window.

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Peek

Thursday, Sept. 17, 7-9:30 p.m. | Free

Walt Disney World invites pre-registered EIJ15 conference attendees to an exclusive sneak peek highlighting 20 delicious years of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

— Only those registered for the conference by the registration deadline of Thursday, Sept. 3 will be able to attend the festival.
— Attendees may not bring guests to the event.
— Attendees must take the provided transportation from the conference hotel to Epcot, no one may arrive on their own (shuttle times are TBA).
— Attendees under the age of 21 are welcome and proof of age will be required by all.

Opening Night Reception

Sponsored by CNNewsource
Friday, Sept. 18, 6:30-8 p.m.

Come out for a night of fun with your friends, colleagues and new connections at B.B. King’s Blues Club. Enjoy live music from the B.B. King’s Blues Club All-Star Band who will have you dancing to music inspired by the King of Blues, Queen of Motown and Soul of Funk. Save room for a variety of the South’s most delicious comfort food influenced by flavors from New Orleans all the way to the Mississippi Delta. Transportation will be provided.

EIJ15 Dance / El Gran Baile

Sunday, Sept. 20, 10 p.m.

Spend some time winding down from the fast-paced conference schedule while you enjoy the last hoorah for EIJ15! No ticket or advanced dancing skills required.

The Doctor is In

Saturday, Sept. 19, 2-3 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 20, 10-11 a.m.

Need some one-on-one or small-group feedback? Do you find it difficult to get that at such a large conference? Drop in to The Doctor Is In for a few minutes or the full time. Settle up to one table or make the rounds by visiting them all.

At The Doctor Is In you can talk to experts about your areas of passion, interest and needed improvement. This is your time to get customized, individualized feedback on key topics of interest to you, your beat and your career.

Even though roundtable topics will be designated prior to EIJ15, others will be suggested on-site from attendee feedback. Send suggestions to #EIJDR on Twitter. To see a complete list, check out EIJ15 on Twitter (#EIJ15) and the conference mobile app prior to the program to see all of the topics. Scheduled topics include personal branding, working with data, Web coding, FOI, ethics, diversifying news sources, journalists' rights, narrative storytelling, freelancing and more.


Video Critiques
Friday, Sept. 18: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 19: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 20: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

News directors and other professionals will be available to provide helpful suggestions about how to improve your clips and as a result, improve your journalistic skills.

Career Profile Critiques
Saturday, Sept. 19: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 20: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Whether a Twitter profile or Facebook page used for a blend of work and life, or the digital (or paper) resume you're shopping around to employers, all of these digital profiles say something important about you. Get helpful, honest feedback on any number of career-related presentations you'd like to have reviewed — all in one spot.

J-Expo Passport Challenge

Play fair and play nice! Remember that hundreds of your peers in the industry will see your comments and posts. Journey through the J-Expo & Career Fair. Stop and chat with exhibitors and recruiters to see what careers, products and services they have to offer. Scan the QR code in the booth and post a status update using the pencil icon at the top right of the app. After you’ve visited FIVE exhibitors and posted status updates to each, you’ll get the Passport Badge, which enters you into the drawing for great prizes. The game closes at 2 p.m. each day. At that time, attendees who have earned a Passport Badge will be entered into a drawing for a prize. Get excited, you may be a winner!

Instagram Contest: EIJ15 Through Your Lens

Get a behind-the-scenes look at EIJ15 by connecting with SPJ, RTDNA and NAHJ on Instagram! Then, share your best EIJ15 moments with us for a chance to win a 2016 conference registration. Entering is easy—upload your Instagram photos with the hashtag #EIJ15 between 8 a.m. Friday and midnight Sunday. The photo with the most likes will win!

Free Movie Screening:
“Kingdom of Shadows”

Saturday, Sept. 19, 7-9 p.m.

In “Kingdom of Shadows,” Bernardo Ruiz takes an unflinching look at the hard choices and destructive consequences of the U.S.-Mexico “drug war,” weaving together the stories of a U.S. drug enforcement agent on the border, an activist nun in violence-scarred Monterrey, Mexico, and a former Texas smuggler, to reveal the human side of an often misunderstood conflict that has resulted in a growing human-rights crisis that only recently has made international headlines. Director/screenwriter Bernardo Ruiz will discuss the film after the screening with film consultants Alfredo Corchado (Mexico City Bureau Chief, The Dallas Morning News) and Angela Kocherga (Border Bureau Chief, Gannett).

Click for speaker information
Bernardo Ruiz (@bernardoruizcom), Filmmaker, Founder, Quiet Pictures
Bernardo Ruiz is the founder of Quiet Pictures, an independent documentary production company. Ruiz was born in Guanajuato, Mexico, and grew up in Brooklyn. His first documentary, "Reportero," focused on a group of journalists working at an embattled Tijuana newsweekly. The film was nominated for an Emmy Award (Outstanding Informational Programming—Long Form). Before airing on PBS in 2013, it premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and screened at IDFA in Europe and Ambulante in Mexico. Ruiz's most recent documentary, "Kingdom of Shadows" (LO QUE REINA EN LAS SOMBRAS), premiered at SXSW in 2015 and has gone on to screen at Full Frame and Ambulante.

Alfredo Corchado (@ajcorchado), Mexico Bureau Chief, Dallas Morning News
Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, is a noted expert on immigration, drug violence, and foreign policy between the U.S. and Mexico. He has reported on everything from the disappearance of women in Juarez to the exodus of Mexico’s middle class to the United States. Over the years, he has exposed government corruption and the reach of Mexican drug traffickers into U.S. communities. He has described the perils that journalists face and the disturbing result: an increasingly silent Mexican press. Born in Durango, Mexico, Mr. Corchado grew up in California and Texas. He worked as a farm worker alongside his parents, who were members of the United Farm Workers, the union led by Cesar Chavez. Corchado’s father was a Bracero, part of a generation of Mexican workers who helped transform the United States and Mexico. As a reporter for U.S. newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, he has written about the plight of immigrants and their perilous journey to the United States. As a result of his reporting on the drug violence, Corchado has received numerous death threats that have forced him to leave Mexico for periods of time. He is a 1984 graduate of El Paso Community College and a 1987 graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso. Mr. Corchado has reported from Mexico, the United States and Cuba and has lived on both sides of the border, in El Paso, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Cambridge. He currently resides in Mexico City, but calls the border home. A 2009 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a 2010 Rockefeller Fellow and Woodrow Wilson Scholar, Corchado won the Maria Moors Cabot award from Columbia Journalism School in 2007 for extraordinary bravery and enterprise. In 2010 he was awarded Colby College’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism. He is the author of the book, Midnight in Mexico.

Angela Kocherga (@AKochergaBorder), Border Bureau Chief, Gannett
Angela Kocherga a journalist who covers the southwest border and Mexico on air and online. She has extensive experience reporting on the impact of the drug war on families on both sides of the border, immigration, trade and binational health issues. She has served as Border Bureau Chief for KHOU-TV and 45 other television stations owned by Tegna (formerly Gannett Broadcasting). Kocherga began her journalism career in public radio and local television in El Paso before moving to Dallas to work for WFAA TV. She later opened the Mexico City bureau for KHOU-TV and other Belo stations in Texas. She has earned several journalism awards including two Emmys for her drug war reporting from Ciudad Juarez. She’s a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Charging Lounge

Sponsored by ESPN | J-Expo, Crystal Ballroom

Too much tweeting, texting and taking notes got you running low on juice? Come charge your mobile device on the J-Expo floor. Look for the Hi-Top charging station across from the ESPN booth.

EIJ Headshot Studio

Sponsored by Fox News & Fox News Latino | J-Expo, Crystal Ballroom

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, don’t miss the chance to boost your portfolio with a FREE professional photo. Photographers will be on hand to take complimentary professional headshots of attendees. You will be able to download your images at the end of each day. If you like what you see, you will have an opportunity to order professionally retouched or printed versions of your headshot for a small fee.

EIJ Salon

Sponsored by JCPenney | J-Expo, Crystal Ballroom

Show up ready to make the right impression and perfect your on-camera look! Guests at the conference will be able to enjoy mini-salon services, a braid bar and hair consultations with our experienced salon stylists. Pass by the JCPenney booth; you will receive complimentary hair touch-ups and mini-makeovers provided by JCPenney.

Wild Florida Airboat Tour

Friday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | $45 | Purchase tickets

Travel deep into the protected swamps, marshes and rivers that make up the Central Florida Everglades. Get an in-depth look at the gators, birds, eagles, trees and plants as you glide through over 100,000 acres of beautiful wetlands. After the airboat tour, explore the wildlife park full of zebras, watusi, deer, emu, wild boar, lemurs, sloths, monster alligators and much more. With over 100 native and exotic animals, birds and alligators, we promise an adventure you won't forget! Transportation and boxed lunch provided.

Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism, featuring Lesley Stahl and Pierre Thomas

Open to all attendees

Join us for a very special session as CBS News Correspondent Lesley Stahl receives RTDNA’s prestigious Paul White Award. Hear directly from Stahl as she remarks on her 24-years at “60 Minutes” and illustrious career in broadcast journalism. The Paul White Award is RTDNA’s highest honor and recognizes an individual’s lifetime contributions to electronic journalism.

In addition, you won’t want to miss the presentation of the John F. Hogan Award to ABC News Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas. This award is named for the founder and first president of RTDNA, recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.

RTDNA Paul White & John F. Hogan Awards Reception

Sponsored by ABC News and NAB
Saturday, Sept. 19, 6:30-7:30 p.m. | $45
Purchase tickets

Come celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s Paul White Award recipient, CBS News Correspondent Lesley Stahl, and our John F. Hogan Award recipient, ABC News Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas. Let’s toast to their extraordinary contributions to journalism. Enjoy refreshments and a chance to connect with friends and colleagues on the Falls Function Lawn, located outside near the Falls Pool. Gentlemen, leave your jackets behind!

NAHJ Hall of Fame & Honors Luncheon

Presented by Toyota
Saturday, Sept. 19, 12:15-2 p.m. | $45 | Purchase tickets

NAHJ will honor the 2015 Hall of Fame inductees and will present the President’s Awards. The honorees join a distinguished list of colleagues who have been honored for paving the way for Latinos in journalism and for advocating on behalf of diversity in news.

Noche de Periodistas NAHJ Journalism Awards Gala

Sponsored by United
Sunday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m. | $80 | Purchase tickets

Join us as we celebrate the work of journalists with the return of our awards contest for individuals or team members who cover news on every platform. We will present the 2015 NAHJ Journalism Awards in 17 categories as well as the NAHJ George Ramos “Chale” Award and the Elaine Rivera Civil Rights and Social Justice Award. We will also honor famed Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui with the President’s Award of Valor, and the St Louis Post-Dispatch, ESPN’s One Nación and Latino USA with the President’s Award of Excellence.

NAHJ El Barrio Benefit Concert

Saturday, Sept. 19, 9 p.m. | Purchase tickets

The first annual El Barrio Benefit Concert brings national superstars Dascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black), J.W. Cortes (Gotham, The Blacklist) and Latina plus-size supermodel Denise Bidot to the Orlando World Center Marriott during the Excellence in Journalism Convention on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m.

Celebrity DJ AJ El Kallejero will keep the crowd moving at the star-studded event with a headline performance by Bachata Heightz, the urban-influenced bachata band with crossover hits "Me Puedo Matar," "Dime Porque," and "Tatuaje" with Elvis Crespo.

Get full details and purchase tickets here. Tickets cost $35 for all convention attendees and participants until September 4th. Tickets will cost $40 online after September 4th and $50 at the door.

SPJ President’s Installation Banquet

Sunday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. | $80 | Purchase tickets

National leaders for the Society take office and the Society's highest awards are presented. The most outstanding chapters are honored for their accomplishments.

The Student Union

Saturday, Sept. 19, 6:30-8 p.m.

The Student Union is an opportunity to celebrate exceptional work by student journalists from across the country. National winners of SPJ’s collegiate Mark of Excellence Awards program will be recognized. The MOEy award will be presented for the first time to honor the Mark of Excellence national winning work chosen to be the best of the best. SPJ will award students and educators for outstanding efforts on their campuses, and the Outstanding SPJ Campus Chapter of the Year will be announced.

Legal Defense Fund Silent and Live Auctions

Silent Auction: Available in the J-Expo
Live Auction: Sunday, Sept. 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see the fabulous items available for bid and to network with hundreds of journalists — all for a great cause! Proceeds from this event will go to SPJ’s Legal Defense Fund, a unique account that financially supports journalists waging legal battles to defend the freedom of speech and the press.

Want to pitch in? We'd love your help! You can help fight important legal battles that protect the First Amendment by contributing to SPJ's annual LDF auction. Journalism and campaign memorabilia, original artwork, autographed books and tear sheets and newsroom T-shirts always sell well. Get creative! For complete details on how you can donate an item, please follow this link (opens in a new window, so you won't lose your place here).


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