Conference Highlights

Opening Night Reception

Sponsored by CNN Newsource
Sunday, Sept. 18, 8-10 p.m.

Come out for a night of fun with your friends, colleagues and new connections at the House of Blues, located in the historic French Quarter. The House of Blues is only a few short blocks away from the conference hotel. Enjoy live music, grab a drink and get a taste of true southern hospitality. Come kick-off EIJ16 at a party you don’t want to miss.

The House of Blues is located at 255 Decatur St. Exit the Sheraton New Orleans using the doors on Canal Street, turn right as you exit the hotel. At your first light, turn left onto Decatur Street. Walk 1.5 block, the House of Blues entrance is on your left.

Open to all registered attendees. Hosted bar and light appetizers provided.

Super Session: Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism with Charlie Rose and Jeff Marks

Monday, Sept. 19, 5-6:30 p.m.

Charlie Rose, co-host of CBS This Morning and host of the PBS interview show Charlie Rose, will receive RTDNA’s prestigious Paul White Award at EIJ16. Hear directly from Rose as he remarks on his more than 40-year career in 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 Distinguished Service Award to Jeff Marks, former president and general manager of WDBJ7 and now director for talent development for Gray Television. This award is named for the founder and first president of RTDNA and recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. Marks was GM at WDBJ when two of his employees were doing a morning news live shot and were murdered.

RTDNA Paul White & John F. Hogan Awards Reception

Come celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s Paul White Award recipient, CBS This Morning co-host and host of the PBS interview show, Charlie Rose, and our John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award recipient, director for talent development at Gray Television, Jeff Marks. Let’s toast to their extraordinary contributions to journalism. Enjoy refreshments and a chance to connect with friends and colleagues.

Super Session: ‘Spotlight’ and the Future of Investigative Journalism: A Q&A with Marty Baron

Sunday, Sept. 18, 3:30–4:45 p.m.

Fourteen years ago, the Boston Globe published an explosive and exhaustive series of stories about Catholic priests sexually abusing children and the church hierarchy that covered it up. The investigation by the Globe’s “Spotlight” team captured a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, inspired a Columbia University case study, and informed a Hollywood movie that grabbed 2016 Oscars for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. The Spotlight work and film are also creating urgent conversations about the need for more investigative work in U.S. newsrooms. In this EIJ Super Session, Marty Baron, editor of the Globe when it chased the priest abuse stories (portrayed by Liev Schreiber in the movie), talks with Kirsten Lundberg, former head of the Columbia case studies project, about the work that exposed a crisis in the Catholic Church, the film it inspired and the state of investigative journalism.

About Martin Baron
Martin Baron joined the Washington Post as executive editor Jan. 1, 2013, after almost 12 years as editor of the Boston Globe. He has also served as editor of the Miami Herald and held top editing positions at the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. He was named editor of the year by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2001, and editor of the year by the National Press Foundation in 2004.

About Kirsten Lundberg
Kirsten Lundberg owns the Boston-based Lundberg Case Consortium. She formerly created and ran the Case Consortium @ Columbia and the Knight Case Studies Initiative, both at Columbia University. A former journalist, she was a senior case writer (and eventually acting director) at the Harvard Kennedy School Case Program for many years. In addition to journalism, she has written cases on public health, public policy, sustainable development and other topics.

New Orleans Tours

Explore the city and unlock its secrets with the amazing selection of New Orleans tours! Use the EIJ16 registration form to reserve your spot.

Southern Food & Beverage Museum

– Saturday, Sept. 17, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
– Tuesday, Sept. 20, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
– Cost: SOLD OUT!

Discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and related culture of the South. Admission to the museum, a 30 minute guided tour, meal demo (and meal!) are included. The meal includes salad, bread, jambalaya and bananas foster with ice cream. Check out more at southernfood.org.

Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunt

– Saturday, Sept. 17, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
– Cost: SOLD OUT!

Want to explore the city but not sure where to start? You’re not hunting for things (put back that statue!) but for answers to tricky and humorous questions about the intriguing places and objects you discover. The questions emphasize nimble thinking and teamwork and are crafted to bring out the various skills of each member of your team. It’s not a race: the victory goes to the smartest and most creative team, not the fastest. Each team of five or six people (we will put you on a team or you can put together your own team) starts from the Sheraton and travels through the French Quarter. Visit watsonadventures.com for more information.

VIP City Tours (Katrina areas included)

– Saturday, Sept. 17, 12:15-3 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
– Tuesday, Sept. 20, 12:15-3 p.m.
– Cost: $45 per person (includes roundtrip transportation)

Take a ride through some of the most famous neighborhoods such as the Lower 9th Ward, Treme, French Quarter, St. Louis Cemetery #3, Lake Pontechartrain, 17th St Canal, and Garden District. See landmarks you don’t want to miss and listen to stories about this historic city. There will be opportunities to get out of the bus and explore some of the sites. You can learn more about VIP City Tours at neworleanscitysightseeingtours.com.

Mardi Gras World

– Saturday, Sept. 17, 12:30-2 p.m.
– Tuesday, Sept. 20, 12:30-2 p.m.
– Cost: SOLD OUT!

Since 1947, Blaine Kern Studios has created breathtaking parade floats not only for Mardi Gras but also for parades and special events all over the world. The Mardi Gras World tour lets you see exactly what it takes to bring Mardi Gras to life year after year. You’ll learn about the history of this unique tradition, going beyond its reputation for pure revelry to see the true roots of the REAL Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Great information about the history and tradition of Mardi Gras. Check out the Mardi Gras World website at mardigrasworld.com.

Le Musée de f.p.c. (free people of color)

– Saturday, Sept. 17, 1:30-3 p.m.
– Tuesday, Sept. 20, 1:30-3 p.m.
– Cost: $27 per person (includes round trip transportation).

Ms. Beverly McKenna is the owner of Le Musée and an African-American journalist and newspaper publisher of The New Orleans Tribune. Le Musée de f.p.c., located in Esplanade Ridge, one of the most historic areas of the city, is a unique attraction as it shares the rich history and culture of New Orleans free people of color. Visit lemuseedefpc.com for additional information on this amazing tour.

Steamboat Natchez

– Tuesday, Sept. 20, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (depart from the Sheraton via bus at 10:30 a.m., boarding 11 a.m., cruising from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)
– Cost: $41 per person (includes ONE WAY transportation to the dock — guests are on their own for their transportation back to the hotel)

This 2-hour cruise takes you back when cotton was king and life was as slow and graceful as the current on the Mississippi. See New Orleans as it can best be seen from the river aboard New Orleans' only authentic steamboat. Cruises include museum quality Steam Engine Room open to visitors, Smart phone signage on decks for self-guided boat tour, cocktail and wine options available for purchase on board, Duke Heitger's Steamboat Stompers Jazz Trio plays each Harbor Cruise. Visit steamboatnatchez.com for more information.

Instagram Contest

Get behind-the-scenes at EIJ16 by connecting with SPJ, RTDNA and NAJA on Instagram and share your best EIJ16 moments with us for a chance to win a free 2017 conference registration! Entering is easy: Use the hashtag #EIJ16 on your photos taken at this year’s conference and post them between 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 and midnight Tuesday, Sept. 20. The photo with the most likes will win!

Snapchat Contest

Just follow @spj_snaps and send us photos of you networking at the conference every day, between 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 and midnight Tuesday, Sept. 20. One of the best things about EIJ is the networking, so we want to see and hear about the new friends, mentors and connections you’ve made at EIJ16. Show us how you met, tell us what you’ve learned from each other, but keep it brief and squeeze it into a snap. Don’t forget to use our #EIJ16 Geofilter! All snaps sent to us will be entered into a random drawing to win a EIJ17 conference registration. We’ll feature our favorites on our Snapchat story.

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 attain the Passport Badge, which enters you into the drawing for a free year’s membership to RTDNA, SPJ and NAJA. 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!

Tarot Card Readings

Planning to head to the French Quarter for a tarot card reading?

EIJ16 and the SPJ Louisiana Chapter have it covered. Swing by the Tarot Card table in the J-Expo and hear what’s in the cards for you.

This is a fundraiser for the SPJ Louisiana Chapter and the chapter will use the funds to put on programming for journalists throughout the state. No contribution is too big or too small.


Sunday, Sept. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m.-Noon

Video & Audio: 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: Whether it's a social media profile or the résumé you're shopping around to prospective employers, all of your 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.

The Doctor Is In

Monday, Sept. 19, 2-3 p.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 one hour. 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 EIJ16, others will be suggested on-site from attendee feedback. Send suggestions to #EIJDR on Twitter. To see a complete list, check out Twitter (#EIJ16) and the conference mobile app prior to the program to see all of the topics. Scheduled topics are personal branding and social media, FOI, ethics, diversifying news sources, journalists' rights, narrative storytelling, freelancing and more.

You’ve Got Talent

Monday, Sept. 19, 2-4 p.m.

Let our panel be the judge. In an “American Idol” styled session, show your work to the pros — a talent agent, a performance coach, plus an award winning storyteller — and get their feedback in a fast-paced critique session that promises to be a benefit to you and the colleagues sitting in the audience.

If you want to be the talent on stage, sign up now for this unique feedback session by sending a message to Janice Gin (panel producer) via the EIJ App. For the session, have a DVD with your work sample (no longer than 3 minutes) ready to show the panel of pros.

Moderator: Jam Sardar (@JamSardar), News Director, WLNS Lansing, Michigan

Panelists: Al Corral, Talent Agent, Napoli Management Group; Joni Brander (@thetvcoachJoniB), TV News Talent Coach, thetvcoach.com; Mark Ginther, VP News, KXAS NBC5 Dallas

Click for speaker information
Jam Sardar
Jam Sardar has been the News Director at WLNS since 2009. He roots are in reporting first in Lansing, then Grand Rapids and Philadelphia. In addition to launching the WLNS’s social media efforts, Jam also started the Jackson bureau, and has helped guide the station to several major milestones: winning the morning show for the first time in more than a decade and, in this past year, winning Station of the Year from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Outstanding News Operation award from the Associated Press. 6 News has also won numerous awards including several regional Murrows and been the most honored station in mid-Michigan during his tenure. Jam is also serves on the Board of Directors of RTDNA, representing Region 7.

Mark Ginther
Mark Ginther is the Vice President of News at NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth/KXAS.
Ginther is an award-winning news professional with nearly 28 years of media industry experience. Prior to joining NBC 5, he was the Executive News Director at KING-TV and Northwest Cable Network in Seattle. His career has taken him to Dallas before as Assistant News Director at WFAA-TV, and News Director at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. He began his broadcasting career at radio and television stations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Ginther's news organizations have received numerous awards. KING received a national Murrow award for ""Overall Excellence"" from RTDNA, the ""Service to America"" Award from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). two George Foster Peabody Awards, a Columbia DuPont award, a national Emmy award for the station's investigative work and received national recognition for photojournalism and digital storytelling.

Joni Brander
Joni Brander is a TV Talent Coach and Appearance Consultant based in Chicago. She has coached news talent from CNN, network, and local news throughout the country for 25 years.

Brander served as the 1998-1999 Visiting Professional at Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism.

She has been a presenter and panelist at RTNDA (Radio-Television News Directors Association) and NATAS (National Academy for TV Arts and Sciences) national and local conventions.

She also wrote "Feedback," a TV news advice column for RTNDA's Communicator.

Brander's prior experience includes consulting and coaching for an international TV consulting firm, stints for television stations and production crews, and she was host and talent for numerous productions and videos.

Al Corral
Al Corral joined Napoli Management Group after spending more than 25 years in the industry, including syndication, public television and Spanish language. As one of the most respected and well known news leaders in both English and Spanish-language television, Al is uniquely qualified to represent today's TV news on-air talent.

He launched his successful career at KTVU in Oakland, CA and later brought his success to KPIX in San Francisco, the show “Extra” and the PBS flagship station KCET. In 2000, Al was recruited as Vice President/News Director for the NBC-owned Telemundo duopoly, KVEA & KWHY.

Al brings his news director talents to bear when it comes to identifying and nurturing talent. He coaches and develops his clients to realize their strengths and leverage them. He likes to say, "It's all about the three C's:" Confidence, Conversational, and Connecting.

SPJ Legal Defense Fund Silent Auction

The Society of Professional Journalists’ annual Legal Defense Fund Auction raises money for the Legal Defense Fund, a unique account that financially supports journalists waging legal battles to defend the freedom of speech and press. Join us in our efforts to keep information unrestricted and available to the public by bidding on one of this year’s auction items. Bidding closes at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19.

EIJ Dance

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 10 p.m.-Midnight

Open to all. Cash bar. Tuesday night.

Spend time winding down from the fast-paced conference schedule while you enjoy the last hoorah for EIJ16! No ticket or advanced dancing skills required.

Exhibitor and Recruiter Meet-n-Greet with Free Soda

Monday, Sept. 19, 2-3 p.m.

Sponsored by Coca-Cola

Looking to refuel? Coca Cola is giving out FREE sodas and popcorn. Stop by the J-Expo and mingle with exhibitors and recruiters. Several organizations are looking to hire, so bring your business cards and work the room!


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