Conference Highlights

Opening Night Reception

Thursday, Sept. 4, 7–8:30 p.m. | Free
Sponsored by CNN Newsource

When else will you have the chance to line dance with a group of journalists?

The Opening Night Reception gives you the opportunity to put on some cowboy boots and kick off the journalism conference of the year. Journos, live country music, line dancing lessons and fried pickles can all be found under one roof at the Wildhorse Saloon — a quintessential night in Nashville, Tenn. This is a great time to mingle with conference attendees and network with your fellow journalists. You might even pick up a business card on the dance floor.

The event, sponsored by CNN Newsource, is open to all registered attendees. So, roll into the Opening Night Reception and get acquainted with Music City and the journalists who will be inhabiting it from Sept. 4 to 6.

Super Session with Kara Swisher

Friday, Sept. 5, 2-3 p.m.

Hear what it takes to start and maintain a successful tech and media company in the 21st century — and the personal ethics statements that make it possible.

Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) is co-CEO of Revere Digital and co-founder of technology news and analysis site Re/Code. She previously oversaw the wildly popular “AllThingsD” conferences and website, in partnership with the Wall Street Journal.

At EIJ14, she’ll take the stage to share her story of a female journalist and business owner navigating a segment of the industry that has much less gender (and other) diversity than it should. Along with her business and journalism partner Walt Mossberg, Swisher has interviewed some of the biggest names in tech and media — including a famous exchange on stage that left Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg sweating and the historic joint interview of Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

Read more about Kara here.

About Kara Swisher

Kara Swisher is the co-CEO and co-owner of Revere Digital, with Walt Mossberg. It is a tech and media news company that publishes the Re/Code site and puts on a series of Code Conferences, which features prominent speakers from the digital industry.

Revere has minority investments from NBC News and Windsor Media.

Before Revere, Swisher co-produced and co-hosted The Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital,” with Mossberg. It was the major high-tech conference with interviewees such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and many other leading players in the tech and media industries. The gathering was considered one of the leading conferences focused on the convergence of tech and media industries.

She and Mossberg were also the co-executive editors of the tech and media Web site AllThingsD.com.

Swisher worked in The Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau. For many years, she wrote the column “BoomTown,” which appeared on the front page of the Marketplace section and also on The Wall Street Journal Online at WSJ.com. Previously, Swisher covered breaking news about the Web’s major players and Internet policy issues, and also wrote feature articles on technology for the Journal. She has also written a weekly column for the Personal Journal on home issues called “Home Economics.”

Previously, Swisher worked as a reporter at the Washington Post and as an editor at the City Paper of Washington, D.C. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her graduate degree at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Swisher is the author of “Aol.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web,” published in 1998. The sequel, “There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future,” was published in 2003.

Super Session: Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism

Friday, Sept. 5, 5-6 p.m.

Join us for a very special super session as former NBC Sports Chairman, Dick Ebersol (right, top) receives the prestigious Paul White Award. Hear directly from Ebersol as he remarks on his illustrious career behind the cameras. Ebersol has a renowned legacy of success on distinguished programs such as Saturday Night Live, the World Series, and the Summer and Winter Olympics.

In addition, you won’t want to miss the presentation of the John F. Hogan Award to longtime CBS Radio News Vice President Harvey Nagler (right, bottom). Nagler spearheads CBS News radio operations worldwide and under his watch the network has won dozens of national and international awards, including RTDNA’s Edward R. Murrow “Overall Excellence Award” for an unprecedented seven years in a row.

The Paul White Award is RTDNA’s highest honor and recognizes an individual’s lifetime contributions to electronic journalism. The John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, named for the founder and first president of RTDNA, recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.

A separate reception will immediately follow the awards presentation. Tickets to the reception are $45, and can be purchased here.

Celebration of John Seigenthaler's Life

Thursday, Sept. 4, 3:45-4 p.m.

A great man, a great journalist, a great lover of freedom. Join us as we remember John Seigenthaler, a man who championed freedom and leaves a lasting legacy. John was a crusading journalist in the truest sense. As editor of The Tennessean, in Nashville, he covered the Civil Rights movement when many Southern newspapers would not. John was also the first editorial page editor of the then-new USA TODAY in 1982, developing the most balanced opinion pages in the country. He was fueled by his passion for the First Amendment, the sense that every voice has value. In 1991, John retired from his newspaper role to found the First Amendment Center. It was a role he was born to. Long an advocate for the underdog, John was a passionate champion for the five freedoms that few Americans knew much about and inevitably took for granted.

The celebration will precede the Freedom Sings Concert (details immediately below).

Freedom Sings Concert

Freedom SingsThursday, Sept. 4,
4-5:30 p.m.

Freedom Sings is an entertaining, engaging and irreverent look at free speech and music censorship that has toured the nation for more than a decade. An all-star band of Nashville singers and songwriters plays the "most dangerous" tunes of the past century, including once-controversial songs by the Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Black-Eyed Peas and LMFAO. Not to be missed.

Echoes of Nashville Walking Tour

Thursday, Sept. 4, 1-4 p.m. | $30 (Register)

On the Echoes of Nashville Walking Tour, guides will take you back into Nashville’s historic past. Participants will experience Nashville history from the 18th century through the modern Music City era. Sites along the way include: Fort Nashborough, Public Square, Davidson County Courthouse, Tennessee State Capitol, The Hermitage Hotel, and the Ryman Auditorium. Transportation to the starting point is included in the tour registration fee. Participants will be walking approximately 1.5 miles on the tour.

SAG-AFTRA presents Stories & Songs

Friday, Sept. 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Open to all (cash bar available)

Just as journalists bring the stories of American lives into the minds of individuals across the country, songwriters have been telling the American story through the medium of song for generation after generation. SAG-AFTRA invites you to take a glimpse into the timeless tradition of storytelling through song as some of Nashville’s finest perform and discuss the stories behind the songs that made them famous. Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame members Dickey Lee (George Jones’ She Thinks I Still Care and Tracy Byrd’s Keeper of the Stars) and Pat Alger (Garth Brooks’ Unanswered Prayers and The Thunder Rolls) host this insider’s look at what it means to be a ‘storyteller’ in Music City, U.S.A.

Film Screening: "A Fragile Trust"

Friday, Sept. 5, 7-9 p.m. | Ryman A Lower Level

Over 11 years after Jayson Blair brought one of the world's most powerful journalism institutions to its knees, the full story is told in detail in this documentary making the rounds on the festival circuit. It's a must-see for anyone, especially journalists, interested in the cautionary tale of how power, prestige and privilege fed the ethics debacle that shook The New York Times to its core.

Synopsis from filmmaker Samantha Grant:

Through the course of the film, we follow Blair as he slowly unravels in the face of mounting pressures and distractions. Starting with his ‘reporting’ of the plagiarized article that ultimately led to his undoing, we trace the rise and fall of this fascinating young reporter as he clings to his career at the Times even as he is losing his mind. The Jayson Blair scandal is at the most basic level a compelling, character-driven narrative about an important chapter in the history of journalism. It is also a complex story about power, ethics, representation, race, and accountability in the mainstream media. Featuring exclusive interviews with everyone involved, including former Executive Editor Howell Raines and Blair himself, "A Fragile Trust" is the first film to tell the whole sordid story of the scandal while exploring these deeper themes. With more and more publications moving to online-only formats and plagiarism on the rise, this cautionary tale about the slippery slope of ethical transgressions is more relevant than ever.

See more about the film and engage with filmmaker Samantha Grant at AFragileTrust.com.

EIJ14 Dance

Saturday, Sept. 6, 10 p.m.

Join us for the party after the party. Immediately following the SPJ Banquet, you are invited, free of charge, to attend the first-ever EIJ14 Dance. Enjoy the last hoorah for EIJ14! No ticket or advanced dancing skills are required.

Legal Defense Fund Silent and Live Auctions

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. Both the live and silent auctions will take place during the Excellence in Journalism 2014 conference.

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).

The Student Union

Friday, Sept. 5, 6 p.m.

This event will be an opportunity to celebrate exceptional work by student journalists from across the county. National winners of SPJ’s collegiate Mark of Excellence Awards program will be recognized. SPJ will not only award students and educators for outstanding efforts on their campuses, but also the outstanding SPJ campus chapter of the year will be announced.

The Doctor is In

Friday, Sept. 5, 11 a.m.-Noon
Saturday, Sept. 6, 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 EIJ14, others will be suggested on-site from attendee feedback. Send suggestions to #EIJDR on Twitter. To see a complete list, check out EIJ14 on Facebook, Twitter (#EIJ14) 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.

Book Signings & Bookmart

Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Check out some of the great books for sale at the BookMart (located inside the J-Expo). Additionally, drop by the book signings listed below to get your autographed copy.

Caryl Rivers, “The New Soft War on Women”
Friday, 1:45 p.m., BookMart, J-Expo

Al Tompkins, “Aim for the Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters”
Friday, 1:45 p.m., BookMart, J-Expo

Jill Geisler, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know”
Friday, 3:15 p.m., BookMart, J-Expo

Paul Steinle, “Practicing Journalism”
Saturday, 2 p.m., Ryman Studios J Foyer


Video Critiques
Thursday, Sept. 4: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 5: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 6: 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
Friday, Sept. 5: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 6: 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.

More announcements coming soon! In the meantime, please visit the following pages for available details about planning your trip, planning your stay and participating as a presenter, sponsor or exhibitor:

EIJ14 Hotel and Travel Details
Tentative Schedule at a Glance
Registration Rates
Information for Sponsors, Exhibitors, Recruiters and Advertisers

SPJ President’s Installation Banquet

Saturday, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. | $80 (Register)

Sit back, relax and be inspired. Hear from those in the journalism community — including NPR host and special correspondent Michele Norris (right) — who have gone above and beyond and set the standard high for all those who strive every day to be a better journalist.

Inspiring words will not only come from award-winning journalists who will be recognized, but they will also come from the Society’s next president, Dana Neuts, as the stage is set for the year ahead.

Coffee with SPJ Leadership

Friday, Sept. 5, 8 a.m.

Grab your morning cup of joe and come chat with SPJ President David Cuillier and President-Elect Dana Neuts. They are interested in hearing from SPJ members and EIJ attendees about the organization and whatever is on your mind.

Morning Chat with RTDNA Leadership

Saturday, Sept. 6, 8 a.m.

Have a question, comment or idea for the RTDNA leadership? We’ll provide the coffee! Start the day with conversation with Chris Carl, RTDNA Chairman, Amy Tardif, RTDNA Incoming Chair and Executive Director Mike Cavender. They will be available to chat with members and EIJ attendees about the organization and the many issues the journalism community faces today..

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