Conference Highlights

Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism, featuring Lester Holt and Jake Tapper

Friday, Sept. 8, 4:30-6 p.m.
Open to all attendees

Join us for a very special session as RTDNA presents Lester Holt with the prestigious Paul White Award. Holt is an award-winning journalist and anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” the network’s flagship broadcast and one of America’s most-watched evening newscasts. Hear directly from Holt about his remarkable career and the current state of journalism. The Paul White Award is RTDNA’s highest honor and recognizes an individual’s lifetime contributions to broadcast or digital journalism.

In addition, RTDNA will present the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award to CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper. Tapper currently hosts a one-hour weekday program, The Lead with Jake Tapper, which debuted in March 2013, and has hosted CNN’s Sunday morning show, State of the Union, since 2015. This award is named for the founder and first president of RTDNA and recognizes an individual’s contribution to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.

RTDNA Paul White and John F. Hogan Awards Reception

Friday, Sept. 8, 6 p.m. | $45   Purchase tickets

Come celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s Paul White Award recipient, Lester Holt. Holt is an award-winning journalist and anchor of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.” We’ll also celebrate this year’s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award recipient, CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper.

Let’s toast to their extraordinary contributions to journalism. Enjoy a cocktail and a chance to connect with friends and colleagues.

Super Session: 21st-Century Reality: Covering Immigrant and Refugee Communities is for Every Journalist

Thursday, Sept. 7, 4-5:30 p.m.

President George W. Bush wanted to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.” Two presidential administrations later, what has changed — and what hasn’t — in the legal, political and news media landscapes? The topic of immigration is so broad and touches so many facets of life in the United States, it’s no wonder having a conversation about immigration and refugee communities isn’t a small task. All journalists, working in every medium and every type of beat, need to understand that just because their job title doesn’t include “immigration” or “refugee,” they won’t cover the topics in some way. Understanding how big and important the topics are is the first step in being a more informed, accurate and compassionate journalist.

Host/Moderator: Maria Hinojosa (@maria_hinojosa), host, NPR's "Latino USA" and president of Futuro Media Group

Speakers: Cindy Carcamo (@thecindycarcamo), immigration reporter, LA Times; Mireya Villareal (@cbsmireya), correspondent, CBS News; Roque Planas (@roqplanas), national reporter, Huffington Post; Mayra Alvarez (@mayraealvarez), president, The Children’s Partnership

Click for speaker information

Maria Hinojosa
For over 25 years, Maria Hinojosa has helped tell America's untold stories and brought to light unsung heroes in America and abroad. In April 2010, Hinojosa launched The Futuro Media Group with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism that gives critical voice to the voiceless by harnessing the power of independent media to tell stories that are overlooked or under reported by traditional media.

As the anchor and executive producer of the long-running weekly NPR show “Latino USA,” and as anchor of the Emmy Award-winning talk show “Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One” from WGBH/La Plaza, Hinojosa has informed millions of Americans about the fastest growing group in our country. Previously, a Senior Correspondent for “NOW on PBS,” and currently, a rotating anchor for “Need to Know,” Hinojosa has reported hundreds of important stories—from the immigrant work camps in NOLA after Katrina, to teen girl victims of sexual harassment on the job, to Emmy Award-winning stories of the poor in Alabama.

Hinojosa has won top honors in American journalism. “Latino USA” won a Peabody Award in April 2015 for its 2014 episode "Gangs, Murder and Migration in Honduras." Her awards also include four Emmys, the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her groundbreaking "Child Brides: Stolen Lives." In 2009, Hinojosa was honored with an AWRT Gracie Award for Individual Achievement as Best TV correspondent. In 2010 she was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, by DePaul University in Chicago, as well as the Sidney Hillman Prize honoring her social and economic justice reporting. In 2012 she additionally received an honorary degree from Simmons College, was named among the top 25 Latinos in Contemporary American Culture by the Huffington Post, and gave the prestigious Ware Lecture. In 2013, Hinojosa taught at DePaul University as the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz chair of the Latin American and Latino Studies program.

Throughout her career, Hinojosa has helped define the conversation about our times and our society with one of the most authentic voices in broadcast. Hinojosa is the author of two books including a motherhood memoir, “Raising Raul: Adventures Raising Myself and My Son.” She was born in Mexico City, raised in Chicago, and received her BA from Barnard College.

Cindy Carcamo
Cindy Carcamo covers immigration for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she served as Arizona bureau chief and national correspondent for The Times, focusing on border and immigration issues in the Southwest. A Los Angeles native, her extensive reporting on immigration issues have taken her on several assignments throughout the Americas. Her coverage in Guatemala and Honduras on the exodus of Central American unaccompanied children won her a 2015 Overseas Press Club Award. Recently, she received a Los Angeles Press Club award for immigration reporting. She is also a recipient of the French-American Foundation's Immigration Journalism Award and has been a finalist for the Livingston Award and PEN Center USA Literary Award.

Roque Planas
Roque Planas is an Austin-based national reporter at HuffPost, where he covers immigration and Hispanic issues. His coverage of the child migrant crisis and Brazilian slavery reparations earned an “Honorable Mention” for the Latin American Studies Association’s Media Award in 2015. In addition to HuffPost, his work has appeared in the New York Daily News, Fox News, El Diario/La Prensa, Foreign Policy Magazine and other publications.

Mireya Villarreal
Mireya Villarreal is a CBS News correspondent based in Los Angeles. She joined CBS News in July 2015, and her reporting has been featured across CBS News broadcasts and platforms including "CBS This Morning," the "CBS Evening News," and CBSN, CBS News' 24/7 streaming news service.

At CBS News, Villarreal has covered a wide range of breaking news stories including the school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency's contaminated water leak into the Colorado River in Durango, Colo. She has also reported on the devastating wildfires in California that burned 36,000 acres in June 2016, as well as and the methane gas leak in Porter Ranch, Calif., that caused thousands to evacuate their homes.

Villarreal is a veteran investigative reporter who covered consumer issues and exposed government corruption across Texas before she joined CBS News. She won Emmy awards for uncovering excessive spending by DFW International Airport executives, reporting on a system that allowed Texas school district employees to resign after wrongdoing, and exposing a real estate scam that targeted San Antonio homebuyers, which eventually sparked legal investigations into two local companies. She is also the recipient of two Texas Associated Press awards for stories on immigration and child safety.

Previously, Villarreal reported for KTVT-TV, the CBS owned and operated station in Dallas. Earlier, she worked at WOAI in San Antonio from 2008 to 2012 and KRGV-TV in Rio Grande Valley, Texas from 2005 to 2008. She began her journalism career at KGNS-TV in Laredo, Texas, as a weekend sports anchor and reporter.

Villarreal is a native of the Texas Rio Grande Valley and graduated from the University of Texas Pan-American in 2001.

Super Session: Work in Progress: Pressing the President

Saturday, Sept. 9, Noon-1 p.m.

Washington Post Editor Marty Baron may have said it best: "We’re not 'at war,' but we’re 'at work' with the Trump administration." So how's it working? How are journalists in the daily thick of White House and national political coverage able to work in a noticeably more tense and more publicly hostile environment? How are the Trump administration's attacks on the press shaping coverage? Is this truly a unique and unprecedented time for the press, or is the acrimonious relationship between president and press just more amplified? Does the answer matter to the American public?

Moderator: Kyle Pope (@kylepope), editor-in- chief & publisher, Columbia Journalism Review

Speakers: Christina Bellantoni, assistant managing editor for politics, Los Angeles Times; Jeff Pegues (@jeffpeguescbs), Justice and Homeland Security correspondent, CBS News; Jim Acosta (@acosta) senior White House correspondent, CNN; Margaret Talev (@margarettalev), White House reporter, Bloomberg News and president, White House Correspondents Association; Adrian Carrasquillo (@carrasquillo), White House correspondent, BuzzFeed News

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Kyle Pope
Kyle Pope is Editor and Publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review. Before joining CJR, he held top posts at The Wall Street Journal, where he spent a decade as an editor and foreign correspondent, at Condé Nast, and at The New York Observer. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic and elsewhere. In the summer of 2017, Pope was asked to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on threats to the press.

Jim Acosta
Jim Acosta is CNN senior White House correspondent, covering the Trump administration from the White House and around the world. He regularly covers presidential press conferences, visits by heads of states, and issues impacting the Executive Branch of the federal government. In addition, Acosta reported from the 2016 campaign trail following Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Acosta is based in the network’s Washington, D.C., bureau and serves as a substitute anchor for the network across a variety of CNN programs. Previously, Acosta was national political correspondent throughout CNN’s ‘America’s Choice 2012’ election coverage, embedded with the Romney presidential campaign as the lead correspondent. He traveled with the GOP presidential candidate to key battleground states and to the U.K., Israel, and Poland, covering the latest campaign developments. Acosta sat down with Mitt Romney for two one-on-one interviews, breaking several political stories and presidential debate coverage. In addition, he covered both of President Barack Obama’s inaugurations and contributed to the network’s mid-term election coverage.

In 2009, when the Obama administration lifted some restrictions on American travel to Cuba, Acosta reported from Havana, Cuba, on the effects of the policy change and on the post-Cold War relationship of the United States and Cuba. During the 2008 presidential election, Acosta covered the campaigns of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain and then-Sen. Barack Obama, frequently contributing as co-anchor on CNN’s weekend political program, Ballot Bowl. During his time with CNN, Acosta has covered several breaking news stories, including the tragedy at Virginia Tech and the Gulf Coast during the oil spill crisis.

Before joining CNN in March 2007, Acosta was a CBS News correspondent since February 2003. Originally based in New York, he later relocated to the CBS bureau in Atlanta. He contributed primarily to the CBS Evening News and has covered stories including the Iraq war from Baghdad, the 2004 presidential campaign of then-Sen. John Kerry, Hurricane Katrina, and the blackout of 2003 that impacted major cities in the Northeast U.S.

Previously, he was a correspondent for CBS Newspath, the network’s 24-hour news service, from 2001-2003 and was based in Dallas and Chicago during that time. Acosta covered the Pennsylvania miner rescue, the Washington, D.C.-area sniper story and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, among other stories.

Prior to CBS Newspath, he was a reporter and substitute anchor for WBBM-TV, the CBS-owned station in Chicago from 2000 to 2001; a reporter for KTVT-TV, the CBS-owned station in Dallas, from 1998 to 2000 and a reporter and substitute anchor for WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tenn., from 1995 to 1998. He began his journalism career with WMAL-AM radio in Washington, before making the transition to television.

Acosta graduated cum laude from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a minor in political science.

Christina Bellantoni
Christina Bellantoni has been assistant managing editor, politics since August 2015. She came to the Los Angeles Times after 12 years covering politics in Washington, most recently as editor-in-chief at Roll Call. Before that, she served as political editor at “PBS NewsHour” for two years. She has covered the White House, Congress, the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, and the Virginia statehouse. Bellantoni, a California native, is a former vice president of the board of the Washington Press Club Foundation.

Adrian Carrasquillo
Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and will be featured on its new live-streamed Twitter morning show AM to DM, in September. During his time at BuzzFeed he has worked as a news reporter, editor of Latino coverage, and national political reporter covering Latino politics ahead of the 2016 election touching on a wide range of issues, including Trump's rise, his Hispanic supporters, the LIBRE Initiative and RNC’s Hispanic outreach, Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ Latino strategy, and even the fight for Pitbull’s political soul. Previously, he helped launch both Fox News Latino and NBC Latino where he worked as a social media manager, reporter and editor.

Jeff Pegues
Jeff Pegues is the CBS News Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He joined CBS News in July 2013 and reports for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms.

Since joining CBS News, Pegues has led the Network's coverage of some of the biggest stories of the last decade. From the Russia investigation to the recent terrorist attacks Pegues is often at the top of the CBS Evening News. In addition, he has become one of the most informed voices on the conflict between the black community and police. Not only has he reported extensively on recent police actions and Justice Department investigations in Baltimore and Ferguson but he has also written a book on the issue. Black and Blue: Inside the Divide Between Police and the Black Community is available everywhere books are sold.

Pegues has become one of the most visible and informed journalists on the investigation into Russian interference in the election. His upcoming book Kompromat: How Russia Undermined American Democracy will investigate how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hackers poked into U.S. voter databases and what is being done now to shore up election systems in states across the country. Pegues is the recipient of three Emmy Awards, numerous Emmy Award nominations, the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and in 2017 was part of the CBS News team that earned an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Pegues has more than two decades of experience covering stories of national and international magnitude, including presidential elections, Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. Prior to joining CBS News Pegues spent nearly 10 years at WABC-TV in New York. Previously, Pegues was a weekday anchor and reporter at WBAL in Baltimore. He also anchored the top-rated evening newscasts at WSVN in Miami in the late 1990s. He is a proud graduate of Miami University of Ohio where he was a scholarship football player and starting wide receiver in the early 1990s.

Margaret Talev
Margaret Talev is senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News and president of the White House Correspondents' Association. She is the outgoing president of the Washington Press Club Foundation. Before reporting on President Donald Trump, she covered Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns, Obama's two terms in the White House, and Congress. She previously wrote for McClatchy Newspapers, the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee and the Tampa Tribune. She earlier covered the 2003 California recall election and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and was part of a team named as Pulitzer finalists for breaking news coverage of the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261.

Opening Night Reception

Thursday, Sept. 7, 8-10 p.m.
Open to all attendees
Sponsored by CNN Newsource

The kickoff to journalism’s largest event of the year, the Opening Night Reception is a chance to reunite with colleagues, clients, and friends as well as meet and chat with new connections. After a busy first day at EIJ17, this evening at Bowlmor Lanes is all about fun, networking and 41 lanes of electro-cool blacklight bowling! We’ll be serving up drinks, light snacks, entertainment and much more. Bowlmor Lanes is located in the Anaheim GardenWalk, a short stroll from the Anaheim Marriott.

Davey’s Locker Whale Watching Cruise

Saturday, Sept. 9, 9:15 a.m. | $40

Davey’s Locker has been providing whale watching cruises for over 30 years. Over the past 30 years, Los Angeles and Orange County have become recognized as one of the top whale watching destinations in the world with a thriving year-round whale population.

The whale watching tour is 2-2 1/2 hours long. Giant blue whales, gray whales and humpbacks are just a few of the possible whale species you might see while on the tour. Sea lions, dolphins and even killer whales have also been spotted.

Davey’s Locker’s primary whale watching ship includes an upstairs sundeck, outside/indoor seating and a snack bar. Captains & crews have backgrounds in marine biology and are incredible knowledgeable providing details on marine creatures, environment and ecosystems.


Video & Audio Critiques

Sponsored by Reel Media Group
Thursday, Sept. 7 and Friday, Sept. 8, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

You have a demo reel but is it making an impact? Before you hit the career floor sit down with the Reel Media Group’s Demo Reel Bootcamp coaches at Booth 700. RMG has helped hundreds of on-air talent and producers through their signature bootcamps, craft reels to showcase their true ability to be a storyteller. During EIJ, bring a link and meet our team of experts who will dissect your montage, your stories and find the format that will get you noticed.

Career Profile Critiques

Thursday, Sept. 7 and Friday, Sept. 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m.-Noon

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 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.

Deep-Dive Workshops

Aside from dozens of breakout sessions, EIJ17 offers additional training opportunities with in-depth, hands-on, skills-based workshops. These longer and more intensive programs are yet another way you can improve your journalism skills at EIJ17. Get additional details of each program here.

Wednesday, Sept. 6

Watchdog Workshop, presented by IRE
Editing Bootcamp, presented by ACES
CNN Reporter and Producer Workshops
ASNE Emerging Leaders Institute
NAHJ Student Boot Camp

Thursday, Sept. 7

NBCUniversity: The Fourth Estate
Getting Drone Newsgathering Off the Ground: Navigating the Logistical, Technical and Regulatory Complexities
Narrative Storytelling: Dump The Inverted Pyramid No Matter Your Medium Of Choice
I Don't Always Create Videos, But When I Do They're For Social Media... (Getting Started With Social Video)
Google Tools for Journalists

Friday, Sept. 8

2017 CNBC Business News Associate Workshop

Saturday, Sept. 9

Mobile Reporting and Data Visualization Tools
Narrative Storytelling: Learning From The Land Of 10,000 Stories
Immersive Storytelling Showcase

Please note: Some of these workshops have an additional fee. Some require an application and selection process, while others just require an advance registration on the EIJ registration form. Visit the workshops page for all the pertinent details.

EIJ Pre-Conference Mixer

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 7-10 p.m.
McFadden's Anaheim, 400 Disney Way

Join us for a happy hour mixer in Anaheim the evening before the 2017 Excellence in Journalism conference begins! Bring your friends and colleagues — McFadden's is willing to extend the happy hour menu to attendees after the usual happy hour time slot if there's a large enough group (40+), meet us in the patio.

Participating local groups include Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles; Journalism and Women Symposium, Southern California; National Association of Black Journalists, Los Angeles; NLGJA LA, the Association of LGBT Journalists; Online News Association, Los Angeles; Society of Professional Journalists, Los Angeles;National Association of Hispanic Journalists and more.

Get additional details and RSVP here.

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.

SPJ Legal Defense Live Auction and Reception

Saturday, Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

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.

NAHJ Ñ Awards Luncheon

Friday, Sept. 8, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | $50   Purchase tickets

Join us as we celebrate the work of journalists with the return of our highest awards ceremony for individuals who cover news on every platform. We will present the 2017 NAHJ ñ Awards in six categories, as well as the Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Journalism and the NAHJ Elaine Rivera Civil Rights and Social Justice Award. In addition, the NAHJ Los Angeles chapter will present the Ruben Salazar award.

NAJA Membership Luncheon Meeting

Friday, Sept. 8, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Free for NAJA members, $50 for non-members
Sponsored by the Coca Cola Company
Get/purchase tickets

Join the Native American Journalists Association during the annual business meeting recognizing contributions of founders, members and supporters. Open to all and free to NAJA members.

NAHJ Hall of Fame Gala

Saturday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m. | $80   Purchase tickets

Created in 2000, NAHJ’s Hall of Fame award honors journalists whose efforts either nationally or locally resulted in a greater number of Latinos entering the journalism profession or have helped to improve news coverage of the nation's Latino community. Open to all.

NAJA National Native Media Awards Banquet

Saturday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m. | $80   Purchase tickets

The Native American Journalists Association honors excellence in journalism and coverage of Indian Country through its annual awards ceremony and banquet. Open to all.

SPJ President's Installation Banquet

Saturday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m. | $80   Purchase tickets

National leaders for the Society take office and the Society's highest awards are presented. Open to all.

Gran Baile/EIJ17 Dance

Saturday, Sept. 9, 10 p.m.-Midnight

Open to all. Cash bar. Saturday night.

Spend time winding down from the fast-paced conference schedule while you enjoy the last hoorah for EIJ17! No ticket or advanced dancing skills required.


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Help/Contact  •   Future EIJ locations
Info for SPJ Leaders