Breakout Sessions: Friday

There's something for everyone in this year's schedule. Check out a list of the breakout sessions we're offering in Orlando! All sessions are included as part of your conference registration — no additional fees apply.

Jump to:
Friday: 1-2 p.m. | 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30-10:30 a.m. | 11 a.m.-Noon | 1-2 p.m. | 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9-10 a.m. | 11 a.m.-Noon | 1-4 p.m.

Presentation materials and notes: Download them here

Need another copy of a handout, or just missed a session and want a glimpse of what was discussed? Find notes, handouts, slides and other materials provided by presenters right here. Updated as they come in.

Additional training opportunities: In-depth, hands-on workshops at EIJ15

Aside from nearly 60 breakout sessions, EIJ15 offers additional opportunities for in-depth, hands-on, skills-based workshops. These longer and more intensive programs are yet another way you can improve your journalism skills at EIJ15. Follow this link for a complete overview of all the workshops available at the conference, or use the links below to skip straight to the one that most piques your interest!

CNN Producer Workshop
CNN From Local Reporter to National Correspondent Workshop
ASNE Minority Leadership Institute
Social Media Deep Dive Workshop
Editing Bootcamp, presented by the American Copy Editors Society
News Directors New Media Leadership Bootcamp, presented by the Carole Kneeland Project
Newsroom Leadership Workshop (Presented in Spanish): Administración, liderazgo y desarrollo en una sala de redacción moderna en español

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.

Friday, 1-2 p.m.

Periodismo investigativo para la gente (presented in Spanish)

Con más de $3.1 millones de dólares recuperados para la comunidad hispana a nivel nacional , las unidades investigativas de Telemundo Responde están dedicadas a proteger al consumidor atendiendo a las preocupaciones de la gente que teme ser víctima de fraude , robo de identidad, estafas entre otros crímenes. La unidad , primera en su clase, provee a los consumidores de habla hispana en Estados Unidos y Puerto Rico una oportunidad directa de que sus casos sean escuchados e investigados. Esta sesión demostrará cómo puede agudizar sus habilidades de investigación.

Trainer: Denny Alfonso (@DennyAlfonso), reportera investigativa, Telemundo 52

English translation: Investigative Journalism for the People
With more than $3.1 million recovered for the Hispanic community nationwide, the Telemundo Responde investigative units are dedicated to consumer advocacy that answers concerns of local residents who fear they may have been victims of fraud, identity theft or scams, among other crimes. The first-of-its-kind unit provides Spanish-speaking consumers all across the United States and in Puerto Rico a direct opportunity to have their concerns addressed and investigated. This session will demonstrate how you can sharpen your investigative skills.

Trainer: Denny Alfonso (@DennyAlfonso), investigative reporter, Telemundo 52

New Economic Data You Can Use in 2015 and Beyond

Program participants will learn how to create original reporting on earnings, spending and investments using new economic data being released in 2015 by the Bureau of Economic Analysis — the U.S. Government's leading economic statistical agency — on health care, state economic activity, consumer spending at the state level, spending and employment in the arts and culture and international investments. Participants will also learn how to use these new data sets to better cover existing economic events.

Trainers: Jeannine Aversa, chief of public affairs and outreach, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Thomas Dail, public affairs specialist, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Steve Geimann (@sgeimann), editor, Bloomberg News

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Jeannine Aversa, chief of public affairs and outreach, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Jeannine Aversa is chief of public affairs and outreach at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Before joining BEA in the fall of 2011, Aversa was a journalist for nearly 30 years and reported for The Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Fairchild Publications and other news organizations. For more than a decade, Aversa’s coverage focused on economics, monetary policy, finance and politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Thomas Dail, public affairs specialist, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Thomas Dail is a public affairs specialist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. He brings a dozen years of experience in newspapers and public relations to that job. Prior to joining the BEA, he covered politics and business for Freedom Communications in North Carolina. Dail holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Steve Geimann, editor, Bloomberg News
Steve Geimann has been a reporter, editor, manager and executive for more than three decades in newspapers, broadcast, trade publications and wire services. He is an editor at Bloomberg News, responsible for financial industry coverage.

The New York native has been Bloomberg team leader, editor and producer since September 1999, joining the company after five years as senior editor at Communications Daily, a trade newsletter covering telecommunications. At Bloomberg, he has directed coverage of telecommunications, transportation and politics before joining Bloomberg Radio in 2005. For two years, he anchored ``Bloomberg: The Final Word,'' a daily wrap-up of market, company and political news broadcast in New York and on satellite radio.

Geimann spent 11 years at United Press International, the Washington-based news agency. He was executive editor and spokesman for two years, shepherding UPI through a 1992 bankruptcy and managing the transition to new owners. He was Washington bureau chief during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Southeast editor in Miami and business writer for upstate New York, based in Albany.

He was a reporter for Gannett Co.'s newspapers in Binghamton, N.Y., for eight years, and a newscaster/reporter at radio stations in Binghamton and Syracuse, where he attended Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Geimann was 1996-1997 SPJ president and for two years chaired SPJ's Ethics Committee. He won the Wells Memorial Key, the Society's highest honor, in 2001.

Since 1997, he has represented SPJ on the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, which reviews and evaluates curriculum at more than 100 universities.

Geimann led a three-year task force of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications to consider changes in technology and the effect on journalism.

He served on the American Bar Association's Conference of Lawyers and Representatives of the News Media, and the Commission on Public Understanding About the Law — a group that considered methods to raise public knowledge of the legal process.

Geimann, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his wife, Carol Sadler, a project manager at the National Institutes of Health, live in North Bethesda, Maryland, with three cats: Calvin, Bogey and Gumbo.

Sports Beat Reporting: Develop Unique Ideas and Tell Great Multi-Platform Stories

Sports beat reporters are being asked to do more than ever for their publications, displaying a unique mix of skills that make them invaluable for any newsroom. During this session we'll discuss the top five keys to success for aspiring beat reporters and those already holding those rolls. We'll cover the top five tools of the trade that can help reporters succeed: time management, source development, story development, multimedia storytelling and social media skills.

Trainer: Iliana Limón Romero, college sports editor and pro soccer editor, Orlando Sentinel and Sun Sentinel

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Iliana Limón Romero, college sports editor and pro soccer editor, Orlando Sentinel and Sun Sentinel
Iliana Limón Romero is the college sports and soccer editor for the Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun Sentinel. She supervises eight reporters who cover Florida, Florida State, Miami, UCF and other college programs. She also coordinates the Orlando Sentinel's coverage of new Major League Soccer club Orlando City. Her team has won multiple awards for its breaking news, features and analysis. Limón Romero worked as a crime and public safety reporter for The Albuquerque Tribune before switching to reporting on college athletics. Limón Romero joined the Orlando Sentinel in 2007 and worked as the newspapers University of Central Florida athletics reporter until taking on her current editing role in 2010.

Friday, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

To Comment or Not to Comment

One of the most interesting topics in the journalism industry today is the discussion over what to do about comment sections. Almost every news site has one, but many still have questions about how to handle them. How do we keep them civil? Should we moderate them? Push the conversation over to social media? Prohibit comments on certain stories? Hear how some journalists wrangle online discussion around their content and use it to build audience and community, as well as why some news organizations have chosen to end commenting completely. We also will share research-based techniques for improving comment sections.

Trainers: Marie K. Shanahan, assistant professor of journalism, University of Connecticut; Natalie Jomini Stroud, associate professor of communication studies, University of Texas at Austin and director, Engaging News Project

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Marie K. Shanahan, assistant journalism professor, University of Connecticut
Marie K. Shanahan is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut. She spent 17 years as a reporter and online news editor before joining the faculty at UConn's nationally accredited journalism program. She teaches digital newsgathering techniques, various forms of multimedia storytelling and online ethics. Her academic research explores online commenting, anonymous online speech, digital defamation and online reputation. Admittedly, she spends way too much time on social media.

Natalie Jomini Stroud, associate professor of communication studies, University of Texas at Austin and director, Engaging News Project
Natalie Jomini Stroud is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Assistant Director of Research at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2012, Stroud has directed the grant-funded Engaging News Project, which examines commercially-viable and democratically-beneficial ways of improving online news coverage. In 2014-15, she is a fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. Stroud is interested in how the media affect our political behaviors and attitudes and how our political behaviors and attitudes affect our media use. Her book, Niche News: The Politics of News Choice (Oxford University Press) explores the causes, consequences, and prevalence of partisan selective exposure, the preference for like-minded political information. Niche News received the International Communication Association's Outstanding Book Award. Her research has appeared in Political Communication, Journal of Communication, Political Behavior, Public Opinion Quarterly, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. She teaches courses in public opinion, media effects and politics, and quantitative research methods. Stroud twice received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the Communication Studies Graduate Community and was invited to the Society for Teaching Excellence at the University of Texas.

News Content: What Works, What’s Next?

Technology has changed the way consumers get their news. Technology has changed the way we gather the news. And journalists have also changed their ways of reporting the news to an audience that has toppled traditional methods of sharing information. Learn what works with today's audiences on-air and online. News consumers are finding what they need at different times, on different platforms and different sources. What you need to know about consumer habits and how to plan for their needs tomorrow.

Trainers: Andrew Finlayson, senior vice president Digital Media Strategies, SmithGeiger; Dan Shelley, senior vice president, Local and Studios Interactive One, Radio One Inc.

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Andrew Finlayson, senior vice president Digital Media Strategies, SmithGeiger
From Google to NBC News, Jimmy Kimmel Live to MTV, Andrew Finlayson helps media and technology companies find the most valuable audiences for their content. Finlayson is a Senior Vice President of Digital and Social Media Strategies for SmithGeiger, working with leading media companies on digital strategies such as social media, news apps, streaming video and mobile news consumption.

He joined SmithGeiger after being a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University where he studied emerging social and digital media with a focus on the changing economics of media companies.

Before the fellowship he was the Director of Online Content and Business Development for the Fox Television Stations group. He was promoted to this position after serving as the vice president and news director for the Fox Chicago duopoly WFLD-WPWR. Finlayson was the news director at Cox’s San Francisco/Oakland KTVU when the station was honored by the Project for Excellence in Journalism for the highest quality local newscast in the country. He is the recipient of numerous Emmy and Edward R Murrow regional awards and is also a writer with articles in publications including Harvard University’s The Neiman Report and a book, “Questions That Work” (AMACOM) that has been translated into five languages.

Dan Shelley, senior vice president, Local and Studios Interactive One, Radio One Inc.
Radio One, Inc., is the nation’s only multi-platform media company that primarily serves African-American and other urban audiences. As SVP of Local, Dan Shelley is responsible for strategy, revenue, operations and programming for more than 50 websites representing Radio One’s radio stations around the country. He is also responsible for Radio One’s mobile platforms and for developing other digital businesses for Radio One’s radio division.

Prior to joining Radio One, Shelley was Director of Digital Media at WCBS-TV in New York City. His career also includes 26 years of programming management experience in small and medium market radio stations. He was news director and assistant program director at WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee and news director at KTTS-AM/FM in Springfield, Mo. Shelley is a former chairman of the Radio-Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF). He continues to serve on the boards of both organizations and presently holds the office of Secretary/Treasurer for RTDNF. Dan is a graduate of Missouri State University.

Why You're Doing Audio Levels Wrong and Why it Really Does Matter

Have you ever been watching a video or listening to a radio story and had to adjust your volume controls to understand what people are saying? It's a lot harder than you might realize to produce audio with consistent loudness. Thanks to a quirk of human perception, what you see is not what you get in your editing software. Come learn about the ''Fletcher-Munson Curve'' and how understanding it can help you produce media that's easier to hear and understand.

Trainer: Adam Ragusea, journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor, Mercer University Center for Collaborative Journalism

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Adam Ragusea, journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor, Mercer University Center for Collaborative Journalism
Adam Ragusea is a journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor at Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism in Macon, Georgia, which unites an undergraduate journalism program, a daily commercial newspaper and a public broadcaster in a "teaching hospital model" of journalism education and practice.

Ragusea hosts and produces the weekly podcast "The Pub" for the public broadcasting trade publication Current, which features his commentaries and interviews on issues affecting public and non-profit media. He frequently reports on a range of issues for NPR, Slate and other national outlets.

A musician by training, Ragusea studied classical composition at the Eastman School of Music, Penn State and Indiana University. His career in media began at NPR station WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana. He's since worked as a reporter, producer and host at WBUR in Boston and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Follow the Money

Ever since Watergate, reporters have followed the money. In this electronic age,, and a range of other non-profit, non-partisan groups are making it easier than ever in the digital age to discover who is trying to influence policy makers. What candidates or states are the private prison industry targeting; are those states getting “tough on crime” to fill the private prison beds? Where are the gas and oil industries investing? How do you track corporate subsidies across the nation? Where’s the best online source to learn about Political Action Committees? Get a quick tour of some online tools and learn how on any beat money in politics relates to your coverage. And remember, it's not just about the money during elections — it's about what happens afterward, when the winners are in office.

Trainers: James McNair, investigative reporter, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting; Denise Roth Barber, managing director, National Institute on Money in State Politics

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Denise Roth Barber, managing director, National Institute on Money in State Politics
Denise Roth Barber has served as managing director of NIMSP since 2010, after four years as research director and seven years as researcher. As managing director, she supervises the data acquisition coordinator, researchers, and IT and communications staff. She also writes occasional reports on special and timely topics, and leads the Institute's research related to Citizens United v. FEC. She provides input on the scope and timelines of proposed data acquisition and research projects, grant proposals, and other management planning issues to ensure data acquisition and research objectives and reporting deadlines are met. Before joining the Institute, Roth Barber was an organizer with the Northern Plains Resource Council for six years, where she worked with local Montana communities on conservation issues.

James McNair, investigative reporter, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
James McNair has spent nearly 30 years in journalism, having worked as a staff reporter for the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Cincinnati Enquirer. His reporting has unearthed fraudulent schemes and dubious business practices. He has won journalism awards in five states, and his latest gig is with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

© 2016 Society of Professional Journalists, Radio Television Digital News Association and Native American Journalism Association. All rights reserved.