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Breakout Sessions

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

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Friday: 9:30-10:30 a.m. | 12:30-1:30 p.m.. | 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9-10 a.m. | 9-11 a.m. | 11 a.m.-Noon | 1-2 p.m. | 2:30-3:30 p.m.


Friday, 9:30-
10:30 a.m.

Branding for Journalists

You've heard about journalists and personal branding for a few years. And if you're like most journalists, you thought: Oh, that's just a buzz phrase. Isn't branding just marketing? Isn't branding just selling out? Some of that is true, but the reality is that you are branding yourself, whether intentionally or not. You are creating your brand. This session explores ways you can grab the wheel and take control. Bring a laptop or tablet and get started fine-tuning your brand. You will understand: How to identify what your brand is now; Ways other journalists manage their online images; How to better leverage social media (including where you need to be—and where you don't; How to get started: Identify your strengths, know your goals; Understanding your personal brand promise; Practical ways to take charge of your image online.

Trainer: Robin J. Phillips (@RobinJP), Digital Director, Reynolds Center for Business Journalism

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Robin J. Phillips, digital director, Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
Robin is an online journalist who manages the Reynold’s Center’s national social media brands and oversees the center's website, BusinessJournalism.org. She teaches journalists how to use social media as a research and personal branding tool and how it can help them expand their sources and find new stories on their beats. Robin teaches a course on the Business & Future of Journalism at the Cronkite School of Journalism and has been an advisor to the Arizona Supreme Court on the use of social media and technology in the courts.


The Anatomy of an Ethics Code Revision

In this town hall-style session, members of the SPJ Ethics Committee will walk the audience members through the revision process and showcase the committee's work in the form of the new proposed Code of Ethics. The interactive session will allow participants to ask questions, comment and make suggestions. This will be the showcase of the code revisions at the national convention.

Moderator: David Cuillier, president, Society of Professional Journalists

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David Cuillier, president, Society of Professional Journalists
SPJ President David Cuillier, Ph.D., is director and associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he teaches computer-assisted reporting, public affairs reporting and access to public records. He was a government reporter and editor at daily newspapers for a dozen years in the Pacific Northwest, was the Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee chairman for four years, and has been an SPJ newsroom trainer since 2005. He and Charles Davis co-authored The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records” and the blog theartofaccess.com.


Change and Collaboration: Breaking the Four Big Barriers

No media organization — or journalist — can succeed today without being open to change and collaboration. New technologies, new workflow, new skills, and new working relationships drive the change. Still, there are personal and organizational barriers to critical collaboration in every workplace. In this interactive session, Jill Geisler reveals four key barriers to collaboration and how to break them. Bonus: You’ll be able to replicate this exercise back home in your own newsroom.

Trainer: Jill Geisler (@JillGeisler), senior faculty, Leadership & Management, The Poynter Institute; author, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know"

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Jill Geisler, senior faculty, Leadership & Management, The Poynter Institute; author, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know"
Jill Geisler teaches and coaches news leaders in all media, across the globe. She’s been inducted into multiple journalism halls of fame. She was among the country’s first female TV news directors, joining the Poynter Institute in 1998 after 26 years in broadcast journalism. Jill's top-rated “What Great Bosses Know” podcasts on iTunes U have had over 12 million downloads. Her book, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know” has become a leadership manual for managers in all professions. She holds a masters degree in leadership studies from Duquesne University and a bachelors in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where she was the first woman president of the campus SPJ chapter — after women were allowed to join. Her management mantra is: “Life’s too short to work with jerks."


Capturing Tomorrow: Emerging Trends in Photography

According to recent reports - collectively - we take and share over 1.5 billion photos a day. Photographs surround us. Attend to learn about how to better harness the power of photographs, including new perspectives on photography with drones, wearables and their photo possibilities, and learn tips on verifying visuals shot from the crowd.

Trainer: Samaruddin Stewart (@samsends), visual journalist

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Samaruddin Stewart, visual journalist
Samaruddin Stewart is a visual journalist based in the SF Bay Area. He was a 2013 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow where he researched image forensics at Stanford University. Prior to Stanford, Samaruddin had worked at AOL News, Agence France-Presse, the Arizona Republic and the US State Department. He's interested in all things tech + media.


Driving the Narrative Story: Steven Spielberg Figured it Out. Have You?

Tried and true drivers of the narrative story — surprise, suspense, character and conflict — can be powerful tools. Taking a cue from those unfortunate frogs in biology class, we'll dissect a story. Why do we engage, why do we laugh or cry, why do we care, and how can we make it happen for our viewers and readers more often? This session will focus on an enterprising TV report that started as a seemingly routine (and somewhat dull) topic. The end result was anything but routine or dull. All reporters (including students) and news managers working in all media will benefit from learning how to approach storytelling this way.

Trainer: Boyd Huppert, reporter, KARE-TV

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Boyd Huppert, reporter, KARE-TV
Boyd Huppert has earned a national reputation as a both a practitioner and teacher of visual storytelling.

As a reporter at KARE-TV in Minneapolis, Boyd's work has been honored with some of journalism's top honors, including ten national Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple Sigma Delta Chi, Gabriel and National Headliner awards. In 2014 Boyd received the Scripps Howard Award for local TV reporting. He's also the recipient of the 2006 national Emmy for feature reporting.

As a teacher and trainer, Boyd has presented more than 100 visual storytelling sessions at venues including Poynter Institute, TV-New Zealand, DR & TV2 in Denmark and NRK in Norway. He is a long-time member of the faculty at the Advanced Storytelling Workshop sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association and held each spring at Texas State University.

Boyd grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and received his journalism degree at University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Prior to his arrival at KARE in 1996, Boyd spent time at WSAW-TV in Wausau, KETV in Omaha and WITI-TV in Milwaukee.


Advanced Google Search and Google Trends: What Journalists Should Know

Going beyond the little white box we've come to use every day, this session will teach you tips and tricks to help you become a better Google searcher. We'll also show you how to use Google Trends, a tool that lets you dive into search data to gain useful insights about what’s on the world’s mind.

Trainers: Nicholas Whitaker (@nickdigital), Google; LaToya Drake (@LaToyaDrake), media & marketing manager, Google

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LaToya Drake, media & marketing manager, Google
LaToya Drake is a spokesperson and media/marketing manager at Google. She is tech-savvy industry insider who provides television and radio commentary on news, social media and pop culture trends bubbling up across the Web. As an expert commentator she has appeared on a wide range of national and local programs including The TODAY Show, CBS Early Show, CNBC, CNN American Morning, CNN Headline News, FOX News, Good Day New York, CBS News and ABC News.

LaToya is also an adjunct at NYU where she teaches PR 2.0: Using Social Media Channels to Engage Customers and their Communities.

She earned her MA in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University and her BS in Communications and Political Science from Florida State University.

She resides in Manhattan.

Nicholas Whitaker, Google
Before joining Google in 2010, Nicholas spent the previous decade producing, directing,editing, and shooting videos and still images for news, commercial, entertainment and advocacy media. Nicholas has also been a professor at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, and Marymount Manhattan College, teaching courses in video production, new media and media theory.


Friday, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Freelance Foul-Ups: 10 Tips for Pissing off a Hiring Editor (and 10 Ways to Always Get Assignments)

What can you learn from an itinerant editor who's worked for media outlets you've never heard of? If you're a freelancer now or want to be one later, you can learn what NOT to do. Michael Koretzky has spent nearly $1 million hiring freelancers for a Top 100 daily, the nation's largest jazz magazine, two alternative weeklies and three national websites. Discover the best techniques for never getting hired — or getting quickly fired. Students: Learn how to freelance while still in school, and how this trumps those stupid unpaid internships.

Trainers: Michael Koretzky, content director

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Michael Koretzky, content director
Michael Koretzky is content director for a financial services company with seven properties in three countries. It also operates a financial news and education website called Debt.com, for which he is always hiring freelancers.


Hacking the Codes: Taking Personal Ethical Responsibility in the New Media Age

In a media environment driven by new technologies and “byline above the headline” personal brands, many audiences assert that “objective” journalism is an anachronism. Others hew to the belief that journalists can and should strive toward impartiality and fairness. This evolving reality places the onus for ethical conduct on individual journalists. This session will make the case that journalists need to develop personalized ethics codes and disclosure statements, and that those journalists who place transparency and honesty as their highest values will gain the public’s trust. Systematic efforts to develop individualized codes of ethics are in the early stages of development. Using methods now being piloted, we will help you begin crafting your personal code of journalistic ethics. The interactive session will provide instruction and practical tips.

Trainers: Alan D. Abbey, Director of Media Relations and Internet Services, Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem and Adjunct Professor of Journalism, National University of San Diego; Thomas Kent, Deputy Managing Editor and Standards Editor, Associated Press

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Alan D. Abbey, Director of Media Relations and Internet Services, Shalom Hartman Institute of Jerusalem and Adjunct Professor of Journalism, National University of San Diego
After a 30-year career as a journalist, Alan D. Abbey joined the Shalom Hartman Institute, a think tank and educational institute in Jerusalem, Israel, in 2008. Since then, as Director of Media and Internet Services, he has crafted and managed the Institute’s media relations policy and developed the design and content of its websites. Alan also conducts original research in the fields of Jewish journalism and media ethics and has been teaching in the Master of Arts in Digital Media program at National University of San Diego since its inception in 2012.

Prior to joining Hartman, Alan Abbey founded and managed Ynetnews.com, the English website of Israel’s largest news group, and was Executive Vice President at the Jerusalem Post.

Before moving to Israel in 1999, he was Executive Business Editor at the Albany Times Union, an investigative reporter at the Morristown Daily Record and a Washington correspondent. He began his journalism career at the Bend Bulletin and the Burlington Free Press after receiving his Master’s Degree in Journalism at the University of Oregon.

In 2003, he wrote the book, Journey of Hope: The Story of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s First Astronaut.

Thomas Kent, Deputy Managing Editor and Standards Editor, Associated Press
Tom Kent is a deputy managing editor and standards editor of the Associated Press. He is responsible for editorial standards across the AP and has played a major role in the coordination of AP services across platforms — text, photos, graphics, broadcast and Internet. He designed AP's new multimedia headquarters in New York and lectures internationally on newsroom organization and management. He served with the AP as correspondent in Sydney, Australia; correspondent for NATO and the European Union in Brussels; correspondent and bureau chief in Moscow; chief of AP operations in Iran during the Iranian revolution; deputy news editor and news editor of AP's World Service Division in New York; and international editor of the AP.

He has served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in international reporting, and has been a board member of the Overseas Press Club of New York. He was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, holds a degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University and speaks Russian, French and Spanish. He has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism since 1996 and since 2001 at the Harriman Institute of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.


The Danger in Mexico and Around the World — Journalists on Death's Door

The plight of the Mexican press is not a foreign issue in which U.S. journalists have no stake. Drug violence has spilled across the border and is garnering coverage by the U.S. media. The violence directed against journalists in Mexico has already forced several news organizations to practice self-censorship, which restricts the amount of first-hand information on the cartels that is transmitted internationally. Hear about issues faced not only by journalists in Mexico, but by those around the world, and what you and your newsrooms can do to draw attention to the scary state of press freedom in other countries.

Moderator: Robert Buckman, Ph.D., University of Louisiana Lafayette

Speakers: Alfredo Corchado, Mexico City bureau chief, The Dallas Morning News; Angela Kocherga, border bureau chief for Gannett Broadcasting, El Paso; Sara Rafsky, Americas Research Associate, Committee to Protect Journalists

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Robert Buckman, Ph.D., University of Louisiana Lafayette
Robert Buckman, Ph.D., at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, joined Sigma Delta Chi as an undergraduate at TCU in 1967 and he has conveyed his support for SPJ for 30 years as a journalism educator. He founded the UL Lafayette chapter in 1989. He has taken students to every national convention since 1989, with the exceptions of 1991 and 2008 (when he was called out of Army Reserve retirement to serve a year in Iraq). He and his students have not missed a regional convention during that same period. The UL Lafayette chapter has been named Outstanding Chapter four times, and its members have won dozens of Mark of Excellence Awards. Buckman believes in teaching and leading by example, employing his three decades of professional journalism experience to provide real-world assignments. He believes that participation in SPJ is an important adjunct to classroom instruction, and as campus adviser-at-large he would seek to recruit new schools and to offer advice for exciting development activities for existing chapters.

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico City bureau chief, The Dallas Morning News
Alfredo Corchado, the Mexico City bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, was born in Durango, Mexico, and was raised in El Paso, Texas, after his migrant worker parents opened a successful restaurant there. He is a journalism graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso. He worked for the now-defunct El Paso Herald-Post and for the Wall Street Journal in its Philadelphia and Dallas offices before joining The Dallas Morning News in 1994. He worked in the Mexico City, Havana and Washington bureaus, Corchado becoming Mexico City bureau chief in 2003. He has covered the administrations of Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón and now Enrique Peña Nieto. He covered the transcendental 2000 election that ended 71 years of one-party rule and has covered the drug war from its beginning in 2006, for which he has repeatedly received death threats from the cartels. He is the author of the 2013 memoir, “Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent Into Darkness.” He has received Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Award for courageous reporting and was a Niemann Fellow at Harvard in 2009.

Angela Kocherga, border bureau chief for Gannett Broadcasting, El Paso
Angela Kocherga is the award-winning border correspondent for Gannett Broadcasting, and is now based in El Paso, Texas. She spent more than 20 years with Belo Broadcasting before its acquisition by Gannett. She has covered Mexico her entire career, beginning as a reporter for public radio and local television in El Paso/Juárez.

She spent several years in the Belo bureau in Mexico City. A journalism graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she grew up in the Rio Grande Valley city of Brownsville and in Guadalajara, Mexico. She reports extensively on the drug war in Mexico and its impact on families on both sides of the border. She has brought viewers stories from Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Ciudad Juarez, when it was the world’s murder capital. On the U.S. side, she has covered the buildup of the border patrol, border fence and immigration issues from both Arizona, Texas, and the interior of Mexico. Most recently she has covered the mass migration of Central American children to the Texas border. Her work also includes coverage of trade, tourism, health and other binational issues.

Kocherga began her career in 1994 at WFAA-TV in Dallas. In 1999, Houston station KHOU hired her to open a bureau in Mexico City. In 2006, amid concerns about escalating drug violence, border security and immigration, the bureau was relocated from Mexico City to El Paso. She has earned several journalism awards for her work in Mexico, including two Emmys for drug war coverage.

Sara Rafsky, Americas Research Associate, Committee to Protect Journalists
Sara Rafsky is Americas research associate for the Committee to Protect Journalists, where she reports on press freedom in the region. She has written special reports for CPJ on Honduras, Guatemala and Argentina and last year provided research for the organization’s first-ever special report on the United States: “The Obama Administration and the Press: Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America.” Previously, she wrote about culture and politics as a freelance journalist in New York, South America and Southeast Asia. Rafsky also lived in Argentina, where she worked with the Ford Foundation and interned with Human Rights Watch and the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE). In 2008, she received a Fulbright Grant to research photojournalism and the Colombian armed conflict. She has a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University.


SPJ/ONA DePaul Free Speech Wall: How You Can Do One

This session will train your pro or student chapter on how to organize and execute a Free Speech Wall program on Constitution Day (Sept. 17). SPJ/ONA at DePaul University organized one last year, offering students, faculty and staff the chance to write anything they wanted on a blank ''wall'' on Constitution Day. The results were surprising, entertaining and educational. SPJ/ONA DePaul's executive board will share the results and help you get started organizing this fun and educational program. Presenters will work in small groups with attendees to brainstorm ideas. Attendees also will receive links to handouts and other materials to help get them started. Anyone who participates is welcome to tweet photos and findings to #spjwall on Sept. 17.

Trainers: Mike Reilley, adviser, SPJ/ONA DePaul; SPJ/ONA DePaul board members

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Mike Reilley, adviser, SPJ/ONA DePaul
Reilley teaches online journalism at DePaul University’s College of Communication. In 2010, he and his students founded the SPJ chapter at DePaul, which has twice named the national outstanding chapter of the year. A former LA Times reporter and copy editor, Mike was one of the 11 founding editors of ChicagoTribune.com. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelors in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2013, he received the SPJ David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award. In 2014, he received the DePaul University Excellence in Teaching Award.


This is How the Internet Works (And Why Journalists Need to Know)

Almost every part of your life now involves the internet. And as journalists, that means all of our coverage areas involve it, too. I'll explain how the basic technical aspects of how the internet works — in a way journalists can understand — and also show you how this knowledge can lead to richer coverage and being a better journalist or news consumer. No coding necessary.

Trainers: Andy Boyle (@andymboyle), developer, Chicago Tribune

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Andy Boyle, developer, Chicago Tribune
Andy Boyle is a News Applications Developer for the Chicago Tribune, where he's built projects for the 2012 and 2014 elections, created tools for user-generated content and regularly works on visualizing data, from high school sports to crime. Previously, Andy has worked at the Boston Globe, the St. Petersburg Times and The New York Times Regional Media Group, where his work was cited in the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. When not speaking at colleges and conferences, Andy is usually writing and telling jokes. His mom would be so proud.


When Weather Becomes News: Accuracy in the Face of Chaos

Tornados, flooding, hurricanes, blizzards, drought... at some point every journalist will cover a major weather event when being fast and first is every bit as important as being accurate. Broadcast, print and digital journalists not only face typical deadlines, they also have the immediate demands of on-line and social media coverage to balance as well. A veteran panel will discuss the challenges and best practices of getting it right while staying focused and moving forward.

Moderator: Betsy Kling (@BetsyKling), chief meteorologist, WKYC-TV

Speakers: Carlton Houston (@Carlton_Houston), news director, KFOR-TV; Dr. Susan Jasko (@CommDocPA), professor, California University of Pennsylvania; Mike Smith (@USWeatherExpert), vice president, AccuWeather, Inc.

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Betsy Kling, chief meteorologist, WKYC-TV
Multi-Emmy Award winner Betsy Kling is the Chief Meteorologist at WKYC-TV in Cleveland and carries the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist accreditation from the American Meteorological Association (AMS) as well as the Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association (NWA). She is a full member of both organizations and is active on NWA boards, including serving as an evaluator for Seal of Approval applicants. She mentors young meteorologists and organizes scholarship fund raising efforts for meteorologists-to-be.

Carlton Houston, news director, KFOR-TV
Carlton Houston is the news director at NBC affiliate KFOR in Oklahoma City. Carlton is a veteran broadcaster with more than 20 years of experience covering big weather events in multiple markets including blizzards, drought/wildfires, Hurricane Katrina & Isabelle and recently the devastating tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma. From reporter to news manager Carlton has developed a keen insight into crisis weather coverage with an eye to providing compelling viewer-focused information while keeping employee safety a high priority. Carlton serves as Region 6 director for RTDNA.

Dr. Susan Jasko, professor, California University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Susan Jasko has studied human communication, language, social influence, media, popular culture, and cognition for more than 25 years. Armed with a doctorate from The Ohio State University, she bravely and proudly served on the NOAA Hurricane Irene Service Assessment Team, launching her headlong into the weather enterprise. She is interested in the warning process, forecaster and atmospheric science expertise, social media, human organizing and coordination across sectors, and the wise and prudent use of visual aids in presentations. And she bakes a mean batch of brownies.

Mike Smith, vice president, AccuWeather, Inc.
Vice President and Chief Innovation Executive, AccuWeather, Inc. — Certified Consulting Meteorologist who is a leader and innovator in meteorology. He holds 19 patents, is one of the creators of the modern storm warning system, author of two books, Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather and When the Sirens Were Silent, and has won the highest awards and honors in the weather world. Mike combines leading-edge science and a knowledge of business with stories about people and events that are shaping the very way we live. Mike is the expert on extreme weather and its effects on our society.


Let's Get Critical

In this session we look at real-life fakes, lies and distortions that are the stuff of journalism horror stories. Sometimes sources lie, and "trends" turn out not to be trends at all. The time will be jam-packed with examples that will make your palms sweat. What questions can and should journalists ask to make their stories bullet-proof? How can you find the metadata behind photos to see if they are real? You will learn how to read studies and news releases with X-ray eyes to discover what others will miss. This is a highly interactive session where audience participation isn't just encouraged, it is REQUIRED.

Trainer: Al Tompkins (@atompkins), senior faculty, broadcast and online, The Poynter Institute

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Al Tompkins, senior faculty, broadcast and online, The Poynter Institute
Al Tompkins is one of America's most requested journalism trainers. Al is Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online at The Poynter Institute. He has taught thousands of journalists in 48 states, Egypt, Canada, Denmark, South Africa and beyond. During his 42 years in journalism Al has been awarded many of the craft's biggest honors including the National Emmy, 7 National Headliner Awards, The Japan Prize, The Robert F. Kennedy Award, The Peabody, three Gabriel Awards and the Governor's Award by the National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences. More than 115 universities worldwide have adopted his textbook "Aim for the Heart." Al helped write the national ethics guidelines for The National Press Photographers Association and the Radio Television Digital News Association.


Pushing for Parity: How Women Are Faring in Today's Newsrooms

In the wake of the New York Times firing executive editor Jill Abramson, women are asking what it takes to succeed in media organizations. Forty years after women first began to enter newsrooms in significant numbers, what obstacles prevent more women from rising to the top? Why do women face unequal pay in newsrooms? Is there a double standard for what is expected of women news managers? What professional and personal qualities do women need to succeed? This session will have meaning for everyone from the most seasoned manager to the beginner just starting to climb the ladder — and for the men who work alongside women in newsrooms.

Moderators: Barbara Cochran, Missouri School of Journalism; Jill Geisler (@JillGeisler), senior faculty, Leadership & Management, The Poynter Institute

Speakers: Amanda Bennett, investigative journalist and author; Marci Burdick, senior vice president broadcasting, Schurz Communications; Margaret Low Smith, President of AtlanticLIVE; Kimberly Voss, associate professor, University of Central Florida; Caryl Rivers, professor, Boston University; Kara Swisher (@karaswisher), co-chief executive officer of Revere Digital; Bryan Monroe, Washington editor, opinion & commentary, CNN

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Barbara Cochran, Missouri School of Journalism
Barbara Cochran is the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism and director of the school's Washington Program. She has held executive positions in commercial and public media, and has worked in newspapers, radio, television and the non-profit sector. She rose from copy-desk trainee to become managing editor of the Washington Star. She next served as vice president for news at NPR, where she directed the creation of NPR’s morning news program, Morning Edition. Moving from radio to television, she became executive producer of NBC’s Meet the Press and then vice president and Washington bureau chief of CBS News, the first woman to head a network bureau in Washington. She served for 12 years as president of the Radio Television Digital News Association before her appointment to the Missouri faculty. She is a president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute and was a founding board member of the International Women's Media Foundation.

Jill Geisler, senior faculty, Leadership & Management, The Poynter Institute
Jill Geisler teaches and coaches news leaders in all media, across the globe. She’s been inducted into multiple journalism halls of fame. She was among the country’s first female TV news directors, joining the Poynter Institute in 1998 after 26 years in broadcast journalism. Jill's top-rated “What Great Bosses Know” podcasts on iTunes U have had over 12 million downloads. Her book, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know” has become a leadership manual for managers in all professions. She holds a masters degree in leadership studies from Duquesne University and a bachelors in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where she was the first woman president of the campus SPJ chapter — after women were allowed to join. Her management mantra is: “Life’s too short to work with jerks."

Amanda Bennett, investigative journalist and author
Amanda Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, investigative journalist and editor. Through 2013, she was Executive Editor, Bloomberg News, where she created and ran a global team of investigative reporters and editors. She was also a founder of Bloomberg News’ Women’s project. She was editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from June, 2003, to November, 2006, and prior to that was editor of the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky. She also served for three years as managing editor/projects for The Oregonian in Portland. Bennett served as a Wall Street Journal reporter for more than 20 years. A graduate of Harvard College, she held numerous posts at the Journal, including auto industry reporter in Detroit, Pentagon and State Department reporter, Beijing correspondent, management editor/reporter, national economics correspondent and, finally, chief of the Atlanta bureau until 1998.

She served as co-Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2010. Bennett shared the Prize for national reporting with her Journal colleagues, and in 2001 led a team from The Oregonian to a Pulitzer for public service.

She is the author of six books, including “The Cost of Hope,” her memoir of the battle she and Foley, her late husband, fought against his kidney cancer, which was published in June, 2012 by Random House.

Marci Burdick, senior vice president broadcasting, Schurz Communications
Marci Burdick is Senior Vice-President-Electronic Division for Schurz Communications, a position she’s held since February 2003. Her responsibilities include supervision of 3 cable companies, 11 television stations and 13 radio stations. Other positions Burdick has held within the Schurz organization include Television VP, President/General Manager of WAGT-TV in Augusta Georgia (June 2000-September 2002) and News Director at KYTV, Springfield, Missouri (1988-2000). Prior to that, she was anchor/news director at KOTA TV and KEVN TV, both in her hometown of Rapid City, South Dakota.

She has won numerous awards for excellence in journalism both as a reporter and news manager. They include 2 national Edward R. Murrow awards, many regional Murrows, 4 regional Emmy awards, the national Iris Award, the national Silver Gavel Award and several dozen state broadcast association awards. In 2010, Burdick was awarded The South Dakota Broadcast Association’s “Tom Brokaw Award” for broadcast excellence. In 2012, RTDNA honored her with the First Amendment Leadership Award.

Burdick is the Television Board Chairman of the National Associations of Broadcasters, the industry’s leading trade association. She is a member of the NBC Affiliates Association Board and is a past chairwoman of the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

Bryan Monroe, Washington editor, opinion & commentary, CNN
Bryan Monroe is the Washington Editor, Opinion & Commentary at CNN. He was also the editor of CNNPolitics.com. Monroe led the editorial planning and content strategy for CNN's political coverage on the digital, online & mobile platforms from the network’s D.C. bureau. He ran digital coverage of the 2012 election and delivered 1 billion page views during the 2012 election season and 100 million page views for politics on election night alone.

Previously, Monroe served as Vice President and Editorial Director at EBONY and JET Magazines in Chicago. At the magazines, he led the coverage of the 2008 presidential elections and conducted the first interview with then President-elect Barack Obama following his November victory; and also had the last major interview with pop star Michael Jackson before he died.

Monroe was also a Visiting Professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, the CEO of The Monroe Media Group in Chicago, and is a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

He was also assistant Vice President/News and a corporate officer at Knight Ridder, where he was responsible for 16 of the company's 32 newsrooms and helped lead the team at the Biloxi (MS) Sun Herald that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

Caryl Rivers, professor, Boston University
Caryl Rivers is a nationally known author, journalist, media critic and professor of Journalism at Boston University. In 2007, she was awarded the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for distinguished journalism.

Her new book (with Dr. Rosalind Barnett of Brandeis) is The New Soft War on Women. (Tarcher/Penguin) It was an Oprah Top Ten pick.

“Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women” was published by University Press of New England. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times magazine, Daily Beast, Huffington post, Salon, The Nation, Saturday Review, Ms., Mother Jones, Dissent, McCalls, Glamour, Redbook, Rolling Stone, Ladies Home Journal and many others. She writes frequent commentary for the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post and Womensenews.

She is the author of four novels and ten works of non-fiction, all critically acclaimed. Her books have been selections of the Book of the Month Club, Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Troll Book club. She has won a Casey medal for distinguished journalism about children and families, a special citation from the national education writers association and a Goldsmith Research Grant, from the Shorenstein Center at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University, for research on gender and media issues.

Margaret Low Smith, President of AtlanticLIVE
Margaret Low Smith is the new President of AtlanticLIVE. She is part of the leadership team charged with taking Atlantic’s already prodigious events business to the next level. She was most recently NPR Senior Vice President for News where she oversaw NPR's News division and the work of nearly 400 broadcast and digital journalists across the country and in 17 bureaus around the world.

Smith came to NPR in 1982, getting her start as an overnight production assistant for Morning Edition. Over three decades, she rose through numerous senior production and programming roles, including a decade as an award winning producer on All Things Considered and 12 years as Vice President for Programming, where she was in charge of all NPR program distribution deals and managed the network's relationships with more than a dozen acquired shows from Car Talk to Fresh Air. In addition, she oversaw NPR's weekly news quiz Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and built a successful live events strategy for the hit show.

Smith began running the News division in January 2011 and has led NPR through many turbulent news cycles, including the coverage of watershed events from the Arab Spring to the Boston Marathon bombing. She has been instrumental in transforming NPR's approach to breaking news on all platforms and oversaw the creation of a new Ethics Handbook for NPR journalists.

Kara Swisher, co-chief executive officer of Revere Digital
Kara Swisher is co-chief executive officer of Revere Digital; co-executive editor of Re/code; and co-executive producer of The Code Conference. She started covering digital issues for the Wall Street Journal in 1997. She was the author of the column “BoomTown” and one of the first hires at the Journal to cover the Web. From 2007 to 2013, she served as co-executive editor of AllThingsD.com and co-produced a major high-tech conference called “D: All Things Digital.” Swisher was earlier a reporter for The Washington Post and wrote two books about AOL.

Kimberly Voss, associate professor, University of Central Florida
Kimberly Wilmot Voss, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Central Florida where teaches media law, history and social media journalism. Her scholarship includes female pioneers in newspaper management and their pathways to better understand the current media environment for women. Her most recent article was published in the summer issue of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. She also researches the history of women’s page journalists who were the original users of a hyper-local approach and social media in its original form. She has published the stories of more than 30 women from the 1950s and 1960s. She is the author of The Food Section: Newspaper Women and the Culinary Community and a co-author of Mad Men and Working Women: Feminist Perspectives on Historical Power, Resistance and Otherness. She blogs at WomensPageHistory.com.


Friday, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Real Time #WJCHAT

#wjchat's weekly web journalism Twitter chat will happen IRL. This session, like the Wednesday chat, will harness the wisdom of the crowd to share our collective knowledge and experiences. No slides, no agenda ... join the #wjchat moderators in an engaging conversation about web journalism. (Twitter not required, only awesomeness.)

Trainers: Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist), assistant Professor of professional practice, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; Kim Bui (@kimbui), digital journalist; André Natta, digital journalist, The Terminal; Robin J. Phillips (@RobinJP), digital director, Reynolds Center for Business Journalism

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Kim Bui, digital journalist
Kim Bui is a digital journalist with a bent for emerging media. Her career is focused on storytelling on the Web and how journalism can learn from technology outside of the field. She was recently a part of Digital First Media’s Thunderdome working on the breaking news team. She’s also an adjunct instructor at the University of Southern California. Previously, she worked on mobile projects for KPCC, bridging the gap between the editorial side and the technologists. She’s also managed KPCC’s social media and engagement efforts. She began her career as a reporter for the Kansas City Star and the San Luis Obispo Tribune before moving to online after the creation of a personal blog sparked a passion.

Robert Hernandez, assistant Professor of professional practice, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Robert Hernandez, aka WebJournalist, has made a name for himself as a journalist of the Web, not just on the Web. His primary focus is exploring and developing the intersection of technology and journalism — to empower people, inform reporting and storytelling, engage community, improve distribution and, whenever possible, enhance revenue. He is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, but he’s not an academic... he’s more of a “hackademic” and specializes in “MacGyvering” Web journalism solutions. He connects dots and people. He has worked for seattletimes.com, SFGate.com, eXaminer.com, La Prensa Gráfica, among others. Hernandez is also the co-founder of #wjchat and creator of Learn Code for Journalism with Me project. He is currently serving on the Online News Association board and a lifetime member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He has Glass, but is not a Glasshole. b-)

André Natta, digital journalist, The Terminal
André Natta is a digital journalist based in Birmingham, AL, where he started The Terminal (an online publication about Alabama's largest city) in 2007. The Bronx, NY native attended the Savannah College of Art and Design; studied architectural history and architecture; and likes to write about urban revitalization and how the ongoing digital revolution influences the development of cities. He enjoys running, cooking, and gardening whenever he can pull himself away from the Internet. There's also a constant need to have access to a baseball diamond.

Robin J. Phillips, digital director, Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
Robin J. Phillips, digital director, Reynolds Center for Business. Robin is an online journalist who manages the Reynold’s Center’s national social media brands and oversees the center's website, BusinessJournalism.org. She teaches journalists how to use social media as a research and personal branding tool and how it can help them expand their sources and find new stories on their beats. Robin teaches a course on the Business & Future of Journalism at the Cronkite School of Journalism and has been an advisor to the Arizona Supreme Court on the use of social media and technology in the courts.


Better Fact-Checking in 7 Steps

It's election season: Are you ready for the deluge of advertisements, campaign claims and rhetoric? Learn the best practices in fact checking on the campaign trail — or tricky facts on any beat — with our 7-step checklist derived from fact-checking research and top practitioners. And walk through a real fact-check with one of the best fact-checking organizations in the business: PolitiFact.

Trainers: Jane Elizabeth, senior research manager, American Press Institute; Sean Gorman, PolitiFact Virginia reporter, Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Jane Elizabeth, senior research manager, American Press Institute
Jane currently leads the American Press Institute's project to improve and increase political fact-checking journalism. She is the Washington Post's former deputy local editor/digital news, and teaches advanced journalism at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Jane's work at five U.S. newspapers has focused largely on politics, regional news and education. She was education editor at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and a senior editor at The Virginian-Pilot where she launched and directed the newsroom's first digital news team. She holds a master's degree in mass communications from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Sean Gorman, PolitiFact Virginia reporter, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Sean is a 1997 graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. He has worked as a reporter at States News Service in Washington, D.C. Since February 2011, he has worked for the Richmond Times-Dispatch as a PolitiFact Virginia reporter. His work at PolitiFact includes coverage of the 2012 U.S. Senate race between Tim Kaine and George Allen, the 2013 gubernatorial race between Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli and the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie. He is originally from Dayton, Ohio.


A Digital Approach to Enterprise Stories

Journalists traditionally think of enterprise as a long Sunday story in the newspaper or a special report for TV. Increasingly, we need to think digital-first in our planning of enterprise stories: What are the right tools and the right time for telling your big stories? All journalists and managers will benefit from hearing how to shape thinking toward a digital-first approach, but this session is particularly intended for newsroom managers and leaders.

Trainer: Steve Buttry (@stevebuttry), long-time editor and digital journalism trainer

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Steve Buttry, long-time editor and digital journalism trainer
Steve Buttry has been a journalist for more than 40 years and a trainer and leader in digital transformation for more than 10 years. He is the former Digital Transformation Editor for Digital First Media and Director of Community Engagement for TBD.com. He is the former editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette and Minot Daily News and was named Editor of the Year in 2010 by Editor & Publisher magazine. Buttry led dozens of ethics seminars for the American Press Institute and often addresses issues of journalism ethics and digital media in his blog, The Buttry Diary.

Buttry has pursued his journalism career in 44 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces, Ireland, Venezuela, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Siberia, France and Italy. He and his wife, Mimi Johnson, author of the journalism novel Gathering String, live in Herndon, Va. They have three grown sons and two granddaughters.


The Multimedia Portfolio: Making it Competitive

In today's competitive market for internships, fellowships, job experiences, and social media marketing, all beginning and experienced broadcasters should have an online portfolio that positions them as a player in the field. Free web templates, easy linkage with no HTML coding, and knowledge of cloud service providers are essential tools to creating a multimedia portfolio that will get you ahead in your career. Hear from an educator who has been teaching web portfolios for six years, a news director who critiques them for jobs, and two seniors who have competitive portfolios that have landed them competitive internships. Find out how to set yours apart.

Trainers: Chandra Clark, PhD, The University of Alabama; Matthew Zelkind, station manager and news director, WKRN-TV News 2 Nashville; Taylor Crosby, graduate, University of Alabama; Caitlyn Chastain, student, University of Alabama

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Caitlyn Chastain, student, University of Alabama
Caitlyn Chastain is a senior majoring in Telecommunication and Film at the University of Alabama who is looking for a reporting job. Caitlyn is an honors student and is a former president of the Capstone chapter of RTDNA. She started her web portfolio during her freshman year in Clark's introductory class, and it has evolved and grown following each internship she has had and following the production of packages. She has interned at WVUA-TV and Portsmouth, Virginia's WAVY-TV/Fox 43. She served as an assistant producer on Clark's Hurricane Sandy documentary. Caitlyn was also selected as an intern for the National Association of Broadcasters' Studio XPerience in Las Vegas this past spring.

Chandra Clark, PhD, The University of Alabama
Chandra Clark, PhD, is glad to be home teaching electronic news and new media at her alma mater of the University of Alabama. After graduating with her bachelors at UA, she was a news producer at the ABC affiliate in Birmingham. After working her way up through the management ranks to senior producer, she left to return to UA where she was the assistant director of broadcast marketing and media where she also taught as an adjunct while pursuing her doctorate. After an appointment to Samford University and two years at the University of Montevallo, she found her way back to the Capstone. Clark has produced national commercials, multi-media recruitment videos, and web content while also working with national broadcast networks, documentarians, and television stations from around the country.

Now, in addition to teaching, Clark has spent the last three years as a freelance producer working with the National Association of Broadcasters producing mini-documentaries on the role of broadcasters during times of disasters. In collaboration with her documentary partner at the University of Oklahoma, the two have employed students to assist in national award winning projects that focus on the Tuscaloosa, Joplin, and Moore tornadoes as well as Hurricane Sandy.

Taylor Crosby, graduate, University of Alabama
Taylor Crosby is an August 2014 University of Alabama graduate with a double major in Telecommunication and Film and Political Science. Taylor is an honors student who has served as the past RTDNA president at the Capstone. He has worked at Disney World in a professional internship as well as with Crimson Tide Productions with the UA athletic department shooting, editing, and directing. Taylor has also had internships with WVUA-TV and the Community and Media Relations Department of East Tennessee Children's Hospital. Taylor was selected as an intern for the National Association of Broadcasters' Studio XPerience in Las Vegas this past spring. For Taylor's final TCF class, his team created a new media project for the Tuscaloosa community of Alberta that was destroyed in the 2011 tornadoes. His team worked with city leaders and the project served as a community project to bring the Alberta community back together as they rebuild and it served as a project for all the student's multimedia portfolios.

Matthew Zelkind, station manager and news director, WKRN-TV News 2 Nashville
Matthew Zelkind is the station manager and news director of Nashville's WKRN-TV. Zelkind has been working in television news for more than 28 years. He started his career as a producer at KOBI-TV in Medford, Oregon, followed by producing at KSBY in San Luis Obispo, KTNV in Las Vegas and KCAL in Los Angeles. He was Assistant News director and Executive News Director at KAKE-TV in Wichita, Kansas, then KCNC-TV in Denver, Colorado, then returned to KTNV as News Director.

In 1995, Matthew joined Nashville's WKRN-TV before moving to Richmond, Virginia's WRIC-TV in 2004 as Station Manager. In May of 2007, he returned to WKRN as Station Manager/News Director. Matthew has overseen a complete reevaluation of how news is delivered. He has added new programming as well as emphasizing expansion of delivery of news by social media and mobile devices. With two stints, Matthew is the most tenured news director ever in the Nashville market. Zelkind has been instrumental in supporting the Country Music Associations "Keep The Music Playing" initiative to increase music education in Metro Public schools. His newsrooms have earned dozens of state and regional awards including regional and national Emmys and prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards.


What's Next in Covering the Affordable Care Act?

Get ready to cover open enrollment this fall for both individuals and small businesses under the Affordable Care Act. A year after the launch of healthcare.gov, individuals will be anxious to see whether premiums go up when open enrollment starts Nov. 15, and for the first time, small businesses will be shopping on healthcare.gov to buy the coverage for their employees. Tami Luhby, who covers health care for CNNMoney, will help you identify local story ideas and give you a road map to possible sources to develop them.

Trainer: Tami Luhby, health care reporter, CNNMoney

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Tami Luhby, health care reporter, CNNMoney
Tami Luhby is a senior writer at CNNMoney and covers healthcare, income inequality and other economic issues. Luhby previously wrote about personal finance for Newsday and banking for Crain's New York Business. A Bronx native, she teaches at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and does marathons and triathlons in her spare time.


How to Write Tight for TV and Video

Longer does not always mean better. Learn how to cut the stuff and fluff and keep the heart of your story. We’ll dissect stories line-by-line in this highly practical session. While you're at it, you will learn how to narrate like Morgan Freeman. HINT: It’s not the silky voice; it’s the tight sentence structure that you will be able to use on your next deadline.

Trainer: Al Tompkins (@atompkins), senior faculty, broadcast and online, The Poynter Institute

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Al Tompkins, senior faculty, broadcast and online, The Poynter Institute
Al Tompkins is one of America's most requested journalism trainers. Al is Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online at The Poynter Institute. He has taught thousands of journalists in 48 states, Egypt, Canada, Denmark, South Africa and beyond. During his 42 years in journalism Al has been awarded many of the craft's biggest honors including the National Emmy, 7 National Headliner Awards, The Japan Prize, The Robert F. Kennedy Award, The Peabody, three Gabriel Awards and the Governor's Award by the National Academy for Television Arts and Sciences. More than 115 universities worldwide have adopted his textbook "Aim for the Heart." Al helped write the national ethics guidelines for The National Press Photographers Association and the Radio Television Digital News Association.


Storytelling with Google Maps

A map can help bring your story, and data, to life. This session will provide an introductory survey to Google's mapping tools and technology, and how you can use them to tell visually compelling stories. Tools covered: Google Maps Engine, the Google Maps API, Google Earth, Fusion Tables, Google Maps Street View, satellite imagery and more. We'll also highlight examples of how newsrooms around the world are using these tools, and address your permissions and licensing questions.

Trainer: Vanessa Schneider (@vanessagene), Google

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Vanessa Schneider, Google
Vanessa Schneider has been with Google for more than three years, most recently as the Geo Media Program Manager, helping journalists around the world tell stories with Google Maps and Google Earth. Before joining Google, Vanessa worked at The New York Times as a community specialist, Time Inc. as a researcher and reporter, and at New York startup Hot Potato, acquired by Facebook in summer 2010.


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