Breakout Sessions: Saturday

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.

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

Branding Yourself in a Changing Journalism Landscape

More than ever, media outlets are undergoing restructuring and staffing changes. To be successful in today's communication landscape, you must have a strong brand. This session will give you the knowledge and tools you need to brand yourself, whether you are a broadcast, print, online or freelance media professional. You'll be more able to find new assignments, jobs, contacts and resources to keep you happy and fed as a professional journalist. Included in this presentation are interviews and data from a variety of journalists who have successfully rebranded themselves and found new success.

Trainers: Robyn Davis Sekula, communications consultant, journalist, and president, SPJ Louisville Pro chapter; Victor Hernandez (@tothevictor), director of media innovation, Banjo and 2015-16 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow

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Robyn Davis Sekula, communications consultant, journalist, and president, SPJ Louisville Pro Chapter
Robyn Davis Sekula is a communications and social media consultant who lives in the Louisville, Kentucky, area. She is also President of the SPJ Louisville Pro chapter and serves as chair of the SPJ Membership Committee. She primarily consults with organizations and business in communications, social media, public relations and marketing and is a frequent speaker. Robyn was a courts and crime reporter in North Carolina, a business editor in Missouri and a business reporter in Kentucky before launching her freelance writing and consulting career in 2003. She counts among her clients law firms, national-level non-profits, small businesses and government entities.

Victor Hernandez, director of media innovation, Banjo and 2015-16 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow
Victor Hernandez is director of media innovation at Banjo and a 2015-16 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow at the University of Missouri. He previously was a news futurist and journalism innovator with CNN. In this role Hernandez was charged with shaping critical vision and strategies around emerging technologies against CNN’s journalistic endeavors. He previously served as CNN’s Director of National Coverage where he oversaw domestic newsgathering operations including the handling of strategic response to breaking news and in-depth coverage. He was a distinguished member of Poynter Ethics Fellows 2008-09, and is associated with the Society of Professional Journalists, Online News Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Hernandez was previously named to SPJ’s 20 Journalists/Industry Thinkers You Should Know list, 50 People in Media You Should Subscribe to on Facebook and Poynter’s 35 most influential people in social media.

Reporting and Suicide

In December 2012, Leonora LaPeter Anton published lengthy profile in the Tampa Bay Times of Gretchen Molannen, a Tampa woman diagnosed with a rare condition called Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder. The condition left Molannen unemployed, in constant pain, and frequently depressed. Anton told Molannen’s story with her full and largely enthusiastic support. Despite that, Gretchen Molannen took her own life in the hours before the story was published. A year later, Anton revisited the story and Molannen’s death, asking what role, if any, she played in her source’s suicide. In this session, Anton and Naseem Miller discuss how to report on highly sensitive topics, how to deal with vulnerable sources, and how to report on a topic traditionally considered taboo in journalism.

Moderator: Patricia Gallagher Newberry (@pattinewberry), senior lecturer, Miami University

Speakers: Leonora LaPeter Anton (@writerleonora), reporter, Tampa Bay Times; Naseem Miller (@naseemmiller), senior health reporter, Orlando Sentinel

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Patricia Gallagher Newberry, Miami University
Patricia Gallagher Newberry is a senior lecturer in journalism at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. A former newspaper journalist, who covered mostly corporate America at 10 papers over 15 years, Newberry teaches a range of beginning and upper-level courses in addition to overseeing internships, student media and special events. An SPJ member since her undergrad days, Newberry is a member of the national SPJ board as SPJ Region 4 director.

Leonora LaPeter Anton, reporter, Tampa Bay Times
Leonora LaPeter Anton is a Tampa Bay Times reporter on the enterprise team. Her stories veer toward the unusual: a surrogate mother who can't get pregnant; a broke couple who rent rooms in their mansion; a boy who says his girlfriend raped him. She grew up in Connecticut and Greece and studied journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked for newspapers in Okeechobee and Tallahassee, in Florida; Hilton Head Island, S.C.; and Savannah, Ga. She joined the Times in 2000, the same year she won the American Society of News Editors award for deadline reporting.

Naseem Miller, health reporter, Orlando Sentinel
Naseem Miller is a senior health reporter at the Orlando Sentinel, where she covers medicine and consumer health, health care economics and policy, and science and discovery in Central Florida. She earlier worked for newspapers in Ocala, Fla., and Muncie, Ind., with an internship at the Washington Post. Miller has a bachelor’s degree in molecular and microbiology from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from American University. She completed a Poynter Institute workshop on covering suicide this summer.

Emmett & Erling: Lessons From a Viral News Video

The story of the friendship between a three-year-old boy and the WWII veteran next door has been viewed tens of millions of times online. But what can it teach us about the future of visual journalism, where success is measured not just by ratings, but by online views and social media interaction? This session will explore strategies for bringing viewers into the tent through social media engagement, while providing them with something worth sharing when they get there.

Trainer: Boyd Huppert (@boydhuppert), reporter, KARE-TV

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Boyd Huppert, reporter, KARE-TV
Boyd Huppert, among the nation’s most recognized and honored narrative storytellers in journalism, got his start in broadcasting as a 16-year-old announcer at his hometown radio station, WEVR in River Falls, Wisconsin. He majored in journalism and political science at UW-River Falls and began his television career in 1984 at WSAW-TV in Wausau. He worked at two more TV stations, KETV in Omaha and WITI in Milwaukee, before joining KARE 11 in 1996. In 2015, Huppert, along with photographer Jonathan Malat, Boyd was honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for Feature Reporting and Writing, his 13th and 14th national Murrows. He's also the recipient of the 2014 Scripps Howard Award, a 2006 national Emmy for feature reporting and multiple National Headliner and Sigma Delta Chi Awards from SPJ.

Geek Out! Latest Gadgets, Apps & Technology

This now-annual session is where attendees 'get their geek on' by sharing information and asking questions about the latest tech innovations and how they can be used by journalists. What will we talk about this year? Apple Watch? Oculus? Google Cardboard? Come for an informal, engaging, interactive session where we strip out the formality and chat about all the cool stuff going on in journalism — and why it’s such a fun time to work in it. One condition: Come with an open and non-judgmental mind — and with your own topics to discuss.

Trainer: Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist), journalism professor, USC, and co-founder of #WJCHAT

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Robert Hernandez, journalism professor, USC, and co-founder of #WJCHAT
Robert Hernandez 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 Associate 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,, and La Prensa Gráfica, among others. He’s also the co-founder of #wjchat and creator of Learn Code for Journalism with Me project. His most recent work has included Augmented Reality, Wearables/Google Glass and Virtual Reality. He is currently serving on the Online News Association board and is a lifetime member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Covering the Growing Latino Market

The U.S. Hispanic market, approximately 54 million, is impacting all facets of society from the population and economic growth to politics and popular culture. It is a diverse community which itself is diverse; self-identifying with different races and communicating in different languages. With a purchasing power estimated to be more than $1 trillion, there’s no doubt reaching this key market is crucial to the growth of any organization. In this session, seasoned journalists and researchers discuss the challenges of covering the Latino community and offer insights on ensuring their stories are told and their voices are heard.

Moderator: Hugo Balta @HugoBalta, senior director multicultural content, ESPN

Speakers: Ramon Escobar (@ramonescobar_), VP, talent recruitment & development, CNN Worldwide; Pauline Arrillaga, enterprise editor, Associated Press; Carolina Better, associate director, Latinum Network; Manel E. Avendaño, night editor, El Diario/La Prensa

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Hugo Balta, senior director multicultural content, ESPN
Hugo Balta is the Senior Director of Multicultural Content, ESPN Digital & Print Media.

Hugo leads initiatives in raising the quality, profile and delivery of diverse news gathering and storytelling.

He's overseeing the expansion of ESPN One Nacion, an initiative focused on best serving U.S. Hispanic sports fans in English y español across ESPN and ESPN Deportes networks and all platforms.

Hugo is a diversity and inclusion media specialist, often asked to be a guest speaker and writer
He is the immediate past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) having served from 2012-2014. Before that he served in various leadership roles nationally and locally for NAHJ.

He is a journalism veteran of more than 20 years having worked at CBS, Telemundo and NBC before joining ESPN.

Pauline Arrillaga, enterprise editor, Associated Press
Pauline Arrillaga is the U.S. Enterprise Editor for The Associated Press, overseeing AP's enterprise journalism across the 50 states. She joined the AP in 1992 in Dallas as one of 15 college journalists chosen for the cooperative's national internship program. She quickly moved up through the ranks — covering state politics in Austin, the space program and prison system in Houston and serving as a desk supervisor in Dallas. In 1995, Arrillaga became correspondent in Harlingen, Texas, writing about such issues as immigration, drug trafficking and the growing influence of Hispanics in America. Four years later, she was named Southwest regional writer in Phoenix. She was promoted to national writer in 2002. In that role, Arrillaga parachuted in to major news events to find the human stories behind the headlines, and also worked to develop long-form narrative pieces.

Carolina Better, associate director, Latinum Network
Carolina Better is an Associate Director for Latinum Network’s Product Team. She is in charge of creating syndicated content for multiple initiatives, executive roundtables, and the digital platform, which are available to all the companies in the network. She recently led Latinum’s research on bilingual bicultural Hispanics. Better is originally from Quito, Ecuador and is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. She holds an M.A. in International and Development Economics from the University of San Francisco, a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Communications from the Pennsylvania State University.

Manel E. Avendaño, night editor, El Diario/La Prensa
Manel E. Avendaño was born in Lima, Perú, and has been a journalst in the United States for thirty years. He studied Journalism at the San Marcos University in Lima, after completing studies of Electronic Engineering at the National School of Technical Engineering (ENIT) and National University of Engineering (UNI). After working in various publications in his country, he founded his own magazine, KARATE INTERNATIONAL, in 1985. He emigrated to the United States and that same year published his first newspaper article, "Hispanics Find Garden State Replete with Roses and Thorns” in the North Jersey Herald News. In 1986, he started as a reporter at EL DIARIO/LA PRENSA in New York, where he currently serves as Night Editor. He was also founder-director of the newspaper HOY, in 1998. He was honored as "Journalist of the Year" by the New Jersey State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NJSHCC). In 2007 he received a Proclamation of Honor for his record of journalism service, given by the City Council of New York. In 2011 also received the "Peruvian Pride Award.” He published “Ladrón de Corazones” ("Thief of Hearts") as part of the book “Cuentos Locos” ("Crazy Stories"). He is president of New Jersey chapter of NAHJ.

Ramon Escobar, VP of talent recruitment and development, CNN
Ramon Escobar is responsible for the recruitment of all on-air talent for CNN U.S., CNN International, CNN en Español and HLN. He also advances the internal development of all anchors, correspondents and contributors. Escobar is based out of New York City and has held his current position since 2012. He came to CNN after several years spent at Telemundo, most recently as executive vice president of network news, overseeing the entire news division including all international news bureaus and the development of on-air talent. While at Telemundo his other roles included senior executive vice president of entertainment and senior vice president of news and creative services. Escobar spent two years as an executive at Sucherman Consulting Group in New York where he acted as vice president and worked with clients including ABC News, Discovery Networks, BBC America and Telemundo. Previously, Escobar served in a management position as vice president at MSNBC in charge of all live news programming. He was also Vice President & News Director of NBC's owned and operated station in Miami, WTVJ and got his start in television as a producer at Univision's owned and operated station in New York, WXTV. In addition to his executive work, Escobar has served as a mentor, teaching several classes as a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He is a lifetime member of NAHJ.

Who Delivers the Message is as Important as the Message

It might be a new media, but it's challenged with old problems. Despite being the vehicle of choice for millennials led by Hispanics, the number of multicultural voices remains worrisomely low. Panelists will discuss the lack of diversity and how it negatively impacts content development. The workshop also offers simple solutions for improving the fair and accurate coverage of minorities.

Moderator: Mariana Atencio, anchor and correspondent, Fusion

Speakers: Ernesto Mourelo, director of digital content, Hearst Television; Alison Overholt, editor-in-chief, espnW; Paul Cheung, director of interactive and digital news production, Associated Press; John Kosner, executive vice president, ESPN Digital & Print Media

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Mariana Atencio, anchor and correspondent, Fusion/ABC News
Mariana Atencio is an anchor on Fusion, the ABC News/Univision joint venture launched in 2013. She is known for her tenacious field reporting, doing breaking news and special reports on global youth unrest and other domestic and international issues. She covered the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti; the protests in Ferguson, MO; the youth movement in Hong Kong; the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico. She embedded with undocumented youth in the U.S. as they awaited President Obama's executive order on immigration.

John Kosner, executive vice president, ESPN Digital & Print Media
John Kosner has been ESPN’s digital leader since 2003. As ESPN’s executive vice president, digital and print media, Kosner heads up development for, ESPN The Magazine, espnW, the network’s initiative for female sports fans, and ESPN’s industry-leading applications for all screens including WatchESPN and ESPN3, the premiere live sports event online service; and ESPN, the world’s most popular sports app. Kosner also helped launch, the sports and pop-culture site. Additionally, he manages ESPN’s digital content development in Social Media including partnerships with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest, among others. In 2015, ESPN shattered all audience records for online sports, generating 127 million worldwide unique users in January. Kosner, who was promoted to his current title in January 2012, has overseen a period of tremendous growth and industry recognition for ESPN in Digital and Print Media. He and his team have helped establish a clear leadership position on the sports internet, in digital video and in mobile.

Ernesto Mourelo, director of digital content, Hearst Television
Ernesto Mourelo is the Director of Digital Content at Hearst Television.

Ernesto is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience working in television and digital media for both English and Spanish-language broadcast companies.

He started his career as a video editor and producer before moving into management roles for NBC/Telemundo in San Diego and Los Angeles. From there, Ernesto joined Hearst Television in Cincinnati before becoming the company’s Director of Digital Content in New York, where he leads the editorial operations for Hearst TV’s web and mobile platforms and content syndication efforts.

Ernesto is a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association.

Alison Overholt, editor in chief, espnW
Alison Overholt is the editor-in-chief of espnW.

Alison is responsible for developing comprehensive content strategies through digital, mobile, social, print and video.

Previously, she developed content strategies and editorial mission and direction as part of her own business, 183Ink, LLC, for Hearst Publishing and Seventeen Magazine, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and NASDAQ OMX, among others.

Alison has also served as a contributor to Fast Company, Fortune, O: The Oprah Magazine, Cosmo and The Wall Street Journal.

She has also served as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management since 2012.

Errores y abusos gramaticales en las salas de redacción: cómo identificarlos y corregirlos (presented in Spanish)

La falta de correctores de estilo o de editores de contenido en los medios en español es la razón principal por el cual los errores gramaticales pasan inadvertidos en las salas de redacción. El abuso del gerundio, la incorrecta utilización de los prefijos por influencia del inglés o las ambigüedades en las traducciones en los espacios informativos pueden evitarse con simples técnicas de redacción. Con ejercicios interactivos los asistentes aprenderán la lógica lingüística del español que permitirá escribir y usar el español de manera correcta.

Moderador: Paulina Sodi (@PaulinaSodi), conductora y reportera de noticias, KTMD Telemundo

Panelistas: José Luis Castillo (@jlcastilloKTMD), productor, KTMD Telemundo; Rafael Palacio (@RpalacioES), jefe de redacción, El Sentinel; Judy Jenner (@language_news), intérprete y traductor acreditada

English translation: Common Grammatical Errors in the Newsroom: Learn How to Identify and Correct Them
Lack of copy and content editors in the Spanish media industry is one of the primary reasons why grammatical errors go unnoticed in the newsroom. The abuse of gerund, the incorrect use of the prefixes influenced by the English language or the ambiguities in the translations can be easily avoided by following simple technical writing skills. With interactive exercises the attendees will learn the linguistic logic of Spanish that will guide them to write and utilize the language correctly.

Moderator: Paulina Sodi (@PaulinaSodi), anchor/reporter, KTMD Telemundo

Panelists: José Luis Castillo (@jlcastillosKTMD), producer, KTMD Telemundo; Rafael Palacio (@RpalacioES), Editor-in-Chief, El Sentinel; Judy Jenner (@language_news), accredited translator and interpreter

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Paulina Sodi, anchor, Noticiero Telemundo
Paulina Sodi is a news anchor for Noticiero Telemundo Houston and co-anchors the 4:30, 5 pm and 10 pm weekday newscasts. Prior to joining Telemundo Houston, Sodi served as anchor for TV Azteca’s “Proyecto 40” in Mexico City, where she worked for the national television network as news anchor and contributed to the development and production of documentaries and special investigative stories for seven years. During this time, Sodi also displayed her journalistic talents on both radio and print, having anchored at Radio 13 Noticias and Grupo Imagen Radio, while also writing for Diario La Razon, Reforma and El Universal newspapers. She also held various roles at TV Azteca since 2001. Sodi received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the Intercontinental University of Mexico in Mexico City. She has been honored with a Golden Mike award by the Mexican Radio and Television National Association and an Excelsis award from the Global Quality Foundation’s, Mexican chapter.

José Luis Castillo, investigative producer, KTMD
Investigative and Content producer KTMD Telemundo Houston. Responsible for researching, writing, producing and gathering consumer content investigations. Castillo was born in Lima, Perú, and studied translation before becoming a journalist. He held the position as Editor-in–Chief for the Spanish-language newspaper Semana News In Houston. He also worked as a correspondent/writer with EFE News services since 1999 and for Associated Press from 2011 to 2013. Also worked for several print publications in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Ga., Miami, New York, L.A. as editor, columnist, reporter and media advisor.

Judy Jenner, translator and interpreter
Judy Jenner is a Spanish and German business and legal translator and court-certified Spanish interpreter (California and Nevada). She has an MBA in marketing and runs her boutique translation and interpreting business, Twin Translations, with her twin sister Dagmar. She was born in Austria and grew up in a trilingual household in Mexico City. A former in-house translation department manager, she is a past president of the Nevada Interpreters and Translators Association. She writes the blog Translation Times, pens the "Entrepreneurial Linguist" column for The American Translators Association’s Chronicle, and is a frequent conference speaker at events around the world. She is the co-author of The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation, which is used at universities in many countries, and teaches translation and interpretation at UC-San Diego Extension’s online Spanish/English translation certificate.

Rafael Palacio, El Sentinel editor, Orlando Sentinel
Editor of El Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel's Spanish-Language weekly paper, and its companion website, Rafael Palacio joined El Sentinel in September 2003. Palacio grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, where he got his bachelor of arts degree in journalism at Andres Bello Catholic University in 1987. He worked as a business and finance reporter for El Diario de Caracas and El Nacional newspapers. He’s also worked for The Associated Press, out of its headquarters in Manhattan.

Visual Verification: Tools and Techniques for Vetting User-Generated Content

Today, when breaking news happens, there is likely going to be a crowd photograph of it. For journalism, that can be an opportunity, but as journalists, we also need to ask important questions about User-Generated Content. Learn more about tools and techniques for verifying digital photographs, including using reverse-image search, EXIF metadata analysis, and more. Learn how to reduce your UGC risk, engage your audience, and capture content from the crowd, and see some recent examples of image manipulations and misrepresentations — and how you can avoid adding to the problem by spreading manipulated images online.

Trainer: Samaruddin Stewart (@samsends), Project Lead, Verified Pixel Project

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Samaruddin Stewart, Project Lead, Verified Pixel Project
Samaruddin Stewart is a journalist and technologist based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the project lead for the Verified Pixel Project. He has researched image and metadata analysis at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow as well as during a fellowship with the Center for International Media Ethics. In 2015, he was awarded a Knight Foundation Prototype Grant to convert his research in image verification into a tool for newsrooms to better source, verify, and publish user generated visuals ( Stewart was also selected as the 189th US Department of State Franklin Fellow where he served as a media expert advising on content strategy and audience engagement. Prior to his work in verification, he was a senior photography manager and editor at AOL News where he helped introduce metadata-driven photo galleries and multimedia. Stewart was accepted into the Fulbright Specialist Program in 2014, and previously worked for Agence France-Presse and The Arizona Republic.

Saturday, 11 a.m.-Noon

15 Jaw-Droppingly Cool Online Tools You Will LOVE and USE

Come find out how easy it is to build a 360 interactive photo, drop interactive tags on your online photos or use metadata and search tools to find, enrich and verify stories. See how Twitter and Facebook can be a powerful search engine. See one big tool that hackers use that may just keep you up at night. This high-energy interactive romp will make you say WOW!

Trainer: Al Tompkins, senior faculty for broadcasting and online, The Poynter Institute

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Al Tompkins, senior faculty for broadcasting and online, The Poynter Institute
Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. For almost 10 years, thousands of people a day read his online journalism story idea column “Al’s Morning Meeting” on

Tompkins is the author of the book “Aim For The Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters,” which was adopted by more than 75 universities as their main broadcast writing textbook.

He co-authored four editions of the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation’s “Newsroom Ethics” workbook. Tompkins joined Poynter’s faculty from his job as news director at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tenn. For 24 years, he worked as a photojournalist, reporter, producer, anchor, assistant news director, special projects/investigations director, documentary producer and news director.

Tompkins has trained thousands of television news producers, reporters, photojournalists and managers in his One-Day Storytelling Workshops in 45 states, Canada, Denmark, Iceland and South Africa. He has taught and coached print newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad how to build interactive news websites, how to use video more effectively online and how to manage ethical issues that arise online.

Awards: Tompkins was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and in 2008 was awarded The Governor’s Award, the highest honor given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. During his two and a half decades as a journalist, Tompkins has won the National Emmy, the Peabody Award (group award), the Japan Prize, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel for Court Reporting, seven National Headliner Awards, two Iris Awards and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

He is a co-producer of the hour-long documentary, “Saving Stefani,” featured as a special “Dateline NBC” and was awarded the 1999 Clarion Award. The 10-year documentary project tells the story of a young girl that Tompkins and a medical team found dying in a Guatemala hospital.

Tompkins also serves as a final juror on the duPont-Columbia Awards, the Scripps Howard National Journalism Awards and is a national screener for the Investigative Reporter and Editor awards.

Unleash Your Inner Broadcaster

In today's media landscape, "broadcasting" isn't just for radio and television people. More and more print journalists and those new to broadcasting are now required to use their voices for podcasts and other online content. However, finding your voice isn't always easy. Learn techniques so you can deliver copy in a clear, conversational manner and more effectively communicate with your audience. We'll have scripts to help you unleash your inner broadcaster. NOTE: While this session is a great way for print journalists to develop stronger vocal ability, it's also an excellent session for radio and television broadcasters to fine-tune their skills and sound better on the air. It is also a great way for newsroom managers to learn new techniques for coaching their own staffs.

Trainers: Amy Tardif, station manager and news director, WGCU-FM and chair, RTDNA; George Bodarky, news and public affairs director, WFUV and president, Public Radio News Directors Inc.

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George Bodarky, news and public affairs director, WFUV and president, Public Radio News Directors Inc.
George Bodarky is the News and Public Affairs Director at WFUV FM, an NPR affiliate station, based on the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University in the Bronx. George is the current President of Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and a Past President and current board member of the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He is an award-winning journalist who trains undergraduate and graduate students at Fordham University in multi-platform journalism. George has also taught at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism. He is widely known for his vocal coaching and journalism training. Over the years his students have won countless awards and have secured employment as anchors, reporters, writers and producers in commercial and public television and radio outlets across the nation. Prior to working at WFUV, George spent many years as an anchor, reporter and news manager in commercial radio and television.

Amy Tardif, station manager and news director, WGCU-FM and chair, RTDNA
Amy Tardif is the Station Manager and News Director for WGCU-FM in Fort Myers, FL. She’s responsible for the sound of the public radio station, is a radio and TV reporter, host and managing editor for the joint licensee. Her audio documentary Lucia’s Letter on human trafficking received a 2010 Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, among others.

Tardif the first woman in radio to Chair RTDNA. Prior to becoming Chair she served as the Region 13 Rep on its Board of Directors for which she helped write an e-book on plagiarism and fabrication. She also serves on the Florida Public Broadcasting Service Board of Directors and served 5 years on the PRNDI (Public Radio News Directors Inc) Board.

Prior to joining WGCU Public Media in 1993, Amy was the spokesperson for the Fort Myers Police Department, a reporter/anchor for TV stations in Fort Myers and Austin, Minnesota and reporter for WUSF Public Radio in Tampa.

‘A Rape on Campus’: Ethics, an Autopsy and Aftermath

From its publication in December 2014 and continuing today, Rolling Stone’s “A Rape on Campus” has seemingly been as controversial and condemned as the crime of rape. That is especially true in U.S. newsrooms, where journalists have dissected how and why Rolling Stone covered allegations from a student dubbed “Jackie” that members of a fraternity at the University of Virginia gang-raped her on campus. In the wake of the controversy, Steve Coll, Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, authored an extensive independent report for Columbia Journalism Review that dissected what happened and what when wrong in the reporting process. Coll will explain how the story came to be, where it got off track, and what the story and Rolling Stone’s retraction of it mean for coverage of the ever-volatile subject of sexual assault — all based on Columbia’s review of the piece at Rolling Stone’s behest. Caitlin Flanagan will walk Coll through his review in a Q&A format discussion.

Moderator: Caitlin Flanagan, contributing editor, The Atlantic and author, "Girl Land" and "To Hell with All That"

Speaker: Steve Coll (@stevecollny), dean, Columbia University School of Journalism

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Caitlin Flanagan, contributing editor, The Atlantic and author, "Girl Land" and "To Hell with All That"
Caitlin Flanagan is a contributing editor to the Atlantic. She is the author of the magazine's 2014 cover story, “The Dark Power of Fraternities,” and she speaks regularly on the subject of fraternity reform. A former staff writer for the New Yorker, she is the author of two books, "Girl Land" and "To Hell withAall That." She is the winner of a National Magazine Award for Reviews and Criticism.

Steve Coll, dean, Columbia University School of Journalism
Steve Coll is dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City. He is also a staff writer at The New Yorker, the author of seven books of nonfiction, and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Between 1985 and 2005, he was a reporter, foreign correspondent and senior editor at the Washington Post, where he covered Wall Street, served as the paper’s South Asia correspondent, and was the Post’s first international investigative correspondent, based in London.

Crisis Reporting: gaining access to subject matter experts, and the questions to ask when you get it

In this two-part presentation, Carolyn Carlson begins by sharing results of her research and a survey of science writers from throughout the United States jointly sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists and SPJ. The survey sought to identify and quantify the ability of science writers to access subject matter experts employed by government in the course of their reporting, with particular emphasis on the role of the various agencies' public information offices in facilitating that access. In the second part of the presentation, we'll describe the challenges of meeting public information and media needs during the early hours and days of a crisis incident, and how understanding the "crisis arc" and other key incident management concepts can render journalists more effective in reporting on these stories.

Trainer: Carolyn Carlson, Ph.D., associate professor, Kennesaw State University

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Carolyn Carlson, Ph.D., associate professor, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Carolyn S. Carlson is an associate professor of communication in the journalism and emerging media concentration at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta, where she teaches the reporting and writing classes. Her main area of research focuses on the relationship between government public information officers and reporters, particularly the role that PIOs play in the interviewing and reporting process. She and her research, conducted on behalf of the SPJ Freedom of Information Committee, has been the subject of many news stories published by the New York Times, Washington Post and others. She is a member of the FOI Committee, adviser to the KSU SPJ chapter and a past national president of SPJ.

Marcus Deyerin, public information officer, Northwest Washington Incident Management Team
Marcus Deyerin is an emergency manager, trainer and speaker. He serves in several different positions on incident management teams at the local, state and federal level; regularly provides incident command system and information operations training to a variety of audiences; and frequently presents on topics that include technology, team building, community resilience strategies, and future casting of emerging challenges and opportunities in the emergency management field. Marcus was a National Security Studies Program scholar at The George Washington University, and earned a MA in National Security Policy from Georgetown University. When he isn’t doing disaster stuff, you’ll find him doing outdoorsy stuff with his wife and three boys.

Off-Color: Navigating Race and Ethnicity as a Latino Journalist

A now-fired Univision host says the first lady looks like she should be in the film "The Planet of the Apes.” This sets off a firestorm of passionate comments about racism in the Latino community and the far too often demeaning tone taken when talking about Latinos of African or indigenous descent. In Spanish-language media, to many, it seems that non-ethnic features is the ticket to getting ahead. But mainstream media has its own problems too. Indigenous and Afro Latinos are rarely found in high-profile reporting positions. Come participate in a frank discussion about what Latino journalists could do to help their newsrooms improve coverage of the diversity within the Latino community and how to change the media's perception of what an on-air Latino journalist looks like.

Moderator: Hugo Balta @HugoBalta, senior director multicultural content, ESPN

Speakers: Claritza Jimenez (@claritzajimenez), producer, AP Television News; Dunia Elvir (@duniaelvir), anchor, Telemundo Los Angeles; Lori Montenegro (@lorimontenegro), national correspondent, Noticiero Telemundo

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Hugo Balta, senior director multicultural content, ESPN
Hugo Balta is the Senior Director of Multicultural Content, ESPN Digital & Print Media.

Hugo leads initiatives in raising the quality, profile and delivery of diverse news gathering and storytelling.

He's overseeing the expansion of ESPN One Nacion, an initiative focused on best serving U.S. Hispanic sports fans in English y español across ESPN and ESPN Deportes networks and all platforms.

Hugo is a diversity and inclusion media specialist, often asked to be a guest speaker and writer
He is the immediate past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) having served from 2012-2014. Before that he served in various leadership roles nationally and locally for NAHJ.

He is a journalism veteran of more than 20 years having worked at CBS, Telemundo and NBC before joining ESPN.

Dunia Elvia, anchor, Telemundo
Dunia Elvir is one of the most recognized correspondents on US Spanish-language television, who is an excellent journalist and volunteer member of many non-profit organizations. Throughout more than fifteen years of professional experience, Dunia has received several prestigious awards for her outstanding reports including two Emmy nominations and the Golden Mike Awards for Best Investigative Reporting; and the recognition from NALL (National Association of Latina Leaders) to be one of the thirteen outstanding Latinas in the nation invited to the White House in 2004. LATTC recognition for her community leadership; GLAAD award, for her journalism excellence; U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate and “Orgullo Hondureño en el Extrangero Award” for her commitment to the Honduran Community in the U.S. among others. For the past 12 years she has been reporting from Los Angeles, CA to the world. Dunia is the morning anchor for Buenos Dias L.A. and National correspondent for the Telemundo Network news programs including Al Rojo Vivo, Un Nuevo Dia and Noticiero, which airs in 16 countries and the U.S. Dunia covers human-interest stories, unique reports and special assignments around the USA and Latin America.

Dunia interviewed head of states including UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Presidents, congressional leaders and First Ladies in different countries. Mexico’s former President Vicente Fox former first lady Martha Sahugun, Antonio Saca from El Salvador. Four former Presidents from Honduras (Ricardo Maduro, Manuel Zelaya, Roberto Reina, Roberto Micheletti and former first ladies) Actual President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and First lady Rosa Elena. Wendy de Bergue Guatemala’s First Lady among other political personalities and celebrities like Anthony Hopkins, Vinicio del Toro, Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara and many more.

Claritza Jiménez, producer, Associated Press Television News
Claritza Jiménez works as a Washington, D.C.-based news producer at Associated Press Television News (APTN), the world's leading video news agency. She collaborates with bureaus throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to produce breaking news and in-depth coverage for APTN's clients, which include ABC News, BBC News and The Washington Post. Some of the biggest stories she has worked on include the shift in U.S., Cuba diplomatic relations and the election of Pope Francis. Jiménez started her journalism career at CBS television stations in Chicago and Dallas. In 2009, she was awarded an Investigative Journalism Fellowship at American University’s School of Communication, where she obtained a Master of Arts in journalism. While completing her graduate degree, she worked at the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative journalism organization.

She is the 2015 Entrepreneurial Fellow for the Journalism and Women Symposium, a national organization of women journalists. As a fellow, Jiménez is working on a project that will connect journalists to expert sources from diverse backgrounds.

Lori Montenegro, national correspondent, Noticiero Telemundo
Lori Montenegro is a Washington correspondent for Telemundo Network. She is a general assignment reporter and covers the White House, Capitol Hill, Department of State, the Pentagon, and the Justice Department, During the past 15 years, she extensively covered all the issues dealing with immigration, and the U.S. Presidential and midterm elections. Before that she worked as the Univision affiliate reporter in DC. Montenegro was recently named Agency Supervisor of the year by the Washington Center for her work mentoring interns. She was also honored by the National Council of La Raza with the 2010 Ruben Salaza Award for Communications. Montenegro began her journalism career in Miami, Florida as a radio news reporter in English and then crossed over to the Spanish market.

Saturday, 1-2 p.m.

Freelance Foul-Ups: 10 Tips for Pissing Off A Hiring Editor (And 10 Ways to 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.

Trainer: Michael Koretzky (@koretzky), editor,

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Michael Koretzky (@koretzky), editor,
Michael Koretzky was expelled from Boca Raton Academy in 1981, expelled from the University of Florida journalism school in 1989, fired from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 1997, and fired from Florida Atlantic University in 2010. His professional highlight, such as it is: freelancing for both The New York Times and the National Enquirer.

Can You Deliver? Coaching On-Air Performance

Whether you dream of anchoring or just want to do a better job in your stand ups, this session will help you deliver stories more confidently and help your work have more impact. Participants will hear from the experts and then get on-the-spot critique of their own on-air work.

Trainers: Marty Gonzalez, anchor, KRON-TV, Victoria Lim (@victorialim), multimedia journalist and trainer, Debora Wenger (@dhwenger), director of undergraduate studies in journalism, University of Mississippi; Ginger Gadsden, anchor, WKMG-TV

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Ginger Gadsden, anchor, WKMG-TV
Ginger Gadsden joined the Local 6 News team June 15, 2014 as an anchor/reporter. She currently co-anchors the 5:30 newscast with Matt Austin and solo anchors Local 6 News at 7, Central Florida’s only 7 p.m. newscast.

Ginger has covered a variety of big stories including some in Florida sports. In 2007 she traveled to Arizona to cover the Florida Gators when they won the BCS Championship, and when the Tampa Bay Rays were in the World Series, Ginger was live at Tropicana Field for each home game. She also anchored live coverage of Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium.

Marty Gonzalez, anchor, KRON-TV
Marty Gonzalez is weekend anchor of “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend.” In addition to his work at KRON 4, Gonzalez is an associate professor in the Broadcast and Electronic Communications Arts department at San Francisco State University. Prior to being named weekend anchor in July 1996, Gonzalez was a general assignment reporter for KRON 4. From 1988 to 1995, Gonzalez was the East Bay Bureau chief for KGO-TV in San Francisco. Before that, he worked at KCRA-TV in Sacramento as a general assignment reporter. From 1980 to 1987, he was producer and host of KCRA’s “De Colores,” a monthly public affairs show exploring Latino issues. As a reporter, Gonzalez has traveled all over the world. His work has taken him to Central America to explore the impact of anti-American sentiment during the early ‘80s, Vatican City to profile Pope John Paul II, Houston and Florida to report on NASA, Baja California to profile the migration of gray whales, Mexico City to cover the 1985 earthquake, Los Angeles to report on the Northridge earthquake and Rodney King riots, and Alaska to profile its 25th anniversary of statehood. Gonzalez’s reporting from the Oakland Cypress Structure during the ‘89 Loma Prieta earthquake contributed to KGO’s Peabody Award for coverage of the quake.

Victoria Lim, multimedia journalist and trainer
Victoria Lim is a journalist who has set herself apart from the industry-norm almost two decades ago by maximizing video, audio, broadcast, print, online and social media platforms. Nicknamed the “Queen of Convergence” by the Poynter Institute, Victoria is a prototype 21st century storyteller, creatively utilizing every traditional and new media format to reach viewers and readers. As a reporter/anchor for Bright House Sports Network (a regional sports network based in Central Florida), Lim's work garnered an Emmy nomination for her multi- platform project, “A Goal for Haiti: Pascal Millien’s story," which included a half-hour television special. As the consumer investigative reporter for WFLA-TV, the Tampa Tribune and, Lim won an Emmy and Associated Press honors. She often trains other journalists on multi-platform news gathering, social media, broadcast news writing, ethics, and diversity reporting. An active member of the Asian American Journalists Association, she serves a national board representative, and has held the president and vice president positions as well.

Debora Wenger, director of undergraduate studies in journalism, University of Mississippi
Debora Wenger, a 17-year broadcast news veteran, is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in journalism at the University of Mississippi. Prior to her academic appointments, Wenger was assistant news director at WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fla. She teaches advanced TV reporting and conducts multimedia training in newsrooms around the country. She is coauthor of the broadcast, online and multimedia journalism curricula for the Society of Professional Journalists’ Newsroom Training Program. She is also co-author of the book “Advancing the Story: Broadcast Journalism in a Multimedia World” and the companion website, as well as a new book, “Managing Today's Media: Audience First.”

NPR Sound Salon

Join NPR’s Mandalit del Barco in a fun, enlightening, interactive showcase of audio storytelling. The annual Sound Salon features creative stories by reporters and producers from public and commercial radio, websites, podcasts and other outlets. Participants are encouraged to get in touch with the moderator before the salon, or they can arrive with recordings of their own work to share. This popular session is ears-on and informal, yet designed to exchange ideas and techniques, and also to get you excited about the best in todays audio storytelling. This relaxed but fun session gives reporters/producers a chance to showcase their work, share techniques and strategies.

Trainer: Mandalit del Barco (@RadioActive22), arts correspondent, NPR

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Mandalit del Barco, arts correspondent, NPR
As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos filed from Los Angeles and abroad can be heard on “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition,” “Weekend Edition,”, and

Her reporting has taken her throughout the United States, including Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco and Miami. Reporting further afield as well, she traveled to Haiti to report on the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. She has chronicled street gangs exported from the U.S. to El Salvador and Honduras.

A fourth generation journalist, del Barco was born in Lima, Peru, to a Peruvian father and Mexican-American mother. She grew up in Baldwin, Kansas, and in Oakland, California, and has lived in Manhattan, Madrid, Miami, Lima and Los Angeles. She began her journalism career as a reporter, columnist and editor for the Daily Californian while studying anthropology and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University with her thesis, "Breakdancers: Who are they, and why are they spinning on their heads?"

For those who are curious where her name comes from, "Mandalit" is the name of a woman in a song from Carmina Burana, a musical work from the 13th century put to music in the 20th century by composer Carl Orff.

ID Laws: Why Isn't Voting Easy and Convenient in the 21st Century?

A panel that consists of a journalist, a representative of the League of Women Voters and an elections administrator will discuss the impact of state laws requiring government identification and other requirements to vote. Proponents feel increasing requirements for identification prevents voter impersonation and increases public confidence in the election process. Others feel the right to vote is becoming restrictive and burdensome. Panel will provide sources and tips for keeping on top of a topic that’s a moving target.

Moderator: Sandra Gonzalez, reporter, KSNV-TV

Speakers: April Bethea, online producer, The Charlotte Observer; Bill Cowles, supervisor of election, Orange County, Florida; Charley Williams, past state voter services chair, Florida League of Women Voters

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Sandra Gonzalez, reporter, KSNV-TV
Sandra Gonzalez is a general assignment reporter for KSNV-TV in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzalez has been reporting news for more than two decades in both TV and radio. She is a member of the SPJ Diversity Committee and served as chairman 2012-2014, Secretary for SPJ Las Vegas. Gonzalez is also active in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

April Bethea, online producer, The Charlotte Observer
April Bethea is an online producer at The Charlotte Observer where she helps curate the newsroom's annual voter guide, among other duties. She previously was a reporter for more than eight years at the Observer, and has been involved with elections coverage there in some capacity since 2005. Bethea also chairs the SPJ Diversity Committee and is vice president of the Greater Charlotte chapter of SPJ. She's also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and has served as a chapter officer in Charlotte and in college.

Bill Cowles, supervisor of election, Orange County, Florida
Bill Cowles has been an integral part of the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office since 1989. He was elected as the Orange County Supervisor of Elections in 1996, and re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Bill supervises the fifth largest county elections office in the State of Florida. Bill served on the Federal Elections Assistance Commission Board of Advisors from 2007 to 2011. His other professional involvement includes being Past President of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, as well as Past President of the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials, and Treasurers.

Charley Williams, Past State Voter Services Chair, Florida League of Women Voters
Charley Williams has been a League of Women Voters member since 2007. During that time he has served as the first male President of the Orange County League (now the largest in the country) and has most recently served the League as State Director and Chair of the Voter Services Committee. Under Williams' leadership, the League has won two national awards for voter services. In 2008, LWVF was presented with the LWV national award for Best Voter Education campaign for “Vote Anywhere: Stay Home and Be Counted: Vote by Mail!” In 2012, the LWVF again won top national honors for its mobile campaign, “Be Ready to Vote”. Prior to moving back to Florida, Williams directed the Atlanta office of the Council of State Governments where he worked with the leadership in 15 southern states to launch the first Super Tuesday southern regional primary, March 8, 1988. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Florida First Amendment Foundation.

How to Cover Money in Any Story

Join the Reynolds Center for Business Journalism for tips from Center's popular podcast, "How To Cover Money." The session will cover how to find and report on the money angles in your stories. It is appropriate for journalists at all levels in all media, and is especially aimed at journalists who only cover money topics occasionally.

Trainers: Micheline Maynard (@mickimaynard), creater and co-host, "How to Cover Money" podcast; Mark Remillard (@markremillard), reporter, KTAR-FM

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Micheline Maynard, co-host, "How to Cover Money"
Micheline Maynard is the creator and co-host of "How To Cover Money," the Reynolds Center podcast. She most recently served as Reynolds Center director. She ran the public radio project Changing Gears and was Detroit bureau chief for The New York Times. She is a contributor to

Mark Remillard, reporter, KTAR-FM
Mark Remillard is the co-host and executive producer of "How To Cover Money," the Reynolds Center Podcast. He is a reporter at KTAR 92.3 FM Phoenix and previously interned for the Bill Handel Radio Program at Los Angeles' KFI AM640. He is a 2014 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Viral Video, Social Media & High Stakes Ethics Questions

Your newsroom acquires video of a major newsmaker appearing impaired at a public event in your community. In an era when everyone carries a camera phone and content can spread via social media at the speed of light, how do you handle it? Work through a real-world case study with a twist or two and an ending you might not expect.

Trainers: Andrew Seaman @andrewmseaman, chairman, SPJ Ethics Committee, and health reporter, Reuters; Scott Libin, RTDNA Ethics Committee, and journalism teaching fellow, University of Minnesota

Taking the Leap from News Nerd to Entrepreneur

So, you went to J-School instead of Business School? No problem. Some of today's most successful entrepreneurs have journalism backgrounds. From cool technology, to systems and products that solve today's biggest "new problems", these so-called ''News Nerds'' are proving journalists make great entrepreneurs. Kim Wilson knows firsthand what it’s like to go from the newsroom to the boardroom. Her bootstrapped startup now boasts 600+ newsroom clients and was recently acquired by Graham Media Group. Her story will inspire you, and her advice will give you all the tools you need to take your business idea to the big time.

Trainer: Kim Wilson (@kimsnd), president and founder, SocialNewsDesk

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Kim Wilson (@kimsnd), president and founder, SocialNewsDesk
Kim Wilson Founded SocialNewsDesk in 2010 after having worked as an Executive Producer in local TV news for about 10 years. She created the SND platform with the needs of a newsroom in mind. Today, more than 600 newsrooms and 15,000 journalists use SocialNewsDesk’s Dashboard, On-Air and Campaigns tools to post, manage, curate and display social media. And her company was recently acquired by Graham Media Group. Kim remains at the helm of the company as CEO and President.

Money Matters: Award-Winning Personal Finance Journalism

Co-produced by RTDNA and the National Endowment for Financial Education

Featuring the RTDNA / NEFE Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting Award, the Money Matters session will reveal the very best in personal finance journalism from television, radio and online. Winners will break down their award-winning submissions and share the key reporting tools and best practices they used to add depth to their reporting. Audience members will walk away from the session with several ways to creatively approach their reporting and make comprehensive topics more digestible to viewers and listeners.

Moderator: Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director

Speakers: Michelle Mortensen, reporter, KLAS Channel 8; Sarita Kichok, photographer, KLAS Channel 8; Courtney Collins, reporter, KERA; Blake Ellis, reporter, CNN; Melanie Hicken, reporter, CNN

Future Synergies: Working with High School Programs

Most journalists get their start in high school programs; but in a 2014 national SPJ study, more than 53 percent of high school journalism teachers said they receive zero support from professionals and university journalism educators. Join members of SPJ's Journalism Education Committee, the Journalism Education Association and the Student Press Law Center to learn simple, yet effective, ways of reaching into local classrooms and nurturing a new generation of journalists.

Moderator: David Burns, associate professor, Salisbury University

Trainers: Rebecca J. “Becky” Tallent, associate professor, University of Idaho; Frank LoMonte, executive director, Student Press Law Center

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David Burns, associate professor, Salisbury University
David Burns is an associate professor in Salisbury University’s Communication Arts Department where he teaches multimedia journalism courses. Burns has worked for CNN and NBC News, in both permanent and freelance capacities, as a videotape editor and field camera operator in the United States and abroad. While living outside the US, he worked as a technology correspondent for the IDG Wire Service and for a Polish business and finance weekly newspaper. He has taught new media courses to students and professional journalism workshops to media professionals in the United States, Poland, Russia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Afghanistan. Burns is a past president of the Society of Professional Journalists Maryland Professional Chapter. His research interests involve the media-politics linkage. His doctoral dissertation examined the role of the Catholic Church in the development of the Polish media landscape during the transition from communism to capitalism.

Frank LoMonte, executive director, Student Press Law Center
Frank LoMonte joined SPLC in January 2008 after practicing law with Atlanta-based Sutherland LLP and clerking for federal judges on the Northern District of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Before law school, LoMonte was an award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist for daily newspapers in Florida and Georgia. LoMonte graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a senior editor of the Georgia Law Review. His articles about the First Amendment and media-law topics have been widely published in Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the American University Law Review, the University of North Carolina First Amendment Law Review, and in many other outlets.

Rebecca J. “Becky” Tallent, associate professor, University of Idaho
Rebecca J. “Becky” Tallent is a tenured Associate Professor in the University of Idaho’s School of Journalism and Mass Media. For four years she was chair of the SPJ Journalism Education Committee and shepherded the “Still Captive?” project as coordinator, co-authored several chapters and served as an editor. Becky is an award-winning journalist and public relations specialist who has worked as an energy, environmental and financial journalist, she was also a public relations specialist with state government agencies in science and medicine. In addition to her UI teaching, Becky is a member of both SPJ and the Native American Journalists Association (she is of Cherokee heritage), and she is the advisor to both students groups on campus.

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

Celebrating Excellence in Journalism: Q&A with Lesley Stahl and Pierre Thomas

Join RTDNA’s 2015 Paul White Award winner Lesley Stahl of CBS’ "60 Minutes" and John Hogan Award winner Pierre Thomas of ABC News in a lead up to the Saturday night awards ceremony. Stahl and Thomas will discuss their careers in journalism, the big stories they’ve covered, and how the world of journalism has changed over the course of their careers. They will also discuss their approach to journalism, what makes a journalist great, and the highs and lows of their exemplary careers. Plus, what advice do they have for young journalists? Journalists of all career levels won’t want to miss this informative and insightful session.

Moderators: Amy Tardif, RTDNA Chair; Chris Carl, RTDNF Chair

Panelists: Lesley Stahl, Correspondent, "60 Minutes"; Pierre Thomas, Senior Justice Correspondent, ABC News

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Lesley Stahl, Correspondent, "60 Minutes"
One of America's most recognized and experienced broadcast journalists, Lesley Stahl's career has been marked by political scoops, surprising features and award-winning foreign reporting. She has been a "60 Minutes" correspondent since March 1991; the 2014-15 season marks her 24th on the program. Stahl's 2013 series on Guantanamo Bay in which she gained unprecedented access to its prison facilities was honored with an Edward R. Murrow award in 2014. In the same year, she won two Emmys, her 10th and 11th, one for the Guantanamo series and another for an eye-opening story about China's huge real estate bubble. In another story in 2014, she visited America's nuclear missile control centers to report on surprisingly old equipment.

Pierre Thomas, Senior Justice Correspondent, ABC News
Pierre Thomas is the Senior Justice Correspondent for ABC News. He joined the network in November 2000 and reports for “World News Tonight with David Muir” “Good Morning America,” “Nightline” and other ABC News programs. Thomas was a key member of ABC’s team of correspondents covering the terrorist attacks of September 11 and he continues to report on all aspects of the aftermath of those attacks. The network’s coverage of the 9-11 tragedy was widely recognized for its excellence, winning the prestigious Peabody and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards and an Emmy Award.

Nervous As Hell: Mock (or Maybe Real) Job Interviews For New Grads

About to graduate from j-school? Your first job will most likely be the smallest position at a big media outlet or a big one at a small outlet. Either way, your job interview will contain peculiarities you won't find by Googling, "journalism job interview." Learn how to think like a low-rent hiring editor by sitting across from one. Michael Koretzky has been mired in middle management at a Top 50 newspaper and been EIC of media outlets you've never heard of - which means he's hired new grads most of his life. In front of everyone, do you have the guts to endure a mock (?) interview? Bring your resume to this interactive session or just learn from the carnage you'll witness. Because most new grads suck at job interviews.

Trainer: Michael Koretzky (@koretzky), editor,

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Michael Koretzky (@koretzky), editor,
Michael Koretzky was expelled from Boca Raton Academy in 1981, expelled from the University of Florida journalism school in 1989, fired from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 1997, and fired from Florida Atlantic University in 2010. His professional highlight, such as it is: freelancing for both The New York Times and the National Enquirer.

Covering Cuba

The evolving relationship between the United States and Cuba creates new challenges and opportunities for journalists covering Cuba and Cuban-Americans. But the late-2014 U.S. decision to ease travel and trade restrictions with the island does not automatically provide easier access in reporting from, in and about Cuba. Experts on covering Cuba and Cuban issues offer an up-to-the-minute assessment of doing journalism in and about our neighbor to the south.

Moderator: Sandra Gonzalez (@sandragonzalez2), reporter, KSNV-TV

Speakers: Cristina Silva (@cristymsilva), senior editor for breaking news, International Business Times; Patrick Mantiega, editor and publisher, La Gaceta newspaper

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Sandra Gonzalez, reporter, KSNV-TV
Sandra Gonzalez is a reporter at KSNV-TV in Las Vegas. For the three years she has served as chair of the SPJ Diversity Committee. She is secretary of the Las Vegas SPJ chapter and is active in the national and Nevada NAHJ organizations. Gonzalez, a multimedia expert who can interview in both English and Spanish, worked in TV and radio in New Orleans, California and Texas before joining KSNV.

Patrick Mantiega, editor and publisher, La Gaceta
Patrick Manteiga has been the editor and publisher of La Gaceta, the nation’s only tri-lingual newspaper, since 1998. He’s been a champion for the underserved Hispanic community in regard to rights, equality and respect. One of his most impassioned causes has been the end of the Cuban embargo. In that vein, he’s visited the island nation seven times over the past dozen years, having met with Fidel Castro twice and several high-level officials in many different areas of the Cuban government. Manteiga is considered an authority on the issue of Cuba and has been a featured source for such outlets as CNN, the New York Times, Huffington Post and local Tampa Bay media.

Christina Silva, senior editor for breaking news, International Business Times
Cristina Silva is the senior editor for breaking news at the International Business Times in New York City. She has written for the Associated Press, the Tampa Bay Times, the New York Daily News, the Miami Herald, Salon, NPR, the Boston Globe and Stars and Stripes. She has reported from Mexico, Honduras, Cuba, Germany, Italy and Bahrain, as well as from across the United States. A graduate of New York University, she is fluent in Spanish.

Making a Media Match: J-Schools and News Outlets

Journalism schools around the country are producing more stories than ever, but don't always have access to high-exposure platforms. Many media organizations are stretched thin and could use help in producing innovative, high-impact stories. Learn how to make a successful media match from faculty at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, whose award-winning NYCity News Service has spearheaded collaborative projects with outlets of all types and sizes — including The New York Times, NBC News and The New York Daily News. A variety of journalism school decision makers, news professionals and students will talk about the challenges and triumphs that come with working together.

Trainers: Jere Hester, NYCity news service director, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; Sandeep Junnarkar, interactive journalism program director, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; Chris Delboni, South Florida News Service director, Florida International University

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Chris Delboni, South Florida News Service director, Florida International University
Chris Delboni of Florida International University’s South Florida News Service is an award-winning Brazilian journalist who has been a foreign correspondent in the United States since 1993. She started her career as a magazine writer before becoming the Washington correspondent for Bandeirantes Radio Network. She was later hired by CBN Radio, a division of Globo Network giant. Delboni worked most of her tenure in Washington, initially as a general assignment reporter and later as a financial and business correspondent for Globo News TV, Globo Network’s 24-hour news channel. Delboni graduated in print journalism from American University’s School of Communication in 1992 and received a master’s in online journalism from the same institution in 2003. She produced, reported and edited stories daily for a variety of Brazilian mainstream media outlets — from newswire services and magazines to online news sites, radio and television before moving to South Florida, where she began teaching journalism and new media reporting in 2007 at the University of Miami School of Communication and worked with the Knight Center for International Media. In September 2009, she became the first news director for the South Florida News Service at Florida International University. Delboni is now an instructor at FIU and continues to build SFNS. She also has a column online at O Estado de S. Paulo, a major newspaper’s website in Brazil, where she writes about Miami and the Brazilians who chose to call it home.

Jere Hester, NYCity news service director, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Jere Hester is Director of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s award-winning NYCity News Service, which produces multimedia special reports and feeds student stories about New York neighborhoods to news organizations around the world. Hester and J-School Interactive Journalism Program Director Sandeep Junnarkar have led collaborations with The New York Times, NBC News and The New York Daily News — most recently “Stop the Mold,” which chronicles the scourge of mold in New York City public housing. Hester was previously City Editor of the Daily News, where he helped run the paper’s award-winning coverage of the 2005 transit strike and the 2003 blackout, among other major stories. Since 2009, he’s written a pop culture column for NBC Local Integrated Media. He is also the author of “Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family.” Hester received his BA in journalism and politics from New York University in 1988. A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., he began his journalism career as an intern at the Downtown Express, where he rose to editor before his 15-year stint as a reporter and editor with the Daily News.

Sandeep Junnarkar, interactive journalism program director, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Sandeep Junnarkar is the Director the Interactive Journalism Program Director at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former New York bureau chief of CNET, and has specialized in writing about technologies used in different industries. In April 2003, his three-part report on the security risks of online banking was named “Best in Business Projects among Real-Time Publications” by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Junnarkar helped to create online editions of The New York Times, working as breaking news editor, writer, and Web producer when the paper went live on the Internet as The New York Times on the Web. Junnarkar is founder and editorial director of, a multimedia web site that features stories on underreported issues. The site received a New Voices grant for 2008-2010 from J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In recent years, Junnarkar has served as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and Online Journalism Awards. He has given talks or led discussions about Social Media and Online Journalism at The Council on Foreign Relations, Columbia University’s Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, and the Online News Association. Junnarkar was president of the South Asian Journalists Association from 2008 to 2010. He received a B.A. in Social Science from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Virtual Reality Tools for Journalism (And Your Newsroom)

Virtual Reality has been promised for decades, but it appears this time it’s, well, real. Ranging from Oculus Rift to Google Cardboard, or from 360 video to immersive games, journalists need to embrace this emerging technology and start experimenting to define what VR journalism could be. In this session for everyone from front-line reporters to high-level news managers, learn about the gear and how to produce engaging VR projects, even on a budget.

Trainer: Robert Hernandez (@webjournalist), journalism professor, USC, and co-founder of #WJCHAT

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Robert Hernandez, journalism professor, USC, and co-founder of #WJCHAT
Robert Hernandez 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 Associate 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,, and La Prensa Gráfica, among others. He’s also the co-founder of #wjchat and creator of Learn Code for Journalism with Me project. His most recent work has included Augmented Reality, Wearables/Google Glass and Virtual Reality. He is currently serving on the Online News Association board and is a lifetime member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

The Most Latino Election Ever

From Hispanic candidates to Hispanic voters to Hispanic issues, this panel will examine how the nation’s changing demographics are changing national politics. In this bipartisan session, representatives from both sides and media members will discuss the role Latinos will play in shaping the 2016 elections — national and local. What are candidates doing to try to win the Latino vote? What election issues are of most interest to Hispanic voters? How and where are Latinos getting the news and information that will shape their decisions? This session will tackle these topics and more.

Moderator: Carlos Montero (@monterocnn), anchor, Café CNN, CNN en Español

Trainers: Carolyn Salazar (@salazarlatino), senior editor, Fox News Latino; Wadi Gaitan (@wadijr), communications director, Republican Party of Florida; Dr. Luis Martínez-Fernández, professor of history, University of Central Florida

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Carlos Montero, anchor, Café CNN, CNN en Español
Carlos Montero is a co-anchor of CNN en Español’s morning show, Café CNN. He joined CNN en Español in 1997. Montero has covered events from Atlanta including the signing of the Israel/Palestine agreement in Washington, D.C., the coup d'etat in Guatemala, the Inter-American Presidential Summit in Miami, the Ibero-American Summit in Chile, and the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. He has also anchored coverage of important events of international interest including the death of Princess Diana, the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, the war in Iraq, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the terrorist attacks of March 11 in Madrid and London, and the presidential elections in Latin America including Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile. Before joining CNN en Español, Montero was an anchor for Buenos Días América and América Noticias, 13 hs for Argentina’s América 2 from 1994. He has also served as a reporter and producer for Univision’s news department in Miami from 1992 to 1994, and as U.S. correspondent for Channel 11’s Telefé Noticias, the highest rated newscast in Argentina. In 1996 he became an anchor in NBC’s news channel. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Montero graduated from Appalachian State University, in Boone, N.C., with a degree in Communications. Montero has received various awards for his journalistic merits, including four Emmys, a Telly Award and a Conciencia Award. Montero is fluent in English and Spanish.

Wadi Gaitan, communications director, Republican Party of Florida
Wadi Gaitan is the Communications Director for the Republican Party of Florida. Previously, Gaitan served as Press Secretary for the U.S.House of Representatives Republican Leadership. During the 2014 campaign cycle, he worked as Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo's official campaign spokesperson. Previously, Wadi worked for the Romney campaign and Congressman Jeff Denham.

Dr. Luis Martínez-Fernández, professor of history, University of Central Florida
Dr. Luis Martínez-Fernández is professor of History at the University of Central Florida. Over the past three decades, he has research, taught, and published extensively on the subjects of Hispanic Caribbean and Latino history, society, and politics. He collaborates frequently with a variety of media as an expert source and guest columnist.

Carolyn Salazar, senior editor, Fox News Latino
Carolyn Salazar is senior editor at Fox News Latino. She oversees the groundbreaking site's day-to-day editorial operation and its content strategy. She was an original member of the Fox News Latino team and was an integral part in making it a must-read site for coverage of Latino issues. She has worked at the New York Post, The Bergen Record and the Miami Herald, where she was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team for coverage of the Elian Gonzalez saga.

Producing Producers

If you're a news director or newsroom manager who hires young producers, this is the session for you. This session will give tips and a template to use in your newsroom to help train and groom promising young producers.

Trainers: Jeimmie Nevalga, assistant professor and executive producer, Missouri School of Journalism & KOMU-TV; Randy Reeves, associate professor and news director, Missouri School of Journalism & KOMU-TV

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Jeimmie Nevalga, assistant professor and executive producer, Missouri School of Journalism & KOMU-TV
Jeimmie Nevalga is an assistant professor with the Missouri School of Journalism and the executive producer for the KOMU-TV. Nevalga has spent the last four years teaching the next generation of producers and reporters. Before returning to her alma mater she spent more than 10 years producing traditional and non-traditional newscasts. Her career began at WISN 12, the ABC affiliate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as a morning and 6pm producer. In 2005 she made the jump to Chicago, her hometown, where she worked as a producer and executive producer for CLTV, a 24-hour local cable news station. In 2009, she was instrumental in the merger of CLTV with its sister station WGN, where she served as senior producer.

Randy Reeves, associate professor and news director, Missouri School of Journalism & KOMU-TV
Randy Reeves spent seven years producing television newscasts for KSBW-TV in Salinas, California, and WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also spent nine years as a small-market radio news and sports director at WYMC-TV in Mayfield, Kentucky. In 2003, he joined Missouri School of Journalism faculty as an assistant professor teaching broadcast reporting classes and serving as news director at KOMU-TV. Randy earned his master of arts degree at the University of Missouri. He earned a bachelor of science degree from Murray State University.

DACA, DAPA y reforma migratoria: ¿Qué podemos esperar? (presented in Spanish)

El gobierno de Barack Obama finalizará sin haber concretado una reforma migratoria, con una cifra récord en deportaciones, y con el anuncio de dos Acciones Ejecutivas que benefician temporalmente a una parte de la población indocumentada pero que no brindan una solución al problema de inmigración. Expertos en el tema expondrán sus puntos de vista sobre las perspectivas en materia de inmigración durante los meses de campaña de los candidatos a la presidencia, y con la llegada de uno u otro partido a la Casa Blanca y al Congreso en la elección de 2016.

Moderador: Eileen Truax, periodista freelance

Panelistas: Oscar Chacon, executive director, National Alliance of Latin-Americans and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)

English translation: DACA, DAPA and Immigration Reform: What Can We Expect?
The Obama administration will end without having achieved immigration reform, with a record number of deportations, and after announcing two executive actions that temporarily benefit some of the undocumented population, but that do not provide a permanent solution to the immigration problem. Experts in the area will discuss the prospects on this subject, with the presidential candidates campaigning in the upcoming months, and with a new President and congressional members from either political party after the election in 2016.

Moderator: Eileen Truax, freelance journalist

Panelists: Oscar Chacon, executive director, National Alliance of Latin-Americans and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)

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Eileen Truax, freelance journalist
Eileen Truax is a journalist and an immigrant. Born in Mexico City, she moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and for seven years worked for La Opinión newspaper covering immigration and Mexican communities. She’s a contributor for several Spanish-language publications in Mexico and the US, such as Hoy Los ángeles, El Universal newspaper, and Proceso, Gatopardo and Newsweek magazines.

Be Safe and Savvy: Covering Protests, Unrest and Demonstrations in the U.S.

An everyday protest can turn into a destructive street riot. What do you do when the tone of the story you are covering changes? How do you continue to cover the action when you risk becoming a target yourself? Just this past year, we’ve seen multiple times demonstrations turn into much more with reporters caught in the middle. Some reporters are hitting the street with their own security in tow. Learn from those who have been in the middle of it all what you can do to be safe and still get the full story.

Moderator: Janice Gin, executive producer, KRON TV, San Francisco

Speakers: Eric Rasmussen, Reporter, KTVU Fox2 Oakland; Collin Wong, Vice President, Star Protection Agency; Anna Calderon, national director, news & broadcast Southern California, SAG-AFTRA

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Janice Gin, executive producer, KRON TV, San Francisco
Janice S. Gin, an award-winning journalist in San Francisco. Gin is currently an Executive Producer at KRON TV, and has previously worked at KTVU and KGO-TV as well.

She is a recipient of numerous journalism awards including three EMMYs, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, a Peabody, and similar awards for news excellence from NorCal RTNDA. She has also worked in Atlanta, Phoenix, Sacramento, and Greensboro, NC.

Over a decade of service to the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), Gin is currently a Trustee of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF). She is a member of the Ethics Committee that revised the Association’s Code of Ethics, is Chair of the Governance Committee, and continues to champion diversity leading discussions about race and gender in the newsroom.

Anna Calderon, national director, news & broadcast Southern California, SAG-AFTRA
Anna M. Calderón is responsible for negotiating over 30 labor agreements with broadcast employers in Southern California. Along with her staff, she oversees the enforcement and administration of those collective bargaining agreements. Calderón also served as one of the first Covington & Burling Fellows for Neighborhood Legal Services (Washington, D.C.), followed by employment at the United States Trademark Office and Intellectual Property counsel in conjunction with the boutique firm of Ladas & Parry; she subsequently joined the intellectual property group Sunkist Growers.

Calderón received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center with a Trial Advocacy Award for her work in street law; she received her Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College.

In 2014, SAG-AFTRA launched “Safety4Media” campaign to bring attention to safety in the field and increase efforts to monitor and intervene in situations that put journalists at risk. Safety4Media also serves as a clearinghouse for reports on safety and security concerns of journalists in the U.S.

Eric Rasmussen, Reporter, KTVU Fox2 Oakland
An award winning journalist, Eric Rasmussen was one of the first reporters on the scene when violence erupted in the City of Oakland during Occupy protests. Nights of street unrest, pitted protestor against police and at times the media also became targets. Since then, Oakland has been a hotbed of violent protests for the Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, and anti-police demonstrations that Rasmussen has extensively covered. Rasmussen is a 2006 and 2012 Edward R. Murrow winner whose career includes stints at WFTV (Orlando), KFSN (Fresno), WCIA (Champaign, IL) and KHSL (Chico).

Collin Wong, Vice President, Star Protection Agency
With over 26 years of experience with the Oakland Police Department, Wong joined Star Protection Agency in 2009. Among many services provided, Star Protection has become a premiere field security force for San Francisco Bay Area news reporters and producers. Wong has spoken at numerous seminars and conferences on a variety of subjects, including organized crime, credit card fraud, organized retail crime, and narcotics. He has extensive contacts in the law enforcement community and has served as a charter member to the Asian Advisory Committee on Crime and the U.S. Secret Service — San Francisco Electronic Crimes Task Force.


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