Conference Highlights

Super Session: On The Road with Steve Hartman: Lessons in Unique Storytelling

Friday, Sept. 28, Noon-1 p.m.

Join us for an interactive session with CBS News “On The Road” Correspondent Steve Hartman. Steve is one of Americas best story tellers. He’s well respected in all corners of journalism. Hear Steve describe how he finds, writes and edits his stories, as he breaks down some of your favorites. He’ll have lessons we can all learn no matter what your market size or your role in the newsroom.

Each Friday on The CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor, Steve Hartman’s “On The Road” segment brings viewers moving stories with extraordinary people. “On The Road" is modeled after the long-running, legendary series of the same name originally reported by one of America's greatest TV storytellers, the late CBS newsman Charles Kuralt.

Hartman is also well known for his multiple award-winning feature series, "Everybody Has a Story." Hartman proved the adage by tossing a dart at a map of America and then randomly picking an interview subject from the local phone book. Debuting in 1998, and continuing for the next seven years, Hartman produced more than 120 such pieces. In 2010, Hartman reprised the series on a global scale. In partnership with NASA, each "Everybody in the World Has a Story" segment began with an astronaut in the International Space Station spinning a globe and pointing to random locations for Hartman to travel and find a story. In one month's time, Hartman went around the world twice.

In his career, Steve has collected scores of accolades including a DuPont-Columbia University award, three national Emmy’s and nine RTNDA/Edward R. Murrow awards.

RTDNA to honor Bill Whitaker and Pete Williams at EIJ Super Session

Super Session: Friday, Sept. 28, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Open to all attendees

Reception: Friday, Friday, Sept. 28, 5:30-7 p.m. • $45   Purchase tickets

RTDNA will present CBS News “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker with its Paul White Award at its annual Honoring a Lifetime of Excellence in Journalism super session. The Paul White Award, RTDNA’s highest honor, is named for the first news director of CBS and recognizes a lifetime of achievement and service to the profession of broadcast and digital journalism.

Since joining “60 Minutes” in 2014, Whitaker’s reporting has taken him to Asia, Africa, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East, including a timely investigation of the vetting process Syrian refugees undergo before coming to the U.S. and an interview with the highest ranking North Korean official to defect in decades. Domestically, his award-winning stories have provided keen insights into the hot-button issue of race and policing in America with his reports from Cleveland, Chicago and most recently, Tulsa, Okla., where he got the news-making first interview with the city police officer accused of manslaughter for shooting an unarmed black man.

At the same event, RTDNA also will present NBC News’ Pete Williams with its 2018 John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award. Named for the founder and first president of RTDNA, the award recognizes an individual's contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. Williams is NBC News’ justice correspondent, covering the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his 25 years of reporting for NBC News, Williams has covered the Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen spy cases, the Unabomber investigation, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Olympic bombing and search for Eric Rudolph, the Clinton impeachment proceedings, the courtroom wrangling over the 2000 Florida election results, the federal government's massive investigative response to the 9/11 terror attacks, and the legal battles over the Obama administration's health care law.

The super session is open to all registered attendees. A cocktail reception will immediately follow the super session. Tickets to the reception are $45 and can be purchased online while registering for the conference.

Opening Night Reception, sponsored by CNN Newsource

Thursday, Sept. 27, 8-10 p.m. • Open to all attendees (badge required)

CNN Newsource is hosting the journalism party of the year at M&T Bank Stadium — home to the Baltimore Ravens. Whether you’re a fan of football, or just want a fun night to reconnect with colleagues and friends, you’re sure to have a good time at EIJs signature event. Join us as we officially kick off the conference with music, cocktails and a picture perfect view of the city. M&T Bank Stadium is a short 10-minute walk from the hotel.

Super Session: Midterm Elections in the Era of Trump

Thursday, Sept. 27, 4-5 p.m.

With all the talk of a coming “blue wave,” or, in the mind of President Trump, a possible “red wave” in the 2018 midterm elections, what are journalists to make of it all? In this session, you can benefit from the wisdom of some of the nation’s most notable political analysts. Will the House and/or Senate flip? Will the president’s efforts to help elect candidates ideologically aligned with him work? Is the nation once again about to have divided government, and what will that mean for the next two years? Attend this session to get some of the best insight possible on those questions and more.

Moderator: Chip Reid, national correspondent, CBS News

Panelists: Blake Houndshell, Editor in Chief, POLITICO Magazine; Anthony Salvanto, Ph.D., Director of Elections and Surveys, CBS News; Wendy Wilk, Washington Bureau Chief, Hearst Television

Click for speaker information

Chip Reid, national correspondent, CBS News
Chip Reid is National Correspondent for CBS News based in Washington, D.C. He covers everything from hard news to features for the CBS EVENING NEWS, CBS THIS MORNING and CBS SUNDAY MORNING.

From 2009 to 2011, Reid was CBS News Chief White House Correspondent, traveling with President Obama on dozens of foreign and domestic trips and conducting several one-on-one interviews with the President. Prior to his time at the White House, he covered Capitol Hill for CBS News.

Before joining CBS News, he spent a decade with NBC News, based mainly in Washington where he covered politics, law, defense and foreign policy. During campaign season, Reid frequently anchored political coverage on MSNBC. Reid covered Bill Clinton's re-election campaign in 1996 and Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000.

Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Reid reported extensively from the Middle East including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. During the first phase of the Iraq war in 2003 Reid was embedded with a lead battalion of U.S. Marines that engaged in heavy combat as it fought its way from Kuwait to Baghdad.

Prior to his career in journalism, Reid practiced law, spending four years as Counsel and Chief Investigator on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He then practiced for two years at a major Washington law firm where he specialized in litigation and lobbying.

As an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, he teaches graduate level courses on journalism and politics.

Reid received a law degree from Columbia Law School and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University. During his time at Princeton he spent three months in Johannesburg, South Africa, working for a civil rights group fighting apartheid. He received his bachelor of arts from Vassar College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. In 2011, he had the honor of being the first male graduate to give the commencement address at Vassar College.

Blake Hounshell, editor in chief, POLITICO Magazine
Blake Hounshell is editor in chief of POLITICO Magazine. He was formerly editorial director of, overseeing the publication’s digital operations.

Before joining POLITICO in June 2013, Blake was managing editor of Foreign Policy, which was nominated for 10 National Magazine Awards during his tenure. In 2011, he was a finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011. Under his leadership, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's Best of the Web award in 2008. With Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited “Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future,” the memoirs of former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.

A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French and lives in Washington with his wife and two children.

Super Session: The #MeToo Movement

Friday, Sept. 28, 8-9 a.m.

With yet another media mogul — Les Moonves of CBS — dismissed after allegations of sexual misconduct, join for a timely conversation about the #MeToo movement. It’s one of the most consequential ongoing stories of our time. It started in the movie business, with the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey scandals, but quickly expanded into our sphere. The sexual assault and harassment allegations against CBS News anchor Charlie Rose, “Today Show” co-host Matt Lauer and others like Moonves have redefined how journalists cover this critical topic. But it also prompts the question: Has anything really changed? In this session we confront the nature of reporting stories that struggle to depict an endemic and toxic culture. Learn how to pursue and expose these topics in a responsible manner.

Moderator: Debra Adams Simmons, executive editor — culture, National Geographic

Panelists: Amy Brittain, investigative reporter, The Washington Post; Anna North, senior reporter, Vox; Avi Kumin, partner, Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP

Click for speaker information

Debra Adams Simmons, executive editor — culture, National Geographic
Debra Adams Simmons is Executive Editor — Culture at National Geographic. A 2016 fellow of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, Debra spent seven years as the managing editor and editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland before joining the newspaper’s parent company, Advance Local, as a vice president in 2014. A 30-year news veteran, Debra has extensive reporting, editing and senior news management experience. She spent four years as the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal and worked as an editor or reporter at The Virginian-Pilot, The Detroit Free Press, The Hartford Courant and the Syracuse Herald-Journal. Debra was president of the Associated Press Media Editors in 2014 and a former member of the board of directors of the International Women’s Media Foundation. She currently serves on the board of directors of the American Society of News Editors.

Amy Brittain, investigative reporter, The Washington Post
Amy Brittain (@AmyJBrittain), an investigative reporter for The Washington Post, teamed up with reporter Irin Carmon to break the news of sexual harassment by television host Charlie Rose. In 2017, Brittain and Carmon were awarded the Mirror Award from Syracuse University for reporting on sexual misconduct in the media and were named finalists for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. In 2016, Brittain was part of a team of Post reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize for chronicling fatal shootings by police officers across the country. Before joining The Post, she was the winner of the George Polk Award for exposing rampant use of anabolic steroids by police officers in New Jersey.

Anna North, senior reporter, Vox
Anna North is a senior reporter for Vox, covering gender issues, reproductive rights, workplace discrimination, LGBTQ rights, masculinity, femininity, and more. She went to Vox from The New York Times, where she held several positions, including as a member of the editorial board. She also is the author of two novels, America Pacifica (2011) and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark (2015).

Avi Kumin, partner, Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP
Avi Kumin has been selected by his peers for the 2012-2019 editions of “Best Lawyers in America” in the categories of “Employment Law - Individuals” and “Litigation - Labor and Employment” for the D.C. area, and named by both Washingtonian magazine and “Super Lawyers” magazine as one of the area’s top employment attorneys. Since 2011, Martindale-Hubbell has rated Mr. Kumin “AV Preeminent,” its highest possible peer review rating. A founder and partner at Katz, Marshall & Banks since 2007, Mr. Kumin has been successfully advising employees about their legal rights, resolving difficult situations with employers, and litigating employment claims in court for nearly twenty years. He practices in the areas of whistleblower protection, sexual and religious harassment, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), disability, discrimination, retaliation, severance negotiations, contractual disputes, and other areas of employment law. He also represents employees in filing whistleblower reward tips with the federal govenment, such as False Claims Act ("qui tam") lawuits and award tips submitted to the SEC, IRS, and CFTC.

From 2013 to 2015, Mr. Kumin served as the Co-Chair of the D.C. Bar Association's Labor & Employment Section, and was elected by the Section’s members to serve on its Steering Committee from 2012 to 2015. Mr. Kumin currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association. He has lectured about whistleblower protection and Sarbanes-Oxley claims, SEC/IRS reward programs, disability, family medical leave, sexual harassment, retaliation, religious harassment, wrongful discharge, equal payment laws, legal ethics, employee severance issues, and litigation practice before the American Bar Association, the D.C. Bar Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the American Law Institute, and employee and labor groups. Recently, Mr. Kumin partnered with the D.C. Attorney General’s Office to help provide training on a number of employment laws to over 500 District attorneys, human resource directors, managers, and employees.

Mr. Kumin has litigated cases in federal and state courts, in arbitration, and before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Merit Systems Protection Board. He is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the California Bar Association.

Mr. Kumin received his law degree from Yale Law School and his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University. Following law school graduation, Mr. Kumin served as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Tena Campbell, U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.

Super Session: Surviving the Unthinkable

Saturday, Sept. 29, 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

It was just another day for the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. But that beautiful summer’s day on June 28 turned deadly when an area resident turned his anger against the newspaper into an assault that left five members of the staff dead. It was the unthinkable. Now, the challenge is to pick up the pieces and move forward. This EIJ Super Session will look at the lessons that have been learned in the wake of the tragedy that hit the Annapolis Capital Staff. How do you recover when your newsroom comes under attack? What do you do when your entire newsroom becomes the story?

Speakers: Trif Alatzas, publisher and editor-in-chief, Baltimore Sun Media Group; Bruce Shapiro, executive director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma; Frank Smyth, executive director, Global Journalist Security; Deborah Weiner, anchor and reporter, WBAL

Click for speaker information

Trif Alatzas, publisher and editor-in-chief, Baltimore Sun Media Group
Trif Alatzas was named Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Baltimore Sun Media Group in March 2016. The award-winning reporter and editor is a Baltimore native who began his career as an intern at The Evening Sun while a student at Loyola University Maryland. After working at newspapers in New York and Delaware, he returned to The Baltimore Sun in 2002 and has since held several roles including Executive Editor/Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Media, Sports Editor and Business Editor. He oversees the business staff and journalists at The Baltimore Sun, The Baltimore Sun Media Group’s web sites, two other daily newspapers at The Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital as well as more than two dozen of the company’s community newspapers and magazines.

Trif led The Sun’s newsrooms through the company’s successful transition to paid digital subscriptions in 2011. He is credited with bridging the print and online divisions of the newsroom and ensuring The Sun’s journalists have an array of skills to maneuver between digital and print platforms seamlessly. He also developed and drove the editorial strategy in BSMG’s 2014 acquisitions of The Annapolis Capital and Carroll County Times. In 2014, he formed The Sun’s investigative reporting team.

Under his leadership, The Sun and its journalists have continued the tradition of exceptional and award-winning journalism in Baltimore. The newsroom was recognized during the past three years with more than 40 national awards for work including investigative journalism, online reporting and design, commentary as well as breaking news coverage. The Sun has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times during the past three years for breaking news, editorial writing and editorial cartoons. The news organization’s coverage of the Baltimore riots and the aftermath was recognized with two awards from the Online News Association in 2015 for breaking news and explanatory reporting. Other breaking news awards include the National Headliner Award each of the past two years as well as recognition by the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. The Sun also has been named News Organization of the Year the past eight years by the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association. The Carroll County Times and The Aegis received similar recognition in 2016. The Sun’s “extraordinary efforts” to gain access to public records and to hold local officials accountable was recognized the past three years with the prestigious James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award.

Trif served as a Pulitzer Prize juror in 2015 and 2016 at Columbia University. He also is chairman of the state press association’s Freedom of Information Act/Public Information Act subcommittee and is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ First Amendment committee. He was named one of Maryland’s most influential people in 2016 by the Daily Record legal newspaper. He currently serves on the board of visitors for the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as well as the board of directors for the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Trif also has led The Sun through various partnerships during the past several years including reporting fellowships and grants with Marquette University, the Solutions Based Journalism association and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism. The Sun also has partnered with the University of Baltimore for political polling and primary debates. The Sun and CNN also teamed up in 2016 to produce a television documentary about Baltimore and the case of Freddie Gray’s death. Trif was the keynote speaker for the 2016 O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism conference at Marquette and the 2017 Clarence J. Caulfield Memorial Lecture at Loyola University Maryland.

Trif received a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University Maryland. He also has worked for news organizations in Springfield, Ill., Rochester, N.Y. and Wilmington, Del.

Bruce Shapiro, executive director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma
Bruce Shapiro is Executive Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism encouraging innovative reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy worldwide. An award-winning reporter on human rights, criminal justice and politics, Shapiro is a contributing editor at The Nation and U.S. correspondent for Late Night Live on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National. He is also Senior Advisor for Academic Affairs at Columbia Journalism School, where he teaches ethics. His books include Shaking the Foundations: 200 Years of Investigative Journalism in America and Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future. He is recipient of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Public Advocacy Award for "outstanding and fundamental contributions to the social understanding of trauma."

Frank Smyth, executive director, Global Journalist Security
Frank Smyth is founder and executive director of GJS. He is also Senior Advisor for Journalist Security at the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, where he blogs on journalist security. Frank has been awarded for both his investigative journalism and his service to the journalism community.

Deborah Weiner, anchor and reporter, WBAL
Deborah Weiner is living proof that the road to achieving journalistic excellence can run through your own hometown.

Deborah co-anchors WBAL-TV 11 News weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m. and reports with the 11 News I-Team.

Since 1991, Deborah has covered Maryland like few others, receiving numerous Emmy awards for in-depth and investigative reporting, along with the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

Born in Pikesville, Deborah attended The Park School. She is a 1986 graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Deborah earned her Master's Degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Deborah's first television job was at WYFF-TV, WBAL's sister station in Greenville, S.C. In 1991, she moved back home to Baltimore to report for WBFF-TV.

In 1994, ABC News hired her as a correspondent, during which time she covered the Clinton administration and Capitol Hill for the network's local affiliates. She also reported for "Good Morning America" and "World News Tonight" weekend editions.

In 1997, Deborah returned to Baltimore as WBFF's main anchor. While she left the station after the birth of her second child, in-depth journalism never strayed far from Deborah's heart.

In May 2002, Deborah joined WBAL-TV 11's special projects unit and the WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team, working on in-depth and investigative reports, as well as covering Maryland politics.

In April 2012, Deborah and her colleagues produced a special documentary, "Rebounding From Loss," which followed a Baltimore high school basketball team after the tragic loss of one of their players.

When not working, Deborah's proudest accomplishment is her family. She lives in Baltimore City with her husband and two children.

Camden Yards Tour

Friday, Sept. 28 • $10

Oriole Park revolutionized baseball when it debuted on Opening Day 1992. Now's your chance to go behind the scenes of this historic ballpark and learn more about how it has continued to change the baseball fan's experience ever since.

Come see Oriole Park at Camden Yards from a whole new perspective. Enjoy the charm of the ballpark from club level suites, the press level and even the Orioles dugout.

Join your friends at EIJ Friday, Sept. 28, for the Camden Yards Tour. $10 per ticket.

Each tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. More information is available on the Orioles' website.

Putting the “new” back in news: Experiments in local TV innovation

Thursday Sept. 27, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

A new generation of news consumers shows no sign of watching the 5, 6, or 11 — ever. That poses a stark challenge to local TV news as we know it: re-invent yourself, or fade into irrelevance. Now a group of researchers at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, with support from the Knight Foundation, has begun studying the best examples of stations and groups trying to make meaningful changes on both broadcast and digital platforms — and we want to hear from you. Come share a drink (first one's on us!), check the buzz words at the door, and join a free-wheeling conversation. Open to alZ.

SPJ President's Installation Banquet

Saturday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m. • $80   Purchase tickets

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

Things to do in Baltimore

Looking for other fun things to do while you're in town? Get some ideas here.

Help/Contact  •   Future EIJ locations
Info for SPJ Leaders