Breakout Sessions and Workshops

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

Please note, however, that sessions designated as a workshop have limited seating and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

More sessions, as well as speaker bios, will be added shortly, so check back in soon!


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News Management
Newsgathering
Digital
Career Development
Sponsored Sessions

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Wednesday: 9 a.m. 10 a.m. 2 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m. 11 a.m. 1 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 3 p.m. 4 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 11 a.m. 1 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2 p.m. 3 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 1 p.m. 2 p.m. 4 p.m.


Additional training opportunities at EIJ19

ACES: In-Depth Editing Workshop
When: Wednesday, Sept. 4,
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $150 for members of ACES/SPJ/RTDNA/NAHJ, $200 for non-members

Go beyond the basics of grammar and style in this full-day advanced editing workshop. You’ll leave with tools for attacking the structure and focus of a piece and for approaching content destined for multiple platforms. You’ll also discover tricks for editing with elegance and learn to define your role with your writers or clients. You can register for this workshop here.

Speakers: Merrill Perlman; Teresa Schmedding

Click for speaker information


Merrill Perlman
Merrill Perlman is a freelance editor, consultant, trainer, and coach for writers and editors. Her clients have included Amazon Kindle Singles, Propublica, Rosetta Books, the Poynter Institute and dozens of schools, corporations, news organizations, nonprofits and individuals. She spent 25 years at The New York Times as an editor or manager of editors, and is an adjunct assistant professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She's also worked in Southern Illinois and Des Moines, Iowa, though she now lives in New York City.

Teresa Schmedding
Teresa Schmedding is the content manager at Wipfli LLP, overseeing content strategy and brand voice. Prior to that, she was the managing editor for Rotary International, where her team won a Webby and was listed as one of the top five nonprofit websites in the world. She previously worked in journalism for 20 years. She has a master’s in strategic comms and a bachelor’s in journalism from Mizzou.


NBC University
When: Thursday, Sept. 5,
8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free (admittance by application only)

Are you interested in learning more from America’s leading news organization? With #1 programs across network and cable news, we are a team of best-in-class journalists. NBC University convenes our best and brightest to give you a window into how we produce for network news, cable, digital, streaming and local. Get additional details and request an application here.


CNBC Business Producing Workshop
When: Friday, Sept. 6,
10-11:30 a.m.
Cost: Free (admittance by application only)

CNBC is hosting an interactive workshop at EIJ19 designed to teach general news journalists how to quickly identify and present a financial news story for a business audience. By participating in this workshop, you’ll have an opportunity to work directly with experienced CNBC producers to learn the tools of financial journalism. Get additional details and request an application here.


CNN Producer and Reporter Workshops
When: Friday, Sept. 6,
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free (admittance by application only)

CNN is hosting a workshop some of the most enterprising & engaging television reporters along with the best producers and digital journalists at EIJ19! Senior managers, on-air coaches and CNN correspondents will teach and challenge attendees on what it takes to make it to the network. During this full-day, small group workshop, reporters and producers will build skills and apply practical techniques. Get additional details and apply here.

Wednesday, Wed., Sept. 4,
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Workshop
IRE: Multi-Platform Watchdog Journalism

Learn how to combine watchdog reporting with innovative digital storytelling to produce stories with high impact. This special full-day Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) workshop features leading journalists from broadcast, print and online newsrooms. You'll leave the workshop better equipped to get the goods you need for stories that make a difference. Plus, you'll discover strategies and tools for producing compelling coverage across all platforms. Sessions include Web and Social Media for Watchdogs; Finding and Getting Public Records; 30 Quick-Turn Stories in 60 Minutes; Turning Data into Online and TV Gold; and the Art of the Watchdog Interview

Speakers: Francisco Vara-Orta (@fvaraorta), Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors; Patti DiVincenzo (@PattiDiVincenzo), Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors; Charlotte Anne-Lucas (@CharlotteAnne), executive director, NOWCastSA; Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski), investigative reporter, Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV; Dillon Collier (@dilloncollier), investigative reporter, KSAT-TV (ABC affiliate); Kelly Shannon (@kelleyshan), executive director, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas; Brian Collister (@BrianCollister), Chief Investigative Reporter & CEO, Investigative Network; Jaie Avila (@JaieAvila), investigative reporter, News 4 San Antonio (NBC)

Click for speaker information


Francisco Vara-Orta, Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors;
Francisco Vara-Orta brings 18 years of newsroom experience to his role as an IRE trainer, which he began in February 2019. He has worked for a variety of online and print publications, including Chalkbeat, Education Week, the San Antonio Express-News, Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He earned a master’s degree in investigative/data journalism at the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Patti DiVincenzo, Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors
Patti DiVincenzo has spent more than three decades working in TV stations across the country, from Topeka, Kansas to WSB-TV in Atlanta, where she was an investigative producer and data specialist for 16 years. A long-time member of IRE, she joined the staff as a training director in February 2019. DiVincenzo earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

Charlotte Anne-Lucas, executive director, NOWCastSA
Charlotte-Anne Lucas leads NOWCastSA, a nonprofit news organization that empowers people with information like public television on the Internet.

Lucas wrote her first news story on a manual typewriter and worked for newspapers from Philadelphia to San Francisco. She won dozens of awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Journalism.

She went to the Web in 1999 as managing editor of TheStreet.com, then as Content Director of MySanAntonio.com. The co-founder of Local Independent Online News publishers has taught journalism, ethics, Web design, digital storytelling, interviewing and media literacy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, St. Mary's University and Texas A&M University San Antonio.

Tony Plohetski, investigative reporter, Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV
Tony Plohetski is a national award-winning journalist whose work spans print, television and digital mediums. He joined the Austin American-Statesman in 2000 and since 2013, has worked in partnership with KVUE-TV, Austin's ABC affiliate.

Kelly Shannon, executive director, Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas
Kelley Shannon is executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. She oversees FOI advocacy, educational seminars and other outreach, working with news organizations and citizens interested in open government. Previously, Shannon was a correspondent for The Associated Press in San Antonio and the AP bureau leader in Austin. She also worked as a reporter for The Dallas Morning News in Austin, the Savannah (Ga.) NewsPress and the Palestine Herald-Press in East Texas. She covered the fatal Branch Davidian standoff near Waco; the ensuing federal trial of Davidian survivors; the presidential elections of George W. Bush; the 2003 lawmaker boycott of the Texas Legislature; and the San Antonio Spurs during the David Robinson era, among many other major news stories.

Dillon Collier, investigative reporter, KSAT-TV
Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He also provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door" segments. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year. His relentless work includes uncovering the misuse of funds within a local housing authority and prompting a congressional inquiry at Fort Sam Houston.

Dillon began his career as a sports reporter at KGNS-TV in Laredo. He then spent five frigid winters in Flint, Michigan, working at WEYI-TV, where Dillon first caught the investigative reporting bug.

Dillon is a proud graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

He is a native of Tucson, Arizona, and grew up at a private airpark. Dillon is an instrument-rated private pilot whose dream is to one day own his own airplane. He and his wife, Jenny, are the proud parents of Tessa, a soccer star in the making.

Brian Collister, Chief Investigative Reporter & CEO, Investigative Network
Brian Collister is an award-winning investigative reporter who specializing in uncovering fraud, corruption and government waste. He is Chief Investigative Reporter & CEO of the Austin based Investigative Network. Brian launched the nonprofit video news outlet in May with an investigation that revealed never before seen video from the infamous traffic stop of Sandra Bland by a Texas DPS trooper. The story was broadcast and picked up by nearly every major news organization and resulted in an on-going investigation by lawmakers. In 2017, Brian's investigation into the racial profiling records of Austin Police and the Texas Department of Safety was recognized with an Alfred I. Dupont Columbia University Award. The investigation uncovered overwhelming evidence that law enforcement was subverting racial profiling statistics by consistently misreporting the race of minority motorists during traffic stops. His investigations into fraud, corruption, and government waste have resulted in the criminal convictions of public officials, passage of new laws, and embezzled public funds being returned to taxpayers. He has won two IRE Awards, in addition to numerous Emmys.

Jaie Avila, investigative reporter, News 4 San Antonio (NBC)
Jaie Avila is an Emmy award winning investigative reporter with the News 4 San Antonio Trouble Shooters unit.

Jaie's investigative stories have had a big impact on San Antonio. His investigation into towing company practices led city officials to revamp the towing ordinance and reduce the amount companies can charge you to get your car back. Another investigation exposed a San Antonio school official who was stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the district. After Jaie's story the official was fired, charged with fraud, and ultimately agreed to pay the money back. Then there was the hidden-camera investigation that caught city utility workers literally sleeping on the job.

Before coming to News 4 San Antonio in 2004, Jaie spent eight years reporting in Los Angeles for KABC-TV and KCBS-TV. During that time he covered the O.J. Simpson civil trial, the North Hollywood Shootout and the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case.

Jaie began his on-camera career at KXAN-TV in Austin, where from 1991 to 1994 he was a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter. During that time he covered the Branch Davidian standoff, the Luby's cafeteria massacre and political stories from the state capitol.

Jaie was also an investigative reporter at KNXV-TV in Phoenix where he was named "Reporter of the Year" by the Associated Press for his investigation into food stamp fraud.

Prior to beginning his on-air career, Jaie worked as a writer/producer for KCALTV in LA, as a researcher for Good Morning America, and an assistant producer at FOX 11 in Los Angeles.


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Wednesday, Wed., Sept. 4,
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Taller sobre monetización y sostenibilidad financiera para medios digitales con Ignacio Escolar, director y fundador de Eldiario.es (España) y ganador del Premio a la excelencia 2019 de los Premios Gabo

eldiario.es es uno de los medios más leídos e influyentes en España. En solo siete años desde su fundación, se ha convertido también en el que cuenta con un mayor número de suscriptores digitales del país, gracias a su programa de "socios": lectores que apoyan el periodismo independiente y que pagan por un periódico que también podrían leer gratis. Gracias a este modelo, eldiario.es es un medio solvente que sigue creciendo. Su director, Ignacio Escolar, explicará el modelo de negocio de eldiario.es y sus estrategias de captación de suscriptores, gracias al periodismo de investigación y a la transparencia. Escolar es también el último ganador del Premio Gabo a la Excelencia Periodística, entre otros motivos, por "su papel en la invención de un modelo periodístico potente y sostenible". El taller también expondrá distintas estrategias de sostenibilidad para los medios digitales.

Speaker: Ignacio Escolar


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Wednesday, Wed., Sept. 4, 2-4 p.m.

Mental Health and Crisis Management Practical Advice for Journalists Facing Violence Online

This workshop is designed to be an open space for journalists and media professionals to:
— Deactivate fear by thinking and being completely present in the here and now.
— Heal through empowering narratives.
— Empowerment through decision making.

The workshop will produce recommendations for NAHJ members and conference attendees on how to reduce the pervasive effects of violence online and in real life on journalism professionals.

Speakers: Lu Ortiz and Sofia Cerda, Vita-Activa.org; Joe Vazquez, KPIX-CBS


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Wednesday,
Sept. 4,
2:30-6 p.m.

Coberturas en medios digitales: Encuentro cara a cara del corto y largo aliento

Coberturas en medios digitales: Encuentro cara a cara del corto y largo aliento con Ginna Morelo, ganadora del Premio Gabo 2018. En momentos en que el tiempo real es rey indiscutido, ¿cómo generar narrativas orgánicas y trasparentes que sobrepasen el último minuto? Taller para abordar y crear posibilidades.

Speaker: Ginna Morelo


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Wednesday,
Sept. 4, 4-6 p.m.

Support and Self Care: Self-Defense

Journalists face all kinds of threats, including physical. We hope we never find ourselves in a situation which requires self-defense, but it’s good to be prepared. Daniel and Rebekah Duron from Pinnacle Martial Arts in San Antonio will walk participants through a few ways to stay safe. All participants will be required to sign a waiver.

Speaker: Daniel and Rebekah Duron, Pinnacle Martial Arts San Antonio


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Wednesday,
Sept. 4, 5-7 p.m.

Foreign News Coverage

The CBS News Institute presents a workshop session on foreign news coverage. How news teams decide to pitch & cover international events. Is there an impact in leading global coverage? What type of careers are available in foreign news. What tips are needed to ensure your story is seamless in the field and relevant to the viewer. Panelists and attendees will also break into groups to craft a foreign news assignment checklist.

Speakers: Jose Diaz, Deputy Foreign Editor, CBS News; Adriana Diaz, Correspondent, CBS News; Manuel Bojorquez, Correspondent, CBS News; Alex Pena, Digital Journalist & Producer, CBS News; Russell Midori, Video Journalist, CBS News; Al Ortiz, Vice President of News Standards & Practices, CBS News


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Thursday,
Sept. 5,
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Workshop
Better Data for Better Health: A Journalist’s Workshop

Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will organize and present a data workshop to train reporters on new and existing data sets, as well as inform attendee journalists on how they can bring health equity into their reporting. Throughout the workshop, trainers will (1) highlight a selected area of RWJF’s priority work (Equity, Housing, Data); (2) explain how health is connected to social factors and conditions, such as income, housing, employment, education, and environment; and (3) explore solutions, signs of progress, and what’s happening in places where change is taking place. Data sets include: City Health Dashboard, 500 Cities, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHRR), and the Opportunity Atlas. The data workshop will be an open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., giving journalists the opportunity to come and go at will. Monitors will be available, but journalists should bring their laptops.

Speaker: Eugenia Blaubach (@euge_blaubach), coordinator, Burness; Jordan Reese (@mediajordan), Director, Media Relations, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Wilson Lopez, Digital Analyst, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Click for speaker information


Eugenia Blaubach, coordinator, Burness
Eugenia Blaubach joined Burness as a coordinator in 2019. She supports a variety of projects that lie at the intersection of health and innovation, primarily working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey, Pioneer and Global Portfolios.

Prior to joining Burness, Eugenia served as a research and writing consultant for the Innovation Service at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, where she combined social science research and storytelling to help strengthen innovation’s role in the humanitarian sector.

Jordan Reese, Director, Media Relations, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Jordan Reese, a distinguished media relations and crisis communications professional, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2015. His work focuses on helping the Foundation build an action framework to share its ideas, research, and initiatives among the public, health care professionals, practitioners, scholars, policymakers, community activists, and others.

Wilson Lopez, Digital Analyst, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
As a key member of the Digital Marketing and Analytics team, Wilson Lopez analyzes and reports trends on the Foundation's website, content initiatives, and overall content marketing.







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Thursday, Sept. 5, 9 a.m.-Noon

Workshop (Half Day)
Magnum FOI: Access Workshop for Becoming a Data Sleuth

This half-day workshop covers the essentials for becoming an FOI power sleuth — the key elements for mastering the art of access. Based on the fundamentals from “The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records” (Cuillier and Davis, second edition due out in July 2019), as well as the latest research and tools, this three-part hands-on workshop engages people for three hours in the following main segments: 1. Cool records/data and how to find them (online resources for identifying records and dozens of examples of data worth dipping into). 2. Art of the ask (learning the law, effective request techniques and online tools to assist, such as iFOIA). 3. Overcoming denials (psychological strategies, effective appeals, and how to go about suing, even on your own). The workshop will allow participants to try the online tools themselves, brainstorm ideas, and leave with a plan for requests to submit when they get back home. Also provides a hefty handout with the tips and resources (60 pages plus). The benefit of this workshop is it pulls together all of the main components of access that are typically either a) crammed into a one-hour session and therefore glossed over or b) tackled in separate bite-sized sessions, lacking the ability to hit the whole process in one sitting. Become a record sleuth, or hone your current skills!

Speaker: David Cuillier

Click for speaker information


David Cuillier
David Cuillier, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he teaches access to public records and data journalism. A former journalist, Cuillier served as national SPJ president and FOI Committee chair, and is currently president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. He is co-author of "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records," and editor of the Journal of Civic Information.


Workshop (Half Day)
Building Resilience to Online Violence

The International Women's Media Foundation in partnership with the Knight Foundation will offer an in-depth training workshop for women journalists and digital security experts to assess and respond to the risks that they face online, and to support a culture of resilience and diversity in the news media. Online attacks against journalists, especially women, has become a growth industry that is adversely impacting journalists and their stories. While a number of organizations are working to address this problem, none are focusing on providing services to the community the IWMF is best positioned to serve, women journalists around the world who are targeted online and attacked for doing their jobs because of who they are. The workshop will touch on the development of security assessments and protocols to combat and respond to online attacks and offer individualized technical support for participants. The IWMF is committed to researching the issue of harassment in the industry, to develop and encourage solutions that not only provide support and resources to women journalists, but also seek to address the underlying structures.

Speakers: Harlo Holmes, Freedom of the Press Foundation; Jorge Luis Sierra, US-Mexico Border Investigative Reporting Hub; Viktorya Vilk, Pen America; Margaux Ewen, James Foley Legacy Foundation; Nadine Hoffman, International Women's Media Foundation; Courtney C. Radsch, Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists

Click for speaker information


Harlo Holmes, Freedom of the Press Foundation
Harlo Holmes is the Director of Newsroom Digital Security at Freedom of the Press Foundation. She strives to help individual journalists in various media organizations become confident and effective in securing their communications within their newsrooms, with their sources, and with the public at large. She is a media scholar, software programmer, and activist; and contributes regularly to the open source mobile security collective The Guardian Project.

Jorge Luis Sierra, US-Mexico Border Investigative Reporting Hub
Jorge Luis Sierra is a co-founder and CEO of the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers, a non-profit organization based in Edinburg Texas. He is leading the Investigative Reporting Border Hub project to produce data-driven stories on corruption issues at both sides of the U.S. — Mexico border. As an investigative reporter and editor, Jorge Luis focuses at the intersection of technology, investigative journalism, and cybersecurity. He directed the Mike O’Connor Fellowship Program, a project dedicated to develop new generations of Mexican investigative reporters to conduct in-depth investigations about corruption, torture, human trafficking and abuse to Mexican private soldiers. As a Knight Fellow of the International Center for Journalists, he created digital maps to track crime, corruption, and attacks to journalists in Panama, Mexico, and Iraq. He developed the Salama web application for journalists and human rights defenders to conduct a risk assessment and improve their security posture. He is the author on a dozen of books and chapters on counterinsurgency and armed conflicts.

Viktorya Vilk, Pen America
Viktorya Vilk is manager of special projects at PEN America, where she leads initiatives on a range of free expression issues, including developing tools and strategies to empower writers and journalists to defend against online harassment and conducting research and raising awareness about the local news crisis. She has over a decade of experience working in nonprofits to expand access to the arts and defend freedom of expression. She graduated summa cum laude with a BA from Boston University and pursued her graduate degrees on a Marshall Scholarship at the University of London.

Margaux Ewen, James Foley Legacy Foundation
Margaux Ewen is the executive director of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization founded after the brutal 2014 murder of James Foley, an American freelance journalist, while he was held captive by ISIS in Syria. The foundation’s mission is to advocate for the freedom of all Americans held hostage or unjustly detained abroad and promote the safety of journalists worldwide. Prior to joining the Foley Foundation, Margaux was North America director for Reporters Without Borders. She has a demonstrated history of working in the broadcast media industry and advocating for media rights and has two law degrees from the Sorbonne in France and from The George Washington University in the U.S.

Nadine Hoffman, International Women's Media Foundation
Nadine Hoffman is the IWMF’s Deputy Director, and she can often be found wrangling journalists in under-reported places. After starting her career as a reporter in Boston, Hoffman transitioned to non-profit work, focused on international human rights and education. She has been a part of the IWMF team since 2010. She is passionate about developing programs to support the IWMF’s global community of female journalists, traveling to far-flung places, and smashing the patriarchy.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Hoffman holds a Bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College and a Master’s degree in journalism from Emerson College.

Courtney C. Radsch, Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists
Courtney C. Radsch, PhD, is advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists. She serves as chief spokesperson on global press freedom issues for the organization and oversees CPJ's engagement with the United Nations, the Internet Governance Forum, and other multilateral institutions as well as CPJ's campaigns on behalf of journalists killed and imprisoned for their work. As a veteran journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate, she frequently writes and speaks about the intersection of media, technology, and human rights. Her book Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt: Digital Dissidence and Political Change was published in 2016.

Prior to joining CPJ, Radsch worked for UNESCO, edited the flagship publication "World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development," and managed the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at Freedom House. She has worked as a journalist in the United States and Middle East with Al-Arabiya, the Daily Star, and The New York Times. Radsch holds a PhD in international relations from American University. She speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish.


Workshop (Half Day)
Boyd's 10 Exercises to Pump up Your Storytelling Muscles

Each day on the job as a journalist is an opportunity to build storytelling muscles. This session will be loaded with exercises and practical tips to help you reach your goals. Boyd Huppert will share writing and storytelling techniques that have helped him earn 16 national Edward R. Murrow Awards, four Sigma Delta Chi Awards and a National Emmy for feature reporting. Whatever your medium — whatever your deadline — strong storytelling muscles build powerful stories. There's no better time to get started.

Speaker: Boyd Huppert

Download handout [PDF]

Click for speaker information


Boyd Huppert
During his 35-year career in television news, Boyd Huppert has become widely known for his work as a video storyteller and teacher.

Boyd works as a reporter at KARE TV in Minneapolis. He's also presented more than 200 visual storytelling workshops in the U.S. and abroad — while serving for two decades as a faculty member at the NPPA Advanced Storytelling Workshop.

Boyd's reporting has earned some of journalism's highest honors, including a National Emmy, the Scripps Howard Award, 16 national Murrow awards and four Sigma Delta Chi Awards

Prior to his 1996 arrival at KARE, Boyd worked at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KETV in Omaha and WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin.


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 9-10 a.m.

Workplace Integrity: A New Take on Critical Conversations

Every person in the newsroom has the power to make it a healthier, happier place. Join us for this interactive session from the Power Shift Project, which fights incivility, harassment and discrimination. We will use logic and critical thinking skills to analyze common newsroom interactions and help you keep morale and productivity high among all staffers.

Speakers: Mizell Stewart III (@MizellStewart), Senior Director of Talent, Partnerships and News Strategy for Gannett and the USA TODAY Network; Jill Geisler (@JillGeisler), Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago

Click for speaker information


Mizell Stewart III, Senior Director of Talent, Partnerships and News Strategy for Gannett and the USA TODAY Network
Mizell Stewart III is Senior Director of Talent, Partnerships and News Strategy for Gannett and the USA TODAY Network. He has been an award-winning reporter, top newsroom editor, radio and television broadcaster and corporate news executive. His prior roles include Chief Content Officer of Journal Media Group, Vice President/Content of the newspaper division of the E.W. Scripps Company and senior leadership posts at the Akron Beacon Journal, Evansville Courier & Press and Tallahassee Democrat. He is a member of the Power Shift Project Advisory Board and recently served on the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy.

Jill Geisler, Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago
Jill Geisler is the person newsrooms turn to when they want first-class leadership and healthy cultures. The veteran broadcast journalist holds the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago and is the Freedom Forum Institute’s Fellow in Women’s Leadership, heading its Power Shift Project. Jill is known for the practicality, humanity and humor she brings to her teaching and coaching. She’s the author of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.” Jill was among the country’s first female TV news directors. Her management mantra is “Life’s too short to work with jerks.”


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 9-10:30 a.m.

Facebook & Instagram Story School

Sponsored by Facebook

Whether you're new to Facebook and Instagram Stories or a seasoned pro, this fun and interactive workshop shows you how to maximize the in-app toolkit for creative reporting and storytelling. Learn the latest Stories hacks, review best practices on how to use FB and IG stories together, and get inspired by best-inclass examples in this hands-on session.

Speaker: Catherine Cole, Strategic Partner Manager, Global News Training, Facebook

Click for speaker information


Catherine Cole, Strategic Partner Manager Global News Training, Facebook
Catherine Cole currently works at Facebook under the Facebook Journalism Project, where she focuses on developing and executing global trainings for journalists across digital, print, broadcast and local markets. In 2017, she launched Facebook Safety for Journalists, an initiative focused on helping journalists keep themselves and their accounts safe on Facebook. Previously, she spent nearly a decade at ABC’s flagship nightly news broadcast “World News Tonight,” where she covered major breaking stories ranging from the US elections to Boston Marathon bombings to the Arab Spring. Catherine graduated with a double major in History and Communication Studies from the University of Michigan. She lives with her husband and two sons in New York City.


Multimedia Reporting with FOX News — Boot Camp

Sponsored by Fox Corporation

During this boot camp, attendees will learn from current Fox News Multimedia Reporters (MMRs) what it takes to shoot your shot as a strong candidate for the next MMR class. This experiential workshop will review the day-to-day process of reporting stories across multiple platforms, the dos & don’ts of shooting and editing powerful packages, and social media best practices for gathering story ideas and establishing your brand.

Speakers: TBA


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 9-11 a.m.

How to Avoid Getting Hacked

Phishing attacks and other forms are hacking email and social media accounts are unfortunately common to any journalist speaking up against powerful interests. In this session, we'll start you off with the fundamentals of online account security, including how to choose and store passwords safely using a password manager. We’ll also show you how to get started with the strongest and best recommended method for defending against phishing attacks: U2F hardware tokens, such as Yubico’s Yubikeys and Google’s Titan Security Keys. These devices, along with software-based give your online accounts, such as Gmail, Dropbox, Twitter and Facebook. Bring your smartphone and laptop to follow along in getting started!

Speakers: David Huerta and Katitza Rodriguez


How to Boost Your Career, Brand and Impact with Digital Media

To reach an audience, strong journalism also needs a strong brand. Brand makes you feel uneasy? Think credibility. How can you use social media to help the story of you and of your stories?

Speakers: BA Snyder


Layoff Survival Kit

Whether it has happened to you already or not, chances are you’ll likely be laid off as a journalist during your career. First, it’s not your fault. This is the new reality and it has devastating impact far beyond your current job status. Hear from others who have been laid off and heard how to bounce back.

Speakers: Alex Alvarez, Julia Furlan, Monica Castillo and Julie Garcia


Social/Community Engagement: Social Media Hacks for Journalists

There are lots of reasons to avoid social media these days, but it’s an important place for journalists to be. It can showcase your work (and how you work), your voice, your ethics, and your story — which can connect you with readers, potential sources, and future jobs. In this session, we’ll cover the risks and rewards of being on social media, including best practices for growing your audience, engaging that audience, and what successful engagement really means.

Speakers: Amanda Zamora and Helga Salinas


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 11 a.m.-Noon

Defense Against the Dark Arts Office Hours

Drop in and have some time with a digital security pro to informally learn more about how you can protect yourself.

Speakers: David Huerta and Katitza Rodriguez


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Facebook & Instagram Story School

Sponsored by Facebook

Whether you're new to Facebook and Instagram Stories or a seasoned pro, this fun and interactive workshop shows you how to maximize the in-app toolkit for creative reporting and storytelling. Learn the latest Stories hacks, review best practices on how to use FB and IG stories together, and get inspired by best-inclass examples in this hands-on session.

Speaker: Danielle Noriega, Strategic Partner Manager, Global News Training, Facebook

Click for speaker information


Danielle Noriega, Strategic Partner Manager, Global News Training, Facebook
Danielle Noriega has been a part of Facebook’s News Partnerships team since 2015. She’s had the opportunity to train journalists and newsrooms in LATAM, APAC, and Canada on how to leverage newsgathering tools to tell their stories on Facebook. She’s most passionate about visual storytelling and helping journalists to create compelling and informative stories that go beyond the newsroom setting.


Do You Qualify as An Ally?

You oppose harassment, discrimination and incivility. You want co-workers, especially those who've traditionally been underrepresented in newsrooms, to know you stand ready to support them as an ally. But just as you can't describe yourself as a leader unless people choose to follow you, you can't simply declare that you're an ally unless others see you as such. How do you earn that distinction? In this session, drawn from the Freedom Forum Institute's Power Shift Project, Jill Geisler will share ten ways you can earn the right to be called an ally. She'll also share valuable information on free Workplace Integrity training opportunities for your newsroom.

Speaker: Jill Geisler (@JillGeisler), Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago

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Jill Geisler, Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago
Jill Geisler is the person newsrooms turn to when they want first-class leadership and healthy cultures. The veteran broadcast journalist holds the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago and is the Freedom Forum Institute’s Fellow in Women’s Leadership, heading its Power Shift Project. Jill is known for the practicality, humanity and humor she brings to her teaching and coaching. She’s the author of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.” Jill was among the country’s first female TV news directors. Her management mantra is “Life’s too short to work with jerks.”


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 1-3 p.m.

Next Gen Multi-Media

Sponsored by ABC News/ABC Owned TV Stations/ESPN

Join the conversation with The Walt Disney Company as we discuss how social media and technology have transformed the world of story-telling. As social media and technology continue to lead in how audiences consume content, it is even more important that we are able to efficiently communicate with our audience in a unique and compelling way.

During this session, attendees will learn firsthand how TWDC engages our audiences in the ever-changing world of social media and technology through leveraging our multiple brands and assets to tell our stories.

Speakers: Jennifer Graves, VP of News, WLS TV; Elizabeth Flores, Assistant News Director, WABC TV; Wil Cruz, Senior Editor, ABC News Digital; Tom Llamas, Senior Editor, Chief National Affairs Correspondent, ABC News; Ignacio Garcia, General Manager, ESPN International and ESPN Deportes

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Jennifer Graves, VP of News, WLS TV
Jennifer L. Graves has been at the helm of Chicago’s top-rated news organization since October 2001, when she was promoted to the position of Vice President and News Director, ABC 7 Eyewitness News. Under her leadership, ABC 7 has been Chicago’s choice for news, claiming more top-rated newscasts than any other station in the market.

In her role as Vice President and News Director, Graves directs the station’s 24/7 news coverage for all on-air and digital platforms. She oversees everything from breaking news and major event coverage to political debates, half-hour news specials and day-to-day news planning. She manages more than 100 employees. During her tenure, ABC 7 Eyewitness News has been honored for excellence with numerous awards including Associated Press, local Emmy and Peter Lisagor Awards, as well as a National Emmy Award for investigative news reporting and numerous Illinois Broadcasters Association Awards.

Graves has been a major contributor to the station’s cutting edge technological advances including the recent installation of ABC 7’s state-of-the art news set, an all-digital newsroom, High Definition news and the development of the historic broadcast facility, the State Street Studio.

From 1998 to 2001, Graves was the Assistant News Director at ABC 7. She joined the station in 1992 as an executive news producer.

Before joining ABC 7, Graves was at WAGA-TV News in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1988-1992, where she was promoted from news producer to executive producer. Prior to that, she worked as a producer and assignment editor at KSDK-TV in St. Louis, Missouri.

Graves is a member of the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Executives’ Club of Chicago, and The Chicago Network, a women’s business leadership organization.

She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism degree.

Graves lives with her husband and twin daughters in the north suburbs.

Elizabeth Flores, Assistant News Director, WABC TV
Elizabeth Flores is the Assistant News Director for WABC-TV Eyewitness News, New York’s top rated station.

In her role, Flores oversees the day-to-day news operations on both broadcast and digital platforms, as well as, talent development.

Before joining WABC, Flores worked for NBC 6 South Florida / WTVJ from 2012 to 2018 as Senior Executive Producer, before being promoted to Assistant News Director. It was her second round at NBC 6, in 2001 she joined WTVJ as an Associate Producer and Producer. She also held several positions at Telemundo 51 — WSCV from 2003-2012 including Executive Producer, Producer and Feature Reporter. Flores began her broadcast and television career as a writer at WSVN in 2001.

Flores is an Emmy®-award winning journalist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Lynn University in Boca Raton. Flores currently resides in New York City.

Wil Cruz, Senior Editor, ABC News Digital
Wil Cruz is the senior editor for ABC News’ Digital team. He is also an adjunct lecturer for the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

He is a veteran journalist who has worked as a reporter, editor and assignment desk manager in newspapers, digital and television. He has navigated several newsrooms and advocated for more diversity in media.

Wil has been active with the National Association of Hispanic & Black Journalists. Most recently, he is a 2019 alumnus of the Asian American Journalists Association Executive Leadership Program.

Tom Llamas, Senior Editor, Chief National Affairs Correspondent, ABC News
Tom Llamas is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, anchor of ABC News “World News Tonight” weekend editions, and Chief National Affairs Correspondent, reporting for all ABC News programs and platforms.

In 2018, Llamas secured an exclusive wide-ranging interview with First Lady Melania Trump on her first solo foreign trip as first lady. He has also covered the most important stories in recent history. Llamas anchored the network’s special reports on the death of U.S. war hero Senator John McCain, the rescue mission of the twelve Thai boys trapped in a cave, and the sentencing of Bill Cosby. He traveled to Parkland, Florida to cover the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and later to Texas for the attack inside Santa Fe High School. Llamas was part of the 20/20 team that tracked the rise of the Alt Right and their battles with Antifa demonstrators for six months culminating in the attack in Charlottesville.

He has reported on some of the most recent natural disasters. He led the network’s coverage on the devastation after Hurricane Harvey, reported live as Hurricane Irma slammed into the west coast of Florida, covered the deadly landslides in Mocoa, Colombia and reported on Hurricane Florence from South Carolina.

He has also interviewed key figures like President Trump’s sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump. During the 2017 Alabama Senate race he sat down with Beverly Young Nelson, one of Roy Moore’s accusers.

During the 2016 presidential race, Llamas covered the vast field of GOP candidates and Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign for two years. His tough questions and memorable exchanges with President Donald Trump led to some of the defining moments in the election. While at ABC, he also covered the Boston Marathon Bombing trial gavel to gavel for the network and was one of ABC’s lead reporters covering the Ebola crisis.

In 2015 the National Association of Hispanic Journalists awarded Llamas with the Presidential Award of Impact.

Prior to joining ABC News in 2014, Llamas was an investigative reporter and anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast at WNBC-NBC4 in New York. He also served as a contributing correspondent at NBC News. While based in New York for five years, Llamas covered a wide range of major news stories including Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon Bombings, Miracle on the Hudson, the Times Square Bomb Scare and the Earthquake in Haiti.

Llamas has been recognized with several awards and honors throughout his career, including Emmy awards for Best Anchor and Best Hard News Story, in 2013. In 2012, he won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards for feature and hard news reporting and was also part of the WNBC team that won the Murrow for breaking news coverage of Hurricane Sandy in 2014. Llamas was honored with the prestigious El Award by El Diario, in 2012, the country’s oldest and largest Spanish-language newspaper.

Ignacio Garcia, General Manager, ESPN International and ESPN Deportes
Ignacio Garcia is a media executive with unique understanding of the U.S. Hispanic and International markets. He is also unique as he has strong experience in Sports, News, Entertainment and Business. He is the GM responsible for overseeing all the day-to-day operations of ESPN’s International & Deportes TV Production originated from the Los Angeles Production Center.

He is also responsible for the ESPYs for ESPN Deportes and ESPN International for the US Hispanic Market and around the globe, including specific markets like China, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Africa and Latin America to name a few.

Ignacio also lead ESPN Content creation around the Soccer World Cup in Russia and the Olympic Games in Rio. During those events, Ignacio moved to Mexico and took charge of that production center, an office with 300+ employees.

He created and launched dozens of shows including Nacion ESPN winning the First ever Emmy® for Outstanding Studio Show in Spanish category. He also created Nacion ESPN in English for the US domestic market and airing on ESPN2. The show helped to diversify ESPN’s audience and reach and brought several new advertisers.

Prior to joining ESPN, Ignacio gained unique experience working at CNN en Espanol where he became the Sports News Director overseeing all day-to-day administration, news gathering and editorial focus. He led the CNN en Espanol coverage for major sports events including the Soccer World Cup in Germany.

Previously, Garcia served as a Senior Producer for CNN en Espanol news shows covering all kinds of live programing and events including September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2005, he received a DuPont Award for coverage of the Tsunami Disaster in South Asia and a Peabody Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its Aftermath.

Before moving to the US, Garcia played an instrumental role in the launching of the first SportsCenter outside of the US in 2000. The show produced in Spanish reached Hispanic fans in Latin America as well as the US.


The “Side-Hustle” Pursuit: How to Start, Run and Grow Your Small Business

Sponsored by Wells Fargo

Thinking about venturing into entrepreneurship and freelancing, in addition to your full-time journalism career? Join subject matter experts to learn the fundamentals of business planning and financing, and learn from award-winning bilingual journalist and founder of Fire Ant Communications Paula Machado, who will discuss her experience as an entrepreneur. This hands-on workshop will delve into the business planning process, including how to develop a timeline, manage cash flow and organize your finances; how to approach financing based on your situation; and how to best use available tools as you pursue your entrepreneurship goals.

Speaker: Paula Machado


Build Your Online Portfolio

Tips and resources for building your online portfolio. What do some editors look for in online portfolios for reporters, photographers and videographers? In this hands-on session we’ll learn best practices and also put them to use to build free online portfolios. Make sure you bring your links, screenshots, videos, audio, photographs and more!

Speaker: Lucio Villa


Social/Community Engagement: You + Readers = Engaged Journalism

Making a story “go viral” isn’t the only thing your engagement team can do. They can also help you report stories with the help of your audience, and build trust with those readers along the way. In this session, we’ll explore the benefits of crowd-powered journalism and how to design projects that engage readers in your reporting.

Speakers: Amanda Zamora and Helga Salinas


Protect You and Your Family From Online Harassment

Everyone has haters. Unfortunately, they can sometimes take things a step further than nasty comments and threaten your personal life by “doxing” you—posting personal data about your home, family, and more on the public internet. Sometimes, many sensitive details about ourselves can be pieced together in the open through social media and online data brokers. In this workshop, we’ll go through how to keep your personal information safe from online harassment campaigns and explore how these campaigns operate. This workshop is aimed toward people with no prior knowledge of these tools or people who have questions about doxing and online harassment.

Speakers: David Huerta and Katitza Rodriguez


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Got What It Takes to Report for America?

As Report for America enters its second year, now working in 30 states and Puerto Rico, what lessons can be learned from communities where corps members are digging into vital beats and serving underrepresented communities? How are reporters and editors taking leading roles in building trust and telling stories that might otherwise go untold? And how can session attendees get involved in the 2020 class?

Speakers: Kevin D. Grant (@kevindgrant), vice president of strategy, Report for America; Mallory Falk (@malloryfalk), reporter, Texas News Hub and Report for America corps member; Obed Manuel (@obedmanuel), reporter, Dallas Morning News and Report for America corps member; Neil Chase, chief executive officer, CalMatters

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Kevin D. Grant, vice president of strategy, Report for America
Kevin Douglas Grant is The GroundTruth Project’s Co-founder and Executive Editor, as well as Vice President of Report for America. Previously Senior Editor of Special Reports at GlobalPost, he has led reporting projects around the world and his work has been recognized by the Edward R. Murrow, Alfred I. duPontColumbia University and Online Journalism Awards among others. He holds an M.A. in Online Journalism from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, where he was a Dean’s Scholar and the founding Executive Editor of Annenberg’s pioneering news organization Neon Tommy. Grant is the former Operations Director of semantic news aggregator Inform.com. He is currently based in Washington, D.C.

Mallory Falk, reporter, Texas News Hub and Report for America corps member
Mallory Falk covers El Paso and the borderlands for the Texas News Hub, NPR’s first regional journalism hub. Previously she worked as a reporter at KRWG in Las Cruces, New Mexico and WWNO, New Orleans Public Radio. Her reporting has aired nationally on programs including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, And Here & Now, and won multiple regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. She is in her second year as a Report for America corps member.

Obed Manuel, reporter, Dallas Morning News and Report for America corps member
Obed Manuel is a reporter covering issues of immigration, social justice, politics and Latino issues in Dallas for the Dallas Morning News by way of Report for America. Born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in Mexico, Obed has called Dallas, Oak Cliff specifically, home for almost 23 years. He has also written for other Dallas news outlets like Central Track, the Dallas Observer and Latina Lista. Ask him about food, specifically tacos and Tex-Mex. Bio photo taken by Shaban Athuman.

Neil Chase, chief executive officer, CalMatters
Neil Chase is the Chief Executive Officer of CalMatters. He was formerly Executive Editor at The Mercury News and the East Bay Times and has worked as a journalist at the San Francisco Examiner, Arizona Republic, CBS MarketWatch and The New York Times.


Anchor/Producer Leadership Quiz

What sets the strongest newsrooms apart? It’s leadership from anchors, producers, editors, digital producers and other newsroom leaders who do not have the ultimate Head Honcho title. People in these roles have crucial positions in the editorial leadership process decision-making This is an interactive, hands-on session where you will receive and produce information that you can take home and put to use immediately. Find out how your leadership knowledge rates with a quick quiz on specific skills and best practices. You might get the chance to teach the rest of us a thing or two!

Speakers: Jill Geisler (@JillGeisler), Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago; Scott Libin (@smlibin), Senior Fellow, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota

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Jill Geisler, Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago
Jill Geisler is the person newsrooms turn to when they want first-class leadership and healthy cultures. The veteran broadcast journalist holds the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago and is the Freedom Forum Institute’s Fellow in Women’s Leadership, heading its Power Shift Project. Jill is known for the practicality, humanity and humor she brings to her teaching and coaching. She’s the author of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.” Jill was among the country’s first female TV news directors. Her management mantra is “Life’s too short to work with jerks.”

Scott Libin, Senior Fellow, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
Scott Libin is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He specializes in broadcast and digital journalism, leadership skills and ethical decision-making.

Before joining the university, he served as vice president of news and content at Internet Broadcasting. Scott was news director at WCCO-TV and at KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities, and at WGHP-TV, in Greensboro, N.C. Scott spent seven years on the resident faculty of The Poynter Institute. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for dozens of news organizations and has taught internationally from South Africa to China.


The Metrics are the Message: Find Your True Newsroom Value with These Audience Measurements

The way we craft our stories has evolved to serve the metrics that pay our salaries, but journalists and even managers rarely understand the ROI of our work. Knowing the world of visits, users, page views, ratings, share, CTR, TSV, lead gen, and other KPIs and being able to compare that to the costs of production will help you get a raise, get your new reporter hired, get approval for a new type of show, and make the business of journalism work long term. Join this session to finally understand metrics and see how to calculate the return on investment for your journalism. Brandon M. Mercer is a former television news director who now runs two large-market websites. From his work in television to his work in digital, he's worked to understand and tap into the power of metrics and ROI. Knowing how the product a reporter creates translates into revenue for a company, he's armed with powerful data that can improve the bottom line for any news organization and that can help individuals understand how their success impacts the business of journalism.

Speaker: Brandon M. Mercer

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Brandon M. Mercer
Brandon M. Mercer is a digital and television content innovator whose career includes six years managing digital for a diverse group of media outlets, five years as a television news director, and a lifetime passion for connecting with the audience in memorable ways.


Don't Lose Touch. Hiring Staff That Reflects Your Community

How diverse is your newsroom? What steps do you take as a News Director or in other hiring management roles to ensure your staff reflects the community you serve? What impact does diversity in your staff have on your organizations ability to effectively identify and cover the issues that are important to your audience? Newsrooms need diverse voices, people who come from various backgrounds and employees who bring a myriad of experiences to our organizations, in order to fully and honestly cover the communities we serve. Without it, we run the risk of overlooking issues that can have an impact on our viewers, readers and social media followers. We run the risk of being out of touch with our audience. When you have an opening on your team, whether it's on-air, behind-the-scenes or in key leadership roles, what can you do to deepen the pool of potential candidates from which you recruit?

Speakers: Rebecca Aguilar, Bernice Kearney, Ken Molestina, Julie Dreixler, Andrea Valdez

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Rebecca Aguilar
Rebecca Aguilar is a freelance reporter, the founder of Latinas in Journalism and the SPJ Diversity chair. She's a former board member with NAHJ. Rebecca has worked at seven television stations and has been recognized with 50 awards and nominations for her journalism work, including several Emmy awards. Her investigation into mail carriers who were registered sex offenders forced the federal government to create new employment policies. She also helped shut down a Texas foster home placement center after three children were murdered in three different homes. She currently lives in Dallas, Texas.

Bernice Kearney
Bernice Kearney is the News Director for KSAT12, the Graham Media Group station in San Antonio. For 30 years, Kearney has worked in television news, collaborating with journalists to bring the stories of South Texas to life — on TV, online and on mobile devices. Kearney is a proud graduate of St. Mary's University, and has called San Antonio home since 1985. After working for nearly 5 years as a producer at KENS-TV, she joined the KSAT12 News team as a producer in 1993. Kearney worked her way up through the newsroom as an Executive Producer and Assistant News Director, before taking on the role of News Director in 2013. Kearney lives in San Antonio with her husband and their two pets, Zoila the Wonder Dog and Verdell the Wonder Cat.

Ken Molestina
Ken Molestina is an anchor and reporter at CBS 11 in Dallas. Prior to joining CBS 11 News, Ken was a reporter for WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C. and a news anchor and reporter at KVIA-TV in El Paso, where he focused on crime and public safety reporting. Ken won an Emmy Award for his work exposing underground sewer tunnels in El Paso, which were being used by undocumented immigrants and human smugglers to break into the U.S. He was nominated for another Emmy Award for his reporting on the Barrio Azteca gang, a dangerous transnational border gang that primarily operates along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Ken is also the recipient of a 1st place award from the Texas Associated Press in the “Breaking News” category.

Andrea Valdez
Andrea Valdez is the editor of WIRED.com. Before coming to WIRED in 2017, she worked at Texas Monthly for 10 years, first as a fact checker, then as a columnist, and, ultimately, as the editor of texasmonthly.com. She is the author of How to Be a Texan: The Manual. Valdez received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University. Her corporeal being resides in San Francisco, but her spirit sometimes drifts back to the Lone Star State.

Julie Dreixler
Julie Dreixler is the Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer for Graham Media Group. In her role, she oversees all aspects of recruiting, training, employee relations, compensation and benefits for GMG. She works closely with GMG management in creating HR strategy to identify, grow and develop GMG employees. She has held this position since March 2014. Dreixler is active in the Chicago community with Girl Scouts USA and Human Resources Management Association of Chicago. She serves as Vice Chair on the Board for Envision Unlimited, a nonprofit human service provider for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, Dreixler serves on the Emma Bowen Foundation Board as well as the Augustana College Alumni Board. She earned her B.A. in Public Administration, Political Science and German from Augustana College in Illinois and an M.S. in Industrial Relations from Loyola University of Chicago.


Climate Matters: Fitting a Planet-Sized Story Into Your Newsroom

News directors and managers have to make sure a wide variety of stories are covered by an ever-shrinking number of reporters. While staff size is shrinking, and competition for space in traditional media can be challenging, demand for content on digital platforms is growing. This skills session will provide tools and strategies that help directors and managers work with their staff to tell local climate stories that speak to their audience's health, wallets, businesses, food, and free time. Learn about resources to bring climate change into many stories, saving your staff time and effort. Get up-to-date findings on what the public wants to hear about climate change and what journalists (including RTDNA and NAHJ members) say about the challenges of local climate reporting. Resources that share localized data and graphics suitable for all media - broadcast, print, digital, and social - will be presented.

Speakers: Edward (Ed) Maibach (@MaibachEd), Professor at George Mason University and Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication; Bernadette Woods Placky (@ClimateCentral), Chief Meteorologist and Climate Matters Director at Climate Central; Mike Goldrick (@gatormikenews), News Director at WRC-TV, NBCUniversal Media

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Edward (Ed) Maibach, Professor at George Mason University and Director of the Center for Climate Change Communication
Edward Maibach, PhD is a Distinguished University Professor at George Mason University, and Director of Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication. Ed’s research — funded by NSF, NASA, and private foundations — focuses on public engagement in climate change. He was a member of the federal committee that conducted the 3rd National Climate Assessment (released in 2014), and he co-chaired the committee’s Engagement & Communication Working Group. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ed earned his PhD in communication science at Stanford University, his MPH at San Diego State University, and his BA at University of California, San Diego. Previously, he has served as Associate Director of the National Cancer Institute, Worldwide Director of Social Marketing at Porter Novelli, and Board Chairman for Kidsave International.

Bernadette Woods Placky, Chief Meteorologist and Climate Matters Director at Climate Central
Bernadette Woods Placky is an award-winning meteorologist and director of Climate Central's Climate Matters program. Before coming to Climate Central, Bernadette spent 11 years as a TV weather forecaster. Her most recent station was WJZ in Baltimore, where she earned an Emmy for “Best Weathercaster.” Bernadette has a B.S. in Meteorology and a minor in French from Penn State University. Currently, she is a steering committee member for MAPS (Meteorology Alumni of Penn State) and serves on the Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences (GEMS) Board. She carries the American Meteorological Society certification and also serves on several AMS Committees.

Mike Goldrick, News Director at WRC-TV, NBCUniversal Media
Mike Goldrick is the News Director at NBC4 (WRC-TV) in Washington, DC. He has been a News Director for over a decade as part of his 30+ year career in local TV news. His career has taken him all over the country including Seattle, Houston, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh.


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 3-4 p.m.

More to the Story: How 15 Local TV Newsrooms Covered Solutions to Community Problems

How many stories do you cover every week that are just plain depressing? Long-term community problems are obviously newsworthy but there is often more to the story that doesn't get told — namely, what’s working to fix the problem. Come hear how 15 local TV stations have covered complex, ongoing stories in their communities using a solutions framework that avoids fluff, advocacy or PR, and learn how to apply the lessons they’ve learned in your newsroom.

Speakers: Carolyn Robinson, Deborah Potter, Josh Hinkle (@hinklej); Jeff Harris

Download handout [PDF]

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Carolyn Robinson
Carolyn Robinson is a television journalist, media development program director, and educator. Carolyn began her career with CNN Medical News in Atlanta before relocating to Asia and the Middle East, first as a senior news producer in Hong Kong, and then in East Timor, where she ran the local TV station for the United Nations. Carolyn was the Internews Program Director in post-revolution Libya, overseeing media projects in Tripoli and Benghazi. She has received several awards and fellowships for her work, including the 2019 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellowship, and has trained journalists in almost two dozen countries around the world.

Deborah Potter
Deborah Potter is an experienced journalism trainer and reporter who spent 16 years on air at CBS and CNN. She leads workshops for journalists around the world and is co-author of Advancing the Story: Quality Journalism in a Digital World, now in its fourth edition. For almost 20 years, Deborah was executive director of NewsLab, the journalism site she founded in 1998. It is now affiliated with the University of Mississippi. Deborah is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a master’s degree from American University.

Josh Hinkle
Josh Hinkle is KXAN's Director of Investigations & Innovation, leading the station's duPont and IRE Award-winning investigative team on multiple platforms. He also leads KXAN's political coverage as the executive producer and host of “State of Texas,” a weekly program focused on the Texas Legislature and elections, seen in 12 markets statewide.

Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris is Vice President and News Director at CBS Chicago. His career is dedicated to the cultivation and support of enterprise and investigative journalism in the newsroom. His honors include three duPont-Columbia Awards; two Peabody Awards; three National Murrow Awards; the National Headliner Grand Award; and the IRE Certificate.

His newsrooms have been recognized numerous times with both Emmy and Murrow Awards for outstanding news operation.

Harris began his career in journalism at WEWS in Cleveland as investigative producer. From there, he was Executive Producer for Special Projects and Investigations at KMGH in Denver and held the same position at KPIX in San Francisco. In 2008, he moved back to Denver as News Director at KMGH. In 2014, moved back to Cleveland to be News Director at WEWS.

Jeff is a graduate of Cleveland State University with a degree in Political Science.


Aim High: Getting to the Top Job in the Newsroom

Do you want to be a News Director, or Editor-in-Chief or whatever the top job is in your newsroom? This is a must-attend session for you. There's a HUGE difference between #2 and #1, and this session will give you a better understanding of what's in store when you get your first opportunity. Our teaching team will outline strategies for winning that top job and then succeeding in it. We'll discuss: establishing a personal leadership style, setting your priorities, working with your boss, building a management team. Bring your questions; we'll answer those too!

Speaker: Chip Mahaney; Carrie Hofmann (@carrietv), long-time news director

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Chip Mahaney
Chip Mahaney's 35 years in journalism have included adventures in local, network, and corporate; news, weather and sports; as well as leadership and technology. He has served on RTDNA's board of directors for more than a decade, and he has produced and hosted dozens of training sessions over the past two decades.



Carrie Hofmann, long-time news director
Carrie Hofmann is a multimedia journalist and leader who loves solving puzzles, like the ones that come up daily in newsrooms. She most recently was the News Director at KSHB-TV in Kansas City and has also worked in Phoenix, Denver, Charlotte, and Milwaukee. While in KC, her station received a duPont, several Murrow awards and 3 Regional Emmy awards for News Excellence.


Advancing Investigative Journalism by Investing in J-Schools

Last year, in a move to advance high-quality enterprise journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation invested $6 million to create two centers for investigative journalism — one at Arizona State University and the University of Maryland. Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., meanwhile, launches an independent investigative journalism center this fall 2019, thanks to a gift from alum Michael I. Arnolt. In this session, leaders from Scripps and universities with new centers explain their genesis, outline their goals and explain what their initiatives mean for journalism higher ed.

Speakers: Dr. Battinto L. Batts, Jr., Journalism Fund Director, Scripps Howard Foundation; Maud Beelman (@maudbeelman), Executive Editor, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication at Arizona State University; Kathleen Johnston, Director, Michael Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism at Indiana University; Kathy Best, Director, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism

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Dr. Battinto L. Batts, Jr., Journalism Fund Director, Scripps Howard Foundation
Battinto Batts joined the Scripps Howard Foundation in 2016, coming to Cincinnati from Hampton University where he was the assistant dean for academic affairs in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communication. In addition to his work in academia, he has more than 20 years experience in journalism and public relations. As director of the journalism fund, he supports the Foundation’s journalism programs at the secondary, collegiate and professional levels.

Maud Beelman, Executive Editor, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communication at Arizona State University
Maud Beelman is the executive editor of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and a professor of practice at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. She was U.S. Investigations Editor for The Associated Press and founding director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Her work has been honored with numerous awards, including the George Polk, IRE, SPJ, ONA and APME. She is an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow and serves on its board of directors.

Kathleen Johnston, Director, Michael Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism at Indiana University
Kathleen Johnston, a 30-year veteran of investigative journalism and visiting professor of practice at Indiana University's Media School, is the founding director of the Michael Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism at Indiana University.

Johnston, an IU alumna, has worked at numerous national and local news organizations, from The Indianapolis News to CBS, the Birmingham Post-Herald to CNN. Her work spans a breadth of topics and media, but her primary focus is investigative reporting.

She has won numerous regional and national honors, including Emmy, Peabody and Murrow awards. In 2017, she received The Media School’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Kathy Best, Director, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism
Kathy Best is director of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She has spent her career trying to write and edit stories that make a difference in the communities, large and small, where she’s lived.

As executive editor and managing editor for digital news, Best led the Seattle Times staff to two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of breaking news, including real-time reporting of the manhunt for a gunman who shot four police officers. The staff also won two prestigious Online Journalism Awards under her watch for a project on ocean acidification and coverage of a devastating mudslide in Oso, Washington, that claimed 43 lives. In covering both breaking news stories, the Times newsroom produced investigative reporting on the run, explaining not only what happened, by why and how.

As a reporter, Best covered the Illinois Legislature and state politics in Springfield and Chicago before joining the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Washington, D.C. Bureau, where she covered the Supreme Court, Congress and presidential politics. She spent a year ruining several perfectly good pairs of shoes investigating problems in the National Flood Insurance Program after an epic flood on the Mississippi River.

Best switched to editing full time in 1996, directing coverage of earthquakes, hurricanes, domestic whale hunts, priest abuse, National Security Agency boondoggles, riots and other forms of mayhem in Seattle, St. Louis and Baltimore. All the while, she made sure her newsrooms kept a sharp eye on the governments and powerful interests in their backyards, holding people and institutions to account.

In June 2016, she and her late husband, investigative reporter and two-time Pulitzer winner Andrew Schneider, headed for the mountains of Montana, where Best became editor of the Missoulian in Missoula and of the Ravalli Republic, in the nearby Bitterroot Valley. When more than a million acres burned during her second summer in the Rocky Mountains, she got a front-row seat on the impact of a hotter, drier climate on the West.


Turning Data Into TV and Online Gold

Sponsored by the Knight Foundation

Discover ways to use data effectively in storytelling — on the air and online. Digital tools such as data visualizations can boost viewership and audience engagement online. Plus, as people explore your data and key findings, they may find new leads for you to explore. This session will cover tools and techniques to get you started.

Speakers: Francisco Vara-Orta (@fvaraorta), Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors; Patti DiVincenzo (@PattiDiVincenzo), Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors

Click for speaker information


Francisco Vara-Orta, Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors;
Francisco Vara-Orta brings 18 years of newsroom experience to his role as an IRE trainer, which he began in February 2019. He has worked for a variety of online and print publications, including Chalkbeat, Education Week, the San Antonio Express-News, Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He earned a master’s degree in investigative/data journalism at the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Patti DiVincenzo, Training Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors
Patti DiVincenzo has spent more than three decades working in TV stations across the country, from Topeka, Kansas to WSB-TV in Atlanta, where she was an investigative producer and data specialist for 16 years. A long-time member of IRE, she joined the staff as a training director in February 2019. DiVincenzo earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.


Money Matters: Excellence in Financial Reporting

Sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education

Featuring the RTDNA/NEFE Excellence in Personal Financial Reporting Award winners, the Money Matters session will highlight the best in TV, radio, and online personal finance journalism. Panelists will break down their award-winning pieces, share key reporting tools and best practices. You’ll learn creative approaches to covering the consumer and financial stories that impact your audience, making complicated topics relevant and accessible to viewers and listeners.

Speakers: Kathy Walker, News Director, KOA NewsRadio; Paul Golden, Managing Director, Media and Communications, NEFE; Chris Vanderveen, Director of Reporting, KUSA-TV; Casey Bond, Lifestyle Reporter, HuffPost; Tracy Samilton, Energy and Transportation Reporter/Producer, Michigan Radio


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Thursday, Sept. 5, 4-6 p.m.

Como Pensar Como Un Productor

Todos en la sala de redacción son productores, sea que salgan al aire, envíen alertas, escriban libretos o dirijan un programa desde la sala de control. Aprender a pensar como un productor en todas las tareas diarias es la clave para sobresalir, tanto frente al lente como tras bastidores.

– Un panel de líderes de Univision compartirán experiencias que los llevaron de la producción a la gerencia.
– Desafío en el taller: cómo tomar decisiones efectivamente en noticias de última hora, y cómo escribir adecuadamente para múltiples plataformas.

Trainers: Univision Local Media News Directors: Raquel Amparo (Dallas), Samuel Belilty (Miami), Esteban Creste (NY), Marco Flores (LA), Martha Kattan (Houston), Jeanette Lopez (Puerto Rico), Ismael Martinez (Austin), Carolina Nuñez (Bay Area), Moana Ramirez (San Antonio), Juan Villa (Phoenix)

Trainers: Sal Cruz-Fernandez, Executive Producer, Univision Houston; Luis Godinez, Assistant News Director, Univision Bay Area; Calixto Gonzales, Executive Producer, Univision San Antonio


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Friday, Sept. 6, 9-10 a.m.

280 Character News: Staying Ethical When News Breaks on Twitter

A panel discussion about reporting on Twitter through case studies focusing on how Twitter was at the center of journalism. This discussion will also focus on ways to conduct meaningful, ethical engagement on the social network and to help restore trust between journalists and the audience.

Speakers: Ashley Lopez (@AshLopezRadio), Senior Reporter, KUT Public Radio, Austin; Lauren McGaughy (@LMcGaughy), State Capitol Reporter, Dallas Morning News; Natalie Moore (@nemoore91), Engagement Editor, Community Impact Newspaper; Brandi Smith (@BrandiKHOU), Anchor, KHOU-TV Houston; Alex Veeneman (@alex_veeneman), Freelance journalist

Click for speaker information


Ashley Lopez, Senior Reporter, KUT Public Radio, Austin
Ashley Lopez covers politics and health care, and is part of the NPR-Kaiser Health News reporting collaborative. Previously she worked as a reporter at public radio stations in Louisville, Ky.; Miami and Fort Myers, Fla., where she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award. Ashley was also part of NPR’s Political Reporting Partnership during the 2016 presidential election.

Lauren McGaughy, State Capitol Reporter, Dallas Morning News
Lauren McGaughy is a Texas politics and policy reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She also has previously covered the state Capitol for The Houston Chronicle as well as the statehouse in Louisiana for The Times-Picayune. McGaughy’s focus areas include education policy, state and federal courts, criminal justice and LGBTQ rights issues.

Natalie Moore, Engagement Editor, Community Impact Newspaper
Natalie is the Engagement Editor of Community Impact Newspaper. She oversees the social media and newsletter strategy for over 30 hyperlocal monthly newspapers in Texas, Arizona and Tennessee. Her role also involves teaching the newsroom staff critical digital tools to help improve their storytelling.

Previously, Natalie worked in audience development at Texas Monthly.

Natalie is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. She grew up in Atlanta, but got to Texas as fast as she could.

Brandi Smith, Anchor, KHOU-TV Houston
Brandi Smith serves as the social media anchor for KHOU 11’s revolutionary morning newscast, HTownRush. The role is a natural one since, when she’s not on air, you’ll still find her scanning Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for story ideas and conversations. Old enough to remember when Facebook was considered a “distraction” that was blocked on newsroom computers, she’s now a champion of using social media to engage in a dialogue with viewers.

Patti Card Smith, International Media Consultant
In July of 2016, Patti Card Smith began operations as an international media consultant, specializing in the creation, operation, programming and strategic planning for broadcast media properties across the globe. Patti also works with companies that desire assistance in their day to day operations, as it relates to their media needs. Prior to taking on this new role, Patti most recently served as the president and general manager of KVUE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Austin, Texas, owned by TEGNA, previously named Gannett Company, Inc. She held this position for over seventeen years, being brought to the station by the Belo Corporation, when they purchased the station in 1999. Prior to joining KVUE in June of 1999, Smith held the position of general manager of the NBC affiliate in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas from 1990-1999.

A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, Smith began her broadcasting career in 1975 at KTBC-TV in the production department. Her career spans over 41 years in the television industry and encompasses increasingly responsible positions in the sales, news, production and promotions departments. Prior to being named as general manager, Patti worked in, and ultimately managed, every department within a television station.

Alex Veeneman, Freelance journalist
Alex Veeneman is a freelance journalist based in Chicago and a member of the Ethics and Awards Committees of the Society of Professional Journalists. His work has been seen in publications including Kettle Magazine of London, Forbes and the digital publications of Twin Cities PBS.


Getting Grants to Fund Your Next Investigation

Cutbacks in newsrooms across America mean more journalists are pursuing careers as independent freelancers, who not only pitch stories to editors but must often finance their reporting out of their own pockets. There is money out there, and we will help you discover the organizations that have it. Nonprofit, independent newsrooms are also on the lookout for freelancers with compelling investigative story pitches. Because journalists of color and women have long been underrepresented in the field of investigative journalism, some philanthropic nonprofits have sought to encourage more minorities and women to apply for grants, not only to increase their ranks in the field but also to promote reporting on issues important to communities of color. This workshop assembles the experts and resources to help independent journalists, especially those new to the world of freelancing and grants, to find money for reporting expenses, secure letters of commitment from publishers and draft pitches to land reporting grants. We'll focus on the elements of a successful pitch, how to draft a budget and how to grab the attention of editors and grant givers.

Speakers: Ana Arana, Director of Operations, Fund for Investigative Journalism; Jin Ding, Communications and Inclusion Manager, Pulitzer Center; Jenni Monet, journalist; Johnny Magdaleno, freelance journalist

Click for speaker information


Ana Arana, Director of Operations, Fund for Investigative Journalism
Arana is an award-winning veteran investigative journalist and media trainer with experience covering international organized crime. A former U.S. foreign correspondent who reported from Central America and Colombia for CBS News and The Miami Herald, Arana has worked most recently as a freelance journalist and editor. She has received several awards for outstanding journalism, including a team award from the Online News Association, a Third Coast Audio Festival Silver Award, a Peabody and two Overseas Press Club awards, among others.

Jin Ding, Communications and Inclusion Manager, Pulitzer Center
Jin Ding is the Communications and Inclusion Manager of the Pulitzer Center. She joined the Pulitzer Center team in 2014 with focuses on marketing, diversity outreach, and impact research. Jin co-directs Asian American Journalists Association's Women & Non-Binary Voices affiliate group. She's also a founding member of Chinese Storytellers, a collective empowers Chinese non-fiction content creators.

Jenni Monet, journalist
Jenni Monet is an award-winning journalist who writes about Indigenous rights and injustice for such publications as The LA Times, The Guardian, the Center for Investigative Reporting, PBS NewsHour, Al Jazeera, and others. She is currently investigating the extreme rate at which Native Americans experience violence in the United States.

Johnny Magdaleno, freelance journalist
Johnny Magdaleno is a journalist and photographer. He has reported for the New York Times (forthcoming), Reuters, the Guardian, Al Jazeera, and other media outlets. He is the recipient of multiple journalism grants and fellowships, and has reported from nine countries. Johnny is currently working on a multi-state investigation into the U.S. addictions treatment industry. He is based in Ecuador and California.


Al's Cool Tools

Learn the tools that will save you time and make you a newsroom hero. Learn to use your phone to produce terrific graphics, produce 3D images and slideshows. Capture documents as flawless PDFs and learn to build interactive photos, videos and before and after sliders. This is a practical, fast moving and fun session. Bring your phone.

Speaker: Al Tompkins (@atompkins), Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online, The Poynter Institute

Click for speaker information


Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online, The Poynter Institute
Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online. More than 150 universities worldwide use his book Aim for the Heart in their journalism classes. Over the last 21 years, he has taught thousands of journalists in 49 states, Egypt, Canada, South Africa, Czech Republic, Iceland, Denmark, Cayman and Ecuador. He has been a news director, head of investigations and special projects, photojournalist, reporter, producer and investigative reporter. Tompkins has been awarded the highest honors given by the National Press Photographers Association and by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has won reporting awards from The Robert F Kennedy Awards, The Iris Awards, the National Headliner Awards, The national Emmy, and The Japan Prize.


Staying Safe in Streets: Lessons from a First Responder Turned Journalist

Conditions have changed. Safety and security concerns are no longer just for journalists working in war zones. This session is conducted by an expert in field journalism operations safety and security. You will learn about topics including situational awareness, violence towards media, gender based violence, psychological trauma and self care, pre-planning and mitigation, safety equipment, complementary training and logistics for working in the field in difficult conditions. This session focuses on coverage of domestic events, natural disasters and civil unrest. This session is appropriate for field crews, newsroom managers and senior supervisory staff who would like to learn about implementing safety and security practices into their news gathering operations.

Speaker:Chris Post (@ChrisMPost)

Click for speaker information


Chris Post
Chris Post is a former emergency responder turned journalist. With over 20 years of frontline emergency experience under his belt, Chris has taken those same basic skills that kept him safe for many years and now teaches them to field crews and advocates for safety training for all journalists. Chris is a Hostile Environment First Aid Training instructor. When Chris is not teaching he works as a photojournalist for WFMZ-TV 69News in Allentown, Pa.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 9-11 a.m.

360/VR Video for Beginners

While the technologies continue to evolve, 360/VR videos are here now and an easy way to create immersive experiences. Quickly learn best practices on 360/VR storytelling and get hands on with 360 cameras and tools to produce these new, innovative experiences.

Speakers: Robert Hernandez


Investigative/Data Journo Starter Kit

Investigative journalism is a pillar to effective journalism. In this session learn how to harness tools, like Excel, so journalists curious about data, data analysis can produce powerful stories.

Speakers: Yoli Martinez and Lucio Villa


Freelance 101: A Starter Pack

More and more journalists are becoming freelancers — by force or by choice. In this session learn what it takes to make a living as a freelancer straight from those who are doing it and get the confidence to work for yourself.

Speakers: Alex Alvarez, Julia Furlan and Monica Castillo


Cómo evitar ser hackeado

Los ataques mediante phishing y otras formas, con el fin de hackear tanto correos electrónicos como cuentas de redes sociales son desafortunadamente comunes para cualquier periodista que se oponga a intereses poderosos. En esta sesión, lo introduciremos a los fundamentos de la seguridad de las cuentas en línea, incluyendo cómo elegir y almacenar las contraseñas de forma segura utilizando un administrador de contraseñas. También le mostraremos cómo empezar con el método más sólido y recomendado para defenderse de los ataques de phishing: Tokens mediante hardware U2F, como Yubikeys de Yubico y Titan Security Keys de Google. Estos dispositivos, junto con los basados en software, proporcionan una capa extra de seguridad a sus cuentas en línea, como Gmail, Dropbox, Twitter y Facebook. ¡Traiga su smartphone y su laptop para acompañarnos y comenzar!

Speakers: David Huerta and Katitza Rodriguez


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Friday, Sept. 6, 9-11:30 a.m.

Google Flourish Graphics and Data Scraping with Google Sheets

Attend this dual topic session on scraping data from websites using Google Sheets, then how to visualize data with charts and maps in the free Google Flourish tool. Participants should bring a laptop with Google Chrome on it to the session and set up a free account at Flourish.Studio prior to the session. You also will need a Gmail account to access your Google Drive for the session.

Speaker: Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox)

Click for speaker information


Mike Reilley
Mike is an SPJ digital trainer who has taught Google News Initiative tools to more than 5,150 journalists and educators in the past three years. He is a faculty member in data journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago. A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Mike served for 14 years as a faculty member at Northwestern, Arizona State University and DePaul University. He holds journalism degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (undergrad) and Northwestern University (masters). Mike founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox (journaliststoolbox.org) for SPJ.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Building Sources to Land Scoops

How do veteran journalists break news? Oftentimes, they rely on excellent sources. Learn how veteran journalists find the best sources, develop a mutual trust and then maintain those sources after the story airs. Your competitors may share your source, so how do you get them to come to you first? What should you do if your source hates your story?

Speakers: Ed O’Keefe, political correspondent, CBS News; Mariana Atencio, correspondent, NBC News and MSNBC; Maria Elena Salinas, contributor, CBS News; Fin Gomez (@FinnyGo), White House Producer, CBS News

Click for speaker information


Ed O’Keefe, political correspondent, CBS News
Ed O’Keefe is the political correspondent for CBS News, covering the 2020 presidential campaign for all of the network’s programs and platforms.So far this year, he has interviewed at least 14 Democratic presidential candidates, including newsmaking conversations with Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Since joining the network full-time in 2018, he’s covered the midterm congressional elections and provided coverage of the contentious confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the funerals of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former president George H.W. Bush.

O’Keefe previously spent nearly 13 years with The Washington Post, covering every congressional and presidential campaign cycle starting in 2008. He was one of The Post’s first reporters to travel the campaign trail as a video journalist, blogger and contributor to the newspaper. In later years, he also covered federal agencies and federal employees, Capitol Hill and briefly covered the war in Iraq. O’Keefe joined The Post in 2005 as a washingtonpost.com home page producer, and briefly served as a producer and on-air contributor to Washington Post Radio. He frequently appeared on BBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NPR, PBS and Sirius/XM.

O’Keefe holds a Bachelor of political science from American University.

A native of Albany, N.Y., his journalism career began at a young age when he would summarize the morning newspaper for his father over breakfast. As a teenager, he wrote and published a quarterly newsletter for his extended family, called "O'Keefe Etc."

Mariana Atencio, correspondent, NBC News and MSNBC
Mariana Atencio is an award winning journalist, speaker and author, and currently serves as a NBC News and MSNBC correspondent.

She has covered a diverse range of national and international stories, including extensive reporting on the Women’s Marches, the recovery in Puerto Rico, immigration and the role of Latinos in politics. Most recently, her work reporting on the family separ ation crisis at the U.S. southern border has been nominated for a national Emmy Award, and awarded a Hillman Prize for broadcasting.

Prior to joining NBC News, Mariana served as an anchor and correspondent at Univision and Fusion, where she won a Peabody Award for her work reporting on weapons at the border.

Her debut memoir ‘Perfectly You’ was #1 on Amazon week of release for ‘Hispanic and Latino Biographies’ and ‘Christian Social Issues’. It was selected among Apple and Audible’s editor picks.

At encio, a native of Venezuela, graduated from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her Tedx Talk ‘What Makes You Special?’ about authenticity and diversity is among the top 10 most viewed Tedx Talks online.

Maria Elena Salinas, contributor, CBS News
Peabody award-winning anchor, María Elena Salinas, who is described as the “Voice of Hispanic America” by the New York Times is one of the most recognized and influential journalists in the United States. She is currently a contributor with CBS News across all platforms.

After over three decades as co-anchor and correspondent of Noticiero Univision and co-host of news magazine “Aquí y Ahora” Salinas began a new chapter in her career as an independent journalist and producer and principal of MES MultiMedia LLC. In one of her first projects she hosted and executive produced “The Real Story with Maria Elena Salinas” on the Investigation Discovery network.

Salinas began her journalistic career in television as a reporter, anchor and public affairs host for KMEX-34 in 1981. Being a witness to history, during her long illustrious career Salinas has covered some of the most important world events, from presidential elections in the United States and Latin America to Superpower Summits, armed conflicts and natural disasters among others. Salinas has interviewed dozens of heads of state as well as famous entertainers. She has received accolades for her coverage of the Hispanic and immigrant community in the United States.

Salinas was most recently recognized for her work by the National Association of Broadcasters and inducted into their Hall of Fame. In 2016 Salinas was awarded two honorary doctorate degrees from American University School of Communications and California State University, Fullerton. She also was honored with the Mickey Leland Humanitarian award.

In 2015 she received a Peabody Award, Walter Cronkite Award, an Emmy and a Gracie Award for her news and documentary special "Entre el abandono y el rechazo" (Between Abandonment and Rejection), a prime-time report on the exodus of Central American children to the United States, which judges have praised as "balanced and revealing."

Additionally, she is the recipient of the 2014 Broadcast Legend Award from the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California. Among the 10 Emmy awards she has received, in 2012, she became the first Latina to receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Focused on her mission to inform, inspire and empower the Latino community, for decades she has worked with several civic organizations encouraging immigrants to become citizens, register to vote and participate in the political process. Most recently teaming up with “Mi Familia Vota” in their voter registration campaign. For these efforts and more, Salinas is a recipient of the coveted Intrepid Award from NOW, the National Organization for Women, and has been honored by organizations including the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, among others.

As part of her philanthropic work Salinas serves on the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and has herself been awarding scholarships to journalism students for over two decades through the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She is also on the advisory committee of She Works and a member of the Smithsonian’s American Women’s Initiative Advisory committee.

Fin Gomez, White House Producer, CBS News.
Serafin “Fin” Gómez is a White House Producer for CBS News. Starting in 2008, he has covered three presidential campaign cycles from the campaign trail. In 2016, he was named one of the most influential in news by Mediaite for his work covering the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Formerly based in Miami, Fin traveled extensively across Latin America covering various stories including the bloody Narco wars in Mexico, the Venezuelan crisis, and violent crime in Brazilian favelas. He is a proud member of the National Association of Hispanic journalists, and the first Latino journalist to serve on the White House Correspondents’ Association Board in its 105 year history. He is also an outdoor enthusiast who has climbed mountains in Nepal, and raced in ultramarathons. An avid traveler, Fin has been to nearly 60 countries.


How We Built This: Public Radio's Texas News Hub

NPR and the public radio stations of Texas are constructing the prototype "regional news hub." It's the first step in a systemwide collaborative project to create a nationwide virtual public radio newsroom of 1,000-plus journalists. The panelists will dig into the key steps of building a collaboration that now includes two daily hourlong statewide programs, six daily statewide newscasts and a statewide digital news desk. They'll cover the keys to building any collaboration: management alignment, finances, technology, collaborative journalism and, perhaps most important, building trust.

Speakers: Bruce Auster, Senior Director, Collaborative Journalism Network; Rick Holter, Vice President/News, KERA; Joyce Slocum, President and CEO of Texas Public Radio; Rhonda Fanning (@RhondaFanning), Senior Managing Producer, Texas Standard; Laurie Johnson (@LJohnsonNews887), Executive Producer for News, Houston Public Media

Click for speaker information


Bruce Auster, Senior Director, Collaborative Journalism Network.
Bruce Auster is at the center of an effort to transform the public radio system and establish a new way for NPR and the newsrooms of hundreds of NPR Member Stations to work together. He led NPR's National Security unit from 2008 to 2015, directing coverage of international security issues. Before that, he was the Senior Supervising Editor of NPR's Morning Edition and before joining NPR, Auster spent sixteen years as a reporter and editor at U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Rick Holter, Vice President/News, KERA
Rick oversees news coverage on radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News won 30 awards last year. In 2017, the station won its first-ever national Edward R. Murrow Award for a video in its series One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life. KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebolacoverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor. Previously, he edited the NPR shows Weekend All Things Considered and Day to Day, and supervised the Digital News operation and spent 15 years at The Dallas Morning News. A graduate of the University of Maryland.

Joyce Slocum, President and CEO, Texas Public Radio
Since joining in 2014, TPR has enhanced news coverage through training, hiring a full-time News Director and dedicated reporting beats. TPR has had record-setting pledge drives and listeners are at an all-time high. Previously, she was NPR's Chief Administrative Officer and served as Interim President and CEO in 2011. Prior to NPR, Slocum was Executive Vice President, Global Legal and Business Affairs, and General Counsel for HIT Entertainment, bringing together HIT, Comcast, Sesame Workshop, and PBS to launch the Sprout channel, now in over 55 million homes.

Rhonda Fanning, Senior Managing Producer, Texas Standard
Rhonda joined Texas Standard in late 2013 as the show’s inaugural associate producer. An Iowa native, Rhonda got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her master’s degree in library science at Florida State University. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio. The team relies on Rhonda’s encyclopedic mind and extensive Rolodex to book the perfect guest for any occasion.

Laurie Johnson, Executive Producer for News, Houston Public Media
Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been heard on CNN, the BBC, MSNBC and other news outlets. Laurie has been recognized for her work in public affairs and government reporting, and in 2012 was named the Radio Journalist of the Year in Texas by the Houston Press Club. She is a graduate of the University of Houston.


Covering Extremism in the Age of Trump

Extremist ideology represents a growing threat in America, and newsrooms across the country must make complicated and serious coverage decisions every day. The Atlantic strives to tell the stories of hate groups and the beliefs that fuel them not just by covering events as they happen, but by delving deep to explore the roots of hatred in American life. Join Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, as he discusses how to cover white supremacy, ideological extremism, and hatred in all its forms, with journalists Swati Sharma, Alexis Madrigal, and Brian Jimenez.

Speakers: Jeffrey Goldberg; Swati Sharma; Brian Jimenez; Alexis Madrigal; Adam Serwer

Click for speaker information


Jeffrey Goldberg
Jeffrey Goldberg became editor in chief of The Atlantic in October 2016, after nearly a decade covering politics and foreign policy as a national correspondent. He has led The Atlantic’s newsroom through the largest expansion of its more than 160-year history, overseeing launches of Ideas, Family, and Books sections; staff growth that includes a doubling of the politics team and the creation of a national security team; and the establishment of a podcast platform. Goldberg is a National Magazine Award recipient for reporting, and has authored 11 cover stories for the magazine among hundreds of other articles.

Swati Sharma
Swati Sharma is a managing editor at The Atlantic. She previously worked at The Washington Post, where she served as the foreign and national security digital editor and the deputy general assignments editor, and the Boston Globe, where she was an online editor covering nightlife and hyperlocal news.



Brian Jimenez
Brian Jimenez is the video production manager at The Atlantic. He was previously a production technician and a supervisor for U.S. and Canada distribution at National Geographic. He got his start in journalism at WORA TV, a Univision-affiliated television station in Puerto Rico, where he served as an editor, photojournalist, and technical director. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón and a master’s degree in legislative affairs from the George Washington University.

Alexis Madrigal
Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer at The Atlantic and is based in Oakland, California. He was previously the editor-in-chief of Fusion and and a staff writer at Wired. He's a visiting scholar at the Information School at UC Berkeley and author of the book “Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology.”



Adam Serwer
Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics. He has received awards from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), The Root, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Serwer was named a spring 2019 Shorenstein Center fellow. He received a 2019 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.


Don't Be a Reporter. Be a Storyteller.

Are you a reporter? Do you report? Mike and Boyd want you to stop being a reporter and become a storyteller. Mike does that using only his iPhone. Boyd does that with a photojournalist. What are the differences, how do you tell stories with a teammate and how do you tell stories with a phone? We will dive in to how to create a compelling, engaging and emotional 3 minutes of television using innovative technology and a pencil.

Speakers: Mike Castellucci, Boyd Huppert

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Mike Castellucci
Mike Castellucci has found that Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean something will be widely accepted. Innovation can be looked at as brilliant and ground breaking, or it can just as easily be perceived as a fad.

It isn’t common to proclaim broadcast firsts these days, but that definition applies to the half hour specials called Phoning it in. To our knowledge, no one in this country has broadcast 4 half hour shows shot entirely with an iPhone.

In this latest special, Phoning it in tackles the perception of shooting with a phone and what it means to an industry. Filmmakers have embraced the technology, television stations have not, although that is slowly changing. Could “phonography” be the future of TV making?

One thing is certain. Technology changes, storytelling never will.

The goal in Phoning it in is to highlight the wonders of the human condition. Mike has learned that telling stories with his phone makes his one day relationship with the unique characters he finds that much more intimate.

Some say his work is disrupting an industry. Mike is finding out that being known as a pioneer in phonography can be good...and bad.

Boyd Huppert
During his 35-year career in television news, Boyd Huppert has become widely known for his work as a video storyteller and teacher.

Boyd works as a reporter at KARE TV in Minneapolis. He's also presented more than 200 visual storytelling workshops in the U.S. and abroad — while serving for two decades as a faculty member at the NPPA Advanced Storytelling Workshop.

Boyd's reporting has earned some of journalism's highest honors, including a National Emmy, the Scripps Howard Award, 16 national Murrow awards and four Sigma Delta Chi Awards

Prior to his 1996 arrival at KARE, Boyd worked at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, KETV in Omaha and WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 11 a.m.-Noon

Defense Against the Dark Arts Office Hours

Drop in and have some time with a digital security pro to informally learn more about how you can protect yourself.

Speakers: David Huerta and Katitza Rodriguez


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Friday, Sept. 6, 1-3 p.m.

How to Avoid Getting Hacked

Phishing attacks and other forms are hacking email and social media accounts are unfortunately common to any journalist speaking up against powerful interests. In this session, we'll start you off with the fundamentals of online account security, including how to choose and store passwords safely using a password manager. We’ll also show you how to get started with the strongest and best recommended method for defending against phishing attacks: U2F hardware tokens, such as Yubico’s Yubikeys and Google’s Titan Security Keys. These devices, along with software-based give your online accounts, such as Gmail, Dropbox, Twitter and Facebook. Bring your smartphone and laptop to follow along in getting started!

Speakers: David Huerta and Katitza Rodriguez


Living Your Best NEWS Life: Incorporating Your Background and Knowledge Into Your Reporting

If you liked last year's panels, Being On Camera Takes More Than A Reporter Voice And Good Suit and From Broadcast to Broadband, you'll love this session. We'll start with some self-reflection, what do you do best and what needs work? Then we'll talk about using your strengths to craft story pitches, shoot those stories and write scripts that are reflective of your best journalism. Our goal is to help you create a real connection with viewers that forces them to come back to your station — or share your stories.

Speakers: Mireya Villarreal, Nick Valencia, CNN Correspondent, Rita Garcia, Anchor Fox-LA


Data Reporting: Finding Stories in Data

The session goes beyond the basics with a focus on investigative data journalism skills. During the session, it will be given an understanding on where to find data, how to evaluate it, and which are the best practices when dealing with data. It will also cover spreadsheets and the use of pivot tables, among other advanced functions.

Speakers: María Pérez and Luis Melgar


The Art of the Pitch

Ever have a brilliant idea, but your editor didn’t share the journalism love? Do you have trouble communicating your vision, explaining exactly why your story is great and deserves your news outlet’s time and resources? Then come to this session with New York Times reporters and editors to learn how to shape your pitches into projects editors cannot ignore. Come prepared to workshop your story pitches for the second half of this important discussion.

Speakers: Frances Robles, National and Foreign Correspondent Jorge Arangure, Senior Staff Editor, Metro, Aisha Harris, Assistant TV Editor, Jenny Medina, National Correspondent, Carolyn Ryan, Assistant Managing Editor


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Friday, Sept. 6, 1-4 p.m.

Workshop (Half Day)
Journalism Trust Initiative Workshop: Contribute to a New Effort to Fix Disinformation

Reporters Without Borders, also known by its French name Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), has been working on a year-long project to verify news websites in the fight against online disinformation. Learn about the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) and contribute your suggestions to the working draft at this EIJ workshop. This effort is an outgrowth of the horror that many journalists have felt watching the erosion of the public’s trust in the media, especially after the influence of state actors and others using online disinformation as a tool to undermine democracy in the 2016 election and beyond.

The question is, can applying journalistic standards to websites fix disinformation? And most importantly, should the U.S. news media get on board with it? At this workshop, you’ll hear an overview of the European-led initiative and then have an opportunity to jump in and give your feedback on the proposed standards. Learn more and contribute comments via this website until Oct. 18. The RSF project participants will review all comments before voting on the final document in November.

Speakers: Olaf Steenfadt (@OlafSteenfadt), Project Director, Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI), Reporters Without Borders; J. Alex Tarquinio (@alextarquinio), National President, Society of Professional Journalists and Member, JTI drafting committee; Scott Yates (@scodtt), Founder, Certified Content Coalition and Member, JTI technical committee

Click for speaker information


Olaf Steenfadt, Project Director of the Journalism Trust Initiative, Reporters Without Borders
Olaf launched his career as a radio DJ and host, TV network correspondent and investigative journalist with public German broadcasters ARD and ZDF, where he also worked in corporate communications and strategy. Later he served as a media development consultant for the European Broadcasting Union and Deutsche Welle, before joining Reporters without Borders as a Project Director in charge of the ‘Media Ownership Monitor’ and the ‘Journalism Trust Initiative’.

J. Alex Tarquinio, National President, Society of Professional Journalists
As SPJ’s national president, J. Alex Tarquinio has emphasized press freedom advocacy. In addition to issuing numerous statements on press freedom violations, she organized a nonprofit summit focused on the threat of disinformation to elections in April, organized a panel for C-SPAN and spoke at the United Nations Headquarters on World Press Freedom Day. Most recently, she did a live interview of Bryan Carmody, the San Francisco video journalist whose home was raided by the police. (Watch the interview.) She also serves as a board member of the SPJ Foundation, which funds the Society’s educational programming.

Tarquinio has two decades of experience as a writer and editor. She has written about business and politics in the United States, Europe and Asia. Most recently, she covered the negotiations leading up to the first summit between the United States and North Korea and Trump’s visit to Paris for Armistice Day in articles for Politico Magazine and the New York Post. Previously, she worked at Dow Jones as a staff writer at The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine. Her editing stints included Time Inc., the Real Deal magazine and Forbes.com. She received a German Marshall Fund fellowship for a reporting residency in the divided island nation of Cyprus. As a freelance writer, her byline has appeared in The New York Times (which has published nearly 200 of her articles), The International Herald Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, Barron’s and Reader’s Digest, among many others. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Scott Yates, Founder, Certified Content Coalition
Scott Yates is the founder of the Certified Content Coalition, a new system of auditing existing journalism groups to help increase the visibility of verifiable publishers to platforms and advertisers. The CCC is an outgrowth of Yates’ time as the first Entrepreneur in Residence at CableLabs, the global center for research in the cable and broadband industry. Before that he started three companies. The first is now part of Microsoft. The second still operates as BillTrack50. The third is blog writing service where he remains on the board. Before that he was a working journalist in New York City and his home state of Colorado. He has a journalism degree from New York University and lives in Denver with his wife, son, dog, and dictionary collection, and in his spare time is trying to fix Daylight Saving Time. He has written about the Journalism Trust Initiative for Misinfocon.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Communications for Social Change

With the shift in philanthropy towards adopting a more public-facing style of civic leadership, there is a need for the reporting and writing expertise of journalists to help philanthropic and non-profit organizations advance their public policy priorities. From climate change to education to gun violence prevention, journalists craft stories that help move the needle on some of the most pressing issues of our time. This panel will explore how you can use your journalistic skills and mindset to transition from mission-driven journalism to mission-driven communications, in order to promote social change.

Speakers: Theola DeBose, Kayce Ataiyero, Kristen Mack

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Theola DeBose
Theola DeBose is the founder of the startup JSkills, an online platform for journalists that assesses their skills and maps them to new careers. Before becoming a tech founder, she served in the Obama administration as a senior communications leader at the federal government’s culture agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities. She previously directed messaging and advocacy for DC's charter school agency. In her 15-year journalism career, she was an award-winning reporter at The Washington Post covering the Iraq war, local news, and was a frequent contributor to NPR’s News & Notes. Born and raised in New York City to parents originally from Haiti, she graduated from Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and four children.

Kayce Ataiyero
Kayce manages communications strategy, content development and public engagement for the Joyce Foundation.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2018, she served as Director of External Affairs for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she led communications and community engagement. She has also led communications for U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly, the Illinois Governor’s Office and the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. A former journalist, Kayce was a staff writer for a number of national newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A native of Washington, D.C., she received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Kristen Mack
Kristen manages communications for a portfolio of programs, including the Chicago Commitment and 100&Change.

Prior to joining MacArthur, Kristen served as Director of Corporate Communications at the global public relations agency Golin and as Director of Media Relations for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System. Kristen was also Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Earlier in her career, Kristen was a reporter and writer for the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and Houston Chronicle.

Kristen received her bachelor of arts from Emory University and her master’s in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.


Oh crap, laid off

You lost your media job for reasons that have nothing to do with you. But how to persuade a new employer of that? What should your resume look like? Can journalism experience land you jobs related to journalism? What skills can you quickly acquire to up your odds? What about giving freelancing a try? (You might even like it!) Get answers, ask questions, and leave with practical plans.

Speakers: Michael Koretzky; Christiana Lilly

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Michael Koretzky
Expelled from Boca Raton Academy (1981) and the University of Florida (1989). Fired from the South Florida Sun Sentinel (1997) and Florida Atlantic University (2010). Started and sold two magazines, one to the Tribune Company (1991), the other to the one-armed heir to the Listerine fortune (1999). Copyedited and designed for the trashy supermarket tabloids Globe, Star, Examiner, and National Enquirer (2002-2009). Not exactly a distinguished journalism career, but he's come to terms with it.

Christiana Lilly
Christiana Lilly is past president of SPJ Florida and web editor at Boca magazine. She spent three years as a full-time freelance journalist after unexpectedly losing her job, and continues to do contract work with various magazines. Her work has been published in Newsweek, Fusion, Fox News, Fort Lauderdale magazine, The Miami Herald’s Indulge magazine, South Florida Gay News and more.


COLD: How to Make an Investigative Story Into a Hot Podcast

COLD started in a newsroom but it was quickly clear it was too expansive to be told in a 35 second radio wrap, a 2 minute TV package or even a series of stories. The decision was made to try something KSL Newsradio had never tried before: long-form journalism in a podcast. Cold was born. Investigative Journalist (and host) Dave Cawley and Sheryl Worsley (his former News Director) share with you how this all started, the investigative process and the things which worked and the things which did not work. COLD launched at #1 on the iTunes chart and has significant following.

Speakers: Sheryl Worsley (@sherylrockin), Director of Audience Development, KSL; Dave Cawley (@ashergrey), Investigative Journalist and Host of COLD, KSL

Download handout [PDF]

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Dave Cawley, Investigative Journalist and Host of COLD, KSL
Dave Cawley spent 15 years in radio journalism at KSL NewsRadio before taking on the role of Executive Producer of Digital Content in early 2018. On November 14, 2018, KSL and Dave launched the podcast series COLD, focused on the unsolved disappearance of Susan Powell. COLD reached #1 on the Apple podcast chart on the day of its release. With more than 20 million downloads, COLD continues to reach new audiences and was recognized with two regional Edward R. Murrow awards for Investigative and Innovative work. Outside of the newsroom, Dave enjoys hiking the unexplored backcountry and photography.

Sheryl Worsley, Director of Audience Development, KSL
Sheryl Worsley was News Director at KSL Newsradio for more than 15 years before moving to an all-digital role as Director of Audience development in 2017. As part of her new gig, she oversees content development on more than 70 podcasts and 30 digital originals, including the investigative true crime hit, COLD. Find it here: thecoldpodcast.com, or on social @thecoldpodcast.


Shape Your Future, START HERE: Reporting on the 2020 Census

Sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau

The 2020 Census presents great opportunities for newsrooms across the country. From stories about what the census is, to stories about how to participate, to stories addressing issues of concern — accurate reporting of the 2020 Census could shape the future of our country for the next decade. To facilitate an accurate count of every person living in the United States and its territories — once, only once, and in the right place- journalists will have to accurately, and vigorously, cover the 2020 Census. In addition to providing an overview of the 2020 Census, this workshop will provide specific information on how to best leverage census tools, including data visualization. This workshop is intended to help journalists develop data skills to tell better and more impactful stories in an increasingly data-driven world.

Speakers: Erika Becker-Medina, Chief of Decennial Communications Coordination Office, U.S. Census Bureau; Michael C. Cook Sr., Chief, Public Information Office, U.S. Census Bureau; Susana Privett, Data Dissemination Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau

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Susana Privett, Data Dissemination Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau
Susana Privett works for the U.S. Census Bureau’s Data Dissemination Program. As the Data Dissemination Specialist for Texas and Oklahoma, Susana gives presentations and conducts workshops about Census Bureau data, surveys, and web content. She works closely with organizations, businesses; local, state, and federal agencies, and many more to provide a clear understanding of the Census Bureau and the data it collects.

Over the years, Susana has held a variety of positions with the Census Bureau. She started in the Bureau’s Dallas Region during the 2000 Census as an office clerk, eventually becoming a regional tech for the Houston area. After the Decennial Census, she moved to the Dallas Regional Office as a clerk.

Susana then moved to the American Community Survey and the National Crime Victimization Survey as a lead clerk. Eventually, she accepted the position of information services specialist assistant with the Dallas region’s Partnership and Data Services; where she remained for five years.

In 2012, Susana decided to join the Denver Region in her current position as Data Dissemination Specialist, which allows her to remain in Texas.

Most of Susana’s work history has been in customer service and the travel industry. She has an associate’s degree in liberal arts and sciences from Eastfield College in Dallas.

Susana enjoys traveling and working on a variety of craft projects. She is working on her family history and loves genealogy. She is originally from a small, central Texas town but now lives in Dallas.

Michael C. Cook Sr., Chief, Public Information Office, U.S. Census Bureau
Michael C. Cook Sr. is chief of the Public Information Office at the U.S. Census Bureau. He directs public affairs activities for the Census Bureau, which conducts more than 130 surveys each year, including the American Community Survey, Economic Census and the Current Population Survey. He is also responsible for directing and leading the Census Bureau's graphics and editorial services, history program, internal communications, and media relations efforts. Michael previously served as chief of the Public Affairs and Media Events Branch, and 2010 Census Media Relations Branch, where he oversaw the public affairs and media relations activities for the award-winning 2010 Census campaign. He began his career at the Census Bureau in 1999 as a marketing specialist during the 2000 Census. He served as team lead for the exhibits program and as a marketing specialist with a focus on international trade statistics.

In addition to his federal service, Michael has experience in program and marketing communications management with national nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and private sector organizations.

Michael has received three Bronze Medal Awards from the Census Bureau for distinguished and superior achievements. He obtained a master’s certificate in project management from The George Washington University and is a graduate of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Executive Leadership Development Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Erika Becker-Medina, Chief of Decennial Communications Coordination Office, U.S. Census Bureau
Erika Becker Medina is chief of the Decennial Communications Coordination Office of the U.S. Census Bureau, where she oversees the development and review of internal and external communication materials. Her work seeks to increase collaboration with stakeholders and facilitate information-sharing among staff for the Decennial Census program.

Prior to this role, Erika oversaw outreach efforts of the Economic Census, the Census of Governments, and a host of annual and quarterly data products about the U.S. economy. Before managing these outreach efforts, Erika managed multiple surveys covering state and local-government data; specializing primarily in public pensions. Erika has been with the Census Bureau for more than 15 years, where she started as a survey statistician analyzing retail and restaurant data for the monthly retail indicators. She earned her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Maryland and received a master's certificate in project management from George Washington University.


5 Ways to Love Your Work (And Your Newsroom)

Sponsored by The Kneeland Project

Newsrooms are notorious for being... well, politely,... not great places to work. And journalism is hard—demanding long hours against long odds in often foreboding places. Still, we are called to this work and it is so important. There are ways you can make a difference in creating better working conditions for yourself and your newsroom colleagues. From the guy who brought you "No more a**h*les in the newsroom," newsroom coach Kevin Benz shares 5 simple answers to "why should I go to work today?," both inspirational and pragmatic. For news managers and those who make the magic happen everyday; you might not learn to "love" your newsroom, but you might at least enjoy your work a little more.

Speaker: Kevin Benz

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Kevin Benz
As a newsroom coach and journalism consultant, Kevin works inside newsrooms across the country teaching ethical, entrepreneurial journalism and newsroom culture. He has reached thousands of journalists with his inspiring and practical ideas for how to do the job smarter. Kevin is a former news photographer, "recovering" news director and served as Chair of RTDNA.


Field Producing DJ Style

As most local stations are using MMJs, we want to share valuable training and offer up best practices for field producing as a video journalist. What camera techniques work best when you are in a competitive environment working solo? How can you ensure that you are capturing the major points of a story, while gathering footage and sound? Experienced network news DJs explain how they gather editorial, video and sound, without missing the most critical elements in the field.

Speakers: Adriana Diaz (@adrianasdiaz), Correspondent, CBS News; Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca), Correspondent, CBS News; Alyssa Estrada (@anenews), Producer, CBS News; Alex Pena (@AlexanderMPena), Digital Journalist/Producer, CBS News

Download handout [PDF]

Click for speaker information


Adriana Diaz, Correspondent, CBS News
Adriana Diaz is a CBS News national correspondent based in Chicago. Diaz reported on Venezuela’s political unrest from Caracas in May 2019, and interviewed opposition leader Juan Guaido. She’s covered two migrant caravans in Mexico and has reported extensively on the Flint water crisis, Chicago gun violence, and the Parkland shooting. In 2016 and 2017, Diaz was CBS News' Asia correspondent in Beijing. She’s covered stories in 15 countries including North Korea, and speaks Spanish, French, and Mandarin. She was previously a CBS Digital Journalist and Channel One News MMJ. She attended Princeton University and is from New York City.

Omar Villafranca, Correspondent, CBS News
Omar Villafranca is a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas, Texas. Villafranca has has covered everything from the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, to the destructive path of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. He’s covered the immigration crisis from both the US and Mexico and also traveled to El Salvador to see why migrants are fleeing their homeland. The TCU grad worked for local news stations in Lawton and Tulsa Oklahoma, as well as Dallas Texas before joining CBS News in 2014.

Alyssa Estrada, Producer, CBS News
Alyssa Estrada is a CBS News producer based in Los Angeles. Estrada produces and shoots stories across the West and Latin America. Her work includes covering migrant caravans across Mexico, the Las Vegas Vegas shooting, Mexico's 2017 Earthquake, Fidel Castro’s death in Cuba, wildfires, hurricanes and the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting. Previously, Estrada was a Digital Journalist for the Southern Bureau, and worked on the foreign desk in New York. Her work has earned her three Emmy nominations. She is a graduate of The University of Texas in Austin and was born in Houston, TX.

Alex Pena, Digital Journalist/Producer, CBS News
Alex Pena is a Digital Journalist/Producer at CBS News, based in Miami, FL. Pena shoots and produces breaking news and long form content, filing stories from Latin America and the Caribbean, to domestic news and politics across the U.S. Previously, Pena was an embedded military reporter for Stars and Stripes newspaper based in Kabul, Afghanistan, and a freelance journalist based in East Africa prior to that. His work has garnered recognition from the Overseas Press Club, and most recently a Peabody nomination for CBS News’ coverage of the school shooting in Parkland, FL. He was born and raised in Miami, FL and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Journalism from Florida Gulf Coast University.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 2-4 p.m.

Multimedia Reporting with FOX News — Boot Camp (Part 2)

Sponsored by Fox Corporation

During this boot camp, attendees will learn from current Fox News Multimedia Reporters (MMRs) what it takes to shoot your shot as a strong candidate for the next MMR class. This experiential workshop will review the day-to-day process of reporting stories across multiple platforms, the dos & don’ts of shooting and editing powerful packages, and social media best practices for gathering story ideas and establishing your brand. This session will include dedicated interviewing, reel review and resume critique time for those conference attendees interested in applying for the Multimedia Reporter Program.

Speakers: TBA


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Friday, Sept. 6, 3-4 p.m.

Managing Newsroom Stress and Trauma

Poynter Senior Faculty Al Tompkins and his wife, Rev. Sidney Tompkins combine his decades of news experience and her lifetime work in psychotherapy to help journalists understand how to manage the stress that surrounds newsrooms daily. You will see how it is not just the overwhelming news events but the culmination of repeated exposure to sad, tragic and sometimes graphic news events that weighs on journalists. We will show you how photojournalists, producers and younger journalists may be paying the highest price and how news managers can spot stressors developing. This is a practical, sometimes emotional and vitally important session for journalists at every level.

Speakers: Al Tompkins (@atompkins), Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online, The Poynter Institute; Sidney Tompkins, licensed psychotherapist and ordained minister.

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Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online, The Poynter Institute
Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online. More than 150 universities worldwide use his book Aim for the Heart in their journalism classes. Over the last 21 years, he has taught thousands of journalists in 49 states, Egypt, Canada, South Africa, Czech Republic, Iceland, Denmark, Cayman and Ecuador. He has been a news director, head of investigations and special projects, photojournalist, reporter, producer and investigative reporter. Tompkins has been awarded the highest honors given by the National Press Photographers Association and by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has won reporting awards from The Robert F Kennedy Awards, The Iris Awards, the National Headliner Awards, The national Emmy, and The Japan Prize.

Sidney Tompkins, licensed psychotherapist and ordained minister
Sidney Tompkins is a licensed psychotherapist with more than 40 years of clinical practice in marriage and family therapy. Her clients have included Fortune 500 corporations and federal law enforcement agencies. Sidney is also an ordained United Methodist minister. Her work helping journalists recognized and manage traumatic stress is rooted in her 25 years of marriage to a journalist and now the mother of a journalist. She and her husband Al Tompkins have conducted workshops for journalists working in conflict and war zones as well as journalists in the U.S. who have experienced trauma ranging from covering mass killings to surviving online trolls.


Finding Allies in Your Public Records Fight — for Free!

This training session provides practical resources for journalists in getting free help from legal experts when denied public records, focusing on three areas: FOI ombudsman offices, state FOI coalitions, and the emerging First Amendment law clinics. Universities throughout the country are creating law clinics to sue on behalf of journalists for free. Many journalists can't afford legal help in suing for public records, especially freelancers (a large percentage of SPJ members) and independent online news publishers. Even reporters at small news organizations will find this helpful, especially as their owners become less inclined to take agencies to court.

Speakers: David Cuillier, Associate Professor, University of Arizona School of Journalism; Daxton “Chip” Stewart, Professor of Journalism, Texas Christian University; Katie Townsend (@katie_rcfp), Legal Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Download handout [PDF]

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David Cuillier, Associate Professor, University of Arizona School of Journalism
David Cuillier, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he teaches access to public records and data journalism. A former journalist, Cuillier served as national SPJ president and FOI Committee chair, and is currently president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. He is co-author of "The Art of Access: Strategies for Acquiring Public Records," and editor of the Journal of Civic Information.

Daxton “Chip” Stewart, Professor of Journalism, Texas Christian University
Dr. Daxton “Chip” Stewart is a professor of Journalism at Texas Christian University. Dr. Stewart’s areas of expertise include media law and communication technology and freedom of information. Dr. Stewart has served as the editor-in-chief of Dispute Resolution Magazine, was a city editor and columnist at the Columbia Missourian, and is a member of the Texas bar. He received his bachelor degrees from Southern Methodist University, his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, and his M.A., LL.M., and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. He is the author of Social Media and the Law (2nd ed., Routledge, 2017), co-author of The Law of Public Communication (10th ed., Routledge, 2017), and is the founding editor of the scholarly journal Community Journalism.

Katie Townsend, Legal Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Katie Townsend is the Legal Director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. She oversees the litigation, amicus, and other legal work of Reporters Committee attorneys, and represents the Reporters Committee, news organizations, and individual journalists, including documentary filmmakers, in court access, freedom of information, and other First Amendment and press freedom matters.


Minimizing Harm: Social Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide

This interactive session will teach the audience best practices for covering the public-health issue of suicide and individual deaths in a way that conforms to the SPJ ethics code and mental health guidelines so coverage will not contribute to suicide contagion. It will include guidance for writing proactive pieces about mental health, resilience and recovery for communities affected by suicide.

Speakers: Nerissa Young, associate lecturer in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University; Erica Hill (@Erica_Hill), news director, KCPQ/KZJO-TV; John P. Ackerman, suicide prevention coordinator, Center for Suicide Prevention and Research

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Nerissa Young, associate lecturer in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University
Nerissa Young is an associate lecturer in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and a former 15-year member of SPJ's Ethics Committee. She collaborated with Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services to develop a curriculum to teach journalists about ethical reporting on suicide. Young teaches a journalism and trauma class at OU. She has taught or practiced journalism in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Ohio.

Erica Hill, news director, KCPQ/KZJO-TV
Erica Hill has been news director for Q13 FOX/JOEtv in Seattle since 2013, overseeing 69 hours of news and local programming per week. Before that she was assistant news director and managing editor for three years respectively. Hill has also worked at stations in Chicago and Boise, Idaho. She is Region 1 Director for the RTDNA board, serving on the ethics committee. In 2008, her brother, Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Hill died by suicide. The media coverage of his death has influenced her focus on how the media should cover suicides.

John P. Ackerman, suicide prevention coordinator, Center for Suicide Prevention and Research
John P. Ackerman is the suicide prevention coordinator for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He directs community, school and hospital efforts to educate others about risks and warning signs of pediatric suicide. Ackerman obtained his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware. He has contributed to investigations at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's regarding risk factors for adolescent suicide. Ackerman examines how aspects of brain functioning (e.g., executive functioning, decision-making, emotion regulation) influence teens’ risk for suicidal behavior.


Minority Media: Building Alliances and Surviving the Future

Minority media in the United States has had a long and storied history, beginning with African American newspapers that served underreported communities across America to newspapers that have sprung up address issues of concern to immigrant communities. These newspapers, say journalists, do more than report the news, they approach journalism as a public service. Audiences turn to these papers for news on what is happening in their communities and for analysis on issues such as health care, immigration and civil rights. They give their audience a voice. This panel will look at the challenges facing minority media across the country as the industry itself continues to change. Panelists will also address how mainstream and minority meeting can work together to enhance coverage of minority communities and issues.

Speakers: Yvette Walker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Administration, Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma; Janis Ware, Publisher, The Atlanta Voice; Roxanne Eguia, Editor, La Prensa Texas; Graciela Mochkofsky (@gmochkofsky), Director of the Center for Community and Ethnic Media, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

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Yvette Walker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Administration, Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma
Yvette Walker has worked in daily journalism for 35 years and moved to education for one reason only: to prepare the next generation of journalists in these tumultuous times. Serving SPJ as At-Large Director meshes with her experience in an evolving media world and her goals to help young journalists find their footing on a rocky path. As Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Administration at Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma, she supervises the Student Services office, which houses three Academic Advisers and the Community Inclusion Officer, as well as several student workers. She oversees Gaylord Hall’s technology and works closely with the IT specialists at the College, the Director of Communication and the Director of Development. She teaches the Introduction to Mass Communication class at Gaylord College and is a member of the Diversity Council at OU.

Janis Ware, Publisher, The Atlanta Voice
Janis L. Ware is the publisher of The Atlanta Voice Newspaper and is a practical, hands-on and well-documented experience in the field of low-and moderate-income housing and community economic development. As such, she has served the citizens of the metropolitan Atlanta area for more than 40 years.

A native Atlantan, she graduated from historic Booker T. Washington High School and was one of the first African American females to graduate from the University of Georgia’s School of Business (now named the Terry College of Business). She recently earned a MBA in Project Management from American InterContinental University and completed NeighborWork’s Achieving Excellence Program facilitated by Harvard University in 2012. Her extraordinary business acumen is one of the many qualities that have positioned SUMMECH Community Development Corporation as one of the key entities in the revitalization of the historic Mechanicsville community and a leader in the development of low-to moderate income, multi and single-family housing.

Additionally, a multi talented and dynamic entrepreneur, Janis is the Publisher of The Atlanta Voice Newspaper that has served the Atlanta community since 1966 that provides news and information on matters of concern to the African American community. Janis began working for the paper after college and took over the organization after the death of her father, J. Lowell Ware in 1991. The Atlanta Voice continues it print publication but has transitioned to online coverage, electronic distribution and digital content production. The Atlanta Voice has served Metropolitan Atlanta for over 54 years and has as its motto “A People without a Voice cannot be Heard”.

Those who know Janis Ware know of her passion for community economic development. As the Executive Director of SUMMECH Development Corporation, a position she has held since 1991, she is recognized throughout the Atlanta housing community as one of the first urban pioneers willing to make a difference by building affordable homes for first time homebuyers in the Mechanicsville neighborhood. Under her direction, the organization has developed more than 1400 housing units independently and in partnership with for-profit developers. Janis Ware exemplifies humility and outstanding leadership in every role she performs. Understanding the importance of public/private relationships, Ms. Ware has established many viable partnerships and collaborations among the civic, business, housing and residential communities.

Janis L. Ware served on the Network Advisory Board of Enterprise Community Partners, a leading provider of development capital and expertise to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. Janis has served in numerous leadership positions including Board Chair of the Atlanta Housing Authority and a Board Member of the Atlanta Business League.

Janis L. Ware has also been honored with numerous recognitions including: one of the Atlanta Business League’s 100 Most Influential Women, Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, Atlanta Magazine’s Women Making Their Mark Award, and was most recently inducted into the Atlanta Business League’s Hall of Fame. Currently, Ms. Ware serves on the board of Atlanta Technical College, is Chairman of the Board of Southside Medical Center, is First Vice Chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and was recently appointed to the board of the Fulton County-City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority.

Roxanne Eguia, Editor, La Prensa Texas
Roxanne Eguia has been the editor in chief for the nonprofit bilingual community publication La Prensa Texas since its inception in June 2018. She aggregates community-contributed articles into comprehensive themed editions each week, surveying San Antonio’s hottest topics and historical developments.

As a native San Antonian who has lived or worked on every side of town, she is passionate about celebrating the cultural fabric of the city and connecting neighborhoods through hyper-local journalism. She is passionate about nourishing community partnerships and providing a platform for necessary discourse.

Outside of technical writing, Roxanne explores creative writing through theatrical and film treatments, poetry and songwriting and DIY Zines. She is a performance artist that performs in galleries, clubs and outdoor venues all over Texas and occasionally abroad. Her work reflects her strong and longstanding interest in socio-political issues and permaculture design. Eguia visualizes a future that is transparent, sustainable and culturally informed.

She earned her Associates Degree in Journalism from San Antonio College in 2016. She resides and works on the Southside of San Antonio, Texas.

Graciela Mochkofsky, Director of the Center for Community and Ethnic Media, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
Graciela Mochkofsky joined the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in February 2016 as the first director of its bilingual Spanish-language Journalism Program.

A native of Argentina, she is a winner of the 2018 Maria Moors Cabot prize for outstanding reporting across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mochkofsky has worked as a professional journalist in South America and the U.S. She was a political correspondent with La Nación in Argentina, has been a columnist and blogger for El País in Spain, and a contributor to publications in Latin America, Europe, and the U.S., including The California Sunday Magazine, The New Yorker online, and The Paris Review blog.

She is the author of six nonfiction books in Spanish, two of them about the relationship between press and political power in her home country. Her forthcoming book, The Prophet of the Andes, about a Peruvian Catholic community that converted to Orthodox Judaism and emigrated to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, will be published in English by Knopf.

Mochkofsky has served as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a Cullman fellow at the New York Public Library, a Prins Foundation fellow at the Center for Jewish History, a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, and a visiting scholar at the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University.

She has taught undergraduate courses in reporting and writing and investigative and literary journalism in Buenos Aires, and she has lectured at Princeton, the CUNY Graduate Center, NYU’s Institute for the Humanities, and many other universities. Mochkofsky has also served as a juror for the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation Journalism Prize, Latin America’s most important journalism award.

She has an M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


Innovation in Action: Lessons from the Knight-Cronkite News Lab

Sponsored by the Knight Foundation

For the past year, the Knight-Cronkite News Lab has been conducting experiments, collaborating with tech partners, and creating case studies for local TV newsrooms seeking to re-invent themselves for the digital age and a new generation of news consumers. Join us for a live update featuring senior researcher Andrew Heyward and professor of practice Frank Mungeam, along with local news executives who will share challenges, experiences and lessons learned. We'll leave plenty of time to hear your stories too!

Speakers: Frank Mungeam (@frankwords), Knight Professor of Practice in TV News Innovation, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Andrew Heyward (@andrewheyward), Research Professor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism; Bernice Kearney (@bkearney), News Director, KSAT-TV; Chris Pena (@Penachristian), SVP News, Univision Local Media; Jennifer Graves, Vice President of News, ABC 7 Chicago

Click for speaker information


Frank Mungeam, Knight Professor of Practice in TV News Innovation, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
Frank Mungeam is Knight Professor of Practice in TV News Innovation at the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism. He works with the Cronkite Newsroom students and faculty on news innovation, as well as with local broadcasters on innovation challenges via Table Stakes. Mungeam was previously VP of Digital Content for TEGNA. He has a Psychology degree from Harvard and a Masters degree in Leadership and Communication from Gonzaga. He’s the author of two books including "Dream It, Do It", which profiles successful innovators and entrepreneurs; and proud co-author of one son, David.

Andrew Heyward, Research Professor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
Andrew Heyward is a Research Professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and helps run the Knight-Cronkite News Lab, designed to drive innovation in local television news.

Andrew is also a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab’s Laboratory for Social Machines and its non-profit spinoff Cortico, where he is working on the Local Voices Network. a unique physical-digital network bringing under-heard community voices to the center of a healthier public dialogue. Andrew spent nearly 25 years in various roles at CBS News and was president from January 1996-November 2005.

Bernice Kearney, News Director, KSAT-TV
Bernice Kearney is News Director for KSAT12, the Graham Media Group station in San Antonio. Kearney has worked in television news for 30 years, collaborating with journalists to bring the stories of South Texas to life — on TV, online and on mobile devices. Kearney is a proud graduate of St. Mary's University, and has called San Antonio home since 1985. Kearney has worked as a news producer and executive producer, and became KSAT News Director in 2013. She lives in San Antonio with her husband and two pets, Zoila the Wonder Dog and Verdell the Wonder Cat.

Chris Pena, SVP News, Univision Local Media
Chris Pena is senior VP of News for Local Media at Univision, where his focus is serving the Hispanic community with the best local news and information. Peña was previously a senior executive producer at MSNBC, and was Executive Editor at NBC News where he developed a Hispanic-focused, English-language digital property. He’s a graduate of the University of Houston, and spent a year at Columbia University as a Sulzberger Executive Leadership Fellow.

Jennifer Graves, Vice President of News, ABC 7 Chicago
Chris Pena is senior VP of News for Local Media at Univision, where his focus is serving the Hispanic community with the best local news and information. Peña was previously a senior executive producer at MSNBC, and was Executive Editor at NBC News where he developed a Hispanic-focused, English-language digital property. He’s a graduate of the University of Houston, and spent a year at Columbia University as a Sulzberger Executive Leadership Fellow.


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Friday, Sept. 6, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Data and Data Visualization: Design for Non-Designers

Anyone can improve the design and usability of a journalistic project (from a basic story page to an interactive graphic) with a few very simple fixes. Even if you have zero experience in design and concepts like "alignment" and "contrast" seem like technical jargon, this session is for you. We'll go through 10 design rules of thumb, covering everything from typography to interaction to color, and apply them to real live news examples. By the end of this workshop you'll be able to recognize poor designs and identify how to fix them, and you’ll be on your way to creating your own designs with better organization, unity and clarity.

Speakers: Lucio Villa and Luis Melgar


Audio: Podcasting Starter Kit

Whether you are working for a large news organization or you’re an indie journalist working solo, podcasts have proven to be a viable news platform that can reach wide, diverse audiences — plus generate revenue. Open to journalists of all levels, learn what it takes to make a good podcast — from topics to mics.

Speakers: Julia Furlan, NPR


Journalism in the age of governments hacking (Security in hostile governments)

In 2018, Citizen Lab, with help from R3D and Article 19, reported that journalists in Mexico and the UAE were targeted by their governments using advanced spying software called Pegasus, made by NSO Group. In this session we’ll explore what happened, what this means for the safety of journalists reporting in high-risk areas around the globe and how we can help protect ourselves and each other from the emerging threat of cyberwarfare waged against journalists and civil society.

Speakers: David Huerta and Katitza Rodriguez


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Friday, Sept. 6, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Descubre tu Talento por Entravision

Description forthcoming.

Speakers: TBA


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 9-10 a.m.

Say This, Not That. Writing Ethically and Inclusively

Are you cisgendered? A survivor? Latinx? Did someone "die by suicide"? Was there an "officer-involved shooting"? More than ever, advocates, activists and experts are insisting that journalists adopt certain terms and abandon others. Whose call should it be, and how can such decisions be made most ethically? This session will examine how to be independent, informed and accountable in choosing how to describe people and the things that happen to them.

Speaker: Scott Libin (@smlibin), Senior Fellow, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota; Terence Shepherd (@terenceshepherd), News Director, WLRN-FM

Click for speaker information


Scott Libin, Senior Fellow, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
Scott Libin is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota's Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is chairman of the school's diversity committee and of RTDNF. As ethics chair, he led the creation of RTDNA's Code of Ethics. Scott is a former TV news director, reporter and anchor. He was a resident faculty member for seven years at Poynter. Scott has trained journalists internationally and continues to provide consulting to news organizations while teaching college journalism full time.

Terence Shepherd, News Director, WLRN-FM
Terence Shepherd is News Director at WLRN Public Media, the award-winning NPR member station in Miami, covering the region between Key West and Jupiter. Before WLRN, he held several editing positions at the Miami Herald and the Boca Raton News.

Shepherd is Chair-Elect for RTDNA and previously was ethics chair of the organization. He also is a past president of the South Florida Black Journalists Association and is a member of NAHJ and SPJ.

He is a graduate of St. Andrew’s School in Sewanee, Tenn., and has degrees from the University of Virginia and Florida Atlantic University.


Excessive Bail: Covering Court Reform

Courts in every state are confronting the impact the traditional money bail system has had on communities. Sparked by revelations about the inequitable fees system in Ferguson, Mo., reporters across the country have covered these revolutionary changes in criminal justice, along with the court fines and fees that may keep populations in poverty. As states, counties and cities implement comprehensive changes to pretrial justice practices, reporters explain what's at stake and the many moving parts, including risk-assessment algorithms that are increasingly a part of judicial decision-making on pretrial release. Panelists will describe their coverage and strategies to explore issues that affect civil rights, poverty, and public safety. The topic yields many reporting possibilities, including technology and process innovation, public private partnerships, court funding, community activism, and statehouse coverage. Reporters covering business, technology, criminal justice, courts, features and politics could all get story ideas from this session. Also discussed will be the data available regarding pretrial detention practices and through indigent defense commissions, and data tools that assist in reporting on the issue.

Speakers: Jolie McCullough (@jsmccullou), reporter, Texas Tribune; Josh Brodesky (@joshbrodesky), editorial writer and columnist, San Antonio Express-News; Tim Eigo (@azatty), editor, Arizona Attorney; Ashley Winstead (@Arnold_Ventures), Communications Manager, Arnold Ventures; Emily Gerrick (@fairdefense), senior staff attorney

Click for speaker information


Tim Eigo, editor, Arizona Attorney
Tim Eigo is the editor of Arizona Attorney Magazine, an award-winning monthly publication. He has reported and written on criminal justice issues, including sentencing reform, overincarceration and pretrial release. Prior to that he edited and wrote at various publications, including the Orange County (Calif.) Business Journal, and practiced law in California. He’s also President of SPJ’s Valley of the Sun Pro Chapter.

Jolie McCullough, reporter, Texas Tribune
Jolie McCullough is the criminal justice reporter at The Texas Tribune, covering statewide policy on policing, prisons and courts. She's covered bail fights in federal courts and at the Texas Legislature, including the ways in which county litigation affects the rest of the state and how reform efforts at the Capitol are often engulfed in politics.



Josh Brodesky, editorial writer and columnist, San Antonio Express-News
Josh Brodesky joined the San Antonio Express-News in 2012 as an editorial writer and columnist. He is the principal author of the Express-News’ ongoing “Unequal Justice” series, which has examined inherent inequalities in the criminal justice system. His work has spurred several reforms, including representation for defendants at bail hearings. Prior to joining the Express-News, he was a reporter at the Arizona Republic and metro columnist at the Arizona Daily Star. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

Ashley Winstead, Communications Manager, Arnold Ventures;
Ashley Winstead leads communications for Arnold Ventures’ criminal justice team, which works to advance data- and research-informed justice policies at the local, state and national levels. Prior to joining Arnold Ventures, Ashley taught English at Southern Methodist University while completing her Ph.D. in English. Before graduate school, she worked for Warner Bros. in Burbank, Calif., where she helped manage TheWB.com, and Clear Ink, a digital marketing agency in Berkeley, Calif. She graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in English, art history and creative writing.

Emily Gerrick, senior staff attorney
Emily Gerrick is a senior staff attorney at the Texas Fair Defense Project, a legal nonprofit dedicated to alleviating the unfair consequences of poverty in the Texas criminal justice system. At TFDP, she focuses on helping low-income Texans who are criminalized and driven deeper into poverty because they cannot afford to pay fines, fees and money bonds. Emily uses a combination of individual representation, impact litigation and policy advocacy to change local and state practices. She joined TFDP as a Liman Fellow in 2014.


Winning Back Our Audience: Findings of SPJ's Wyoming Media Trust Project

SPJ's Journalist on Call spent six months listening to residents in Casper, Wyoming, about the shortcomings of the news media and facilitating discussions and presentations about journalism, including how to navigate the confusing news media landscape. The goal was to see if conducting these activities with those who indicated some skepticism of the press and news reporting would have any impact on restoring their trust. Hicks will give an overview of the project and outline its most important findings. He will be joined by a Casper resident who participated in the project.

Speaker: Lou Harry (@LouHarry), Quill Editor, Society of Professional Journalists; Rod Hicks (@rodhicks), Journalist on Call, Society of Professional Journalists; Chuck Hawley, owner, Cornerstone Real Estate; Joshua Wolfson (@joshwolfson), editor, Casper Star-Tribune; Lori Montgomery (@loriamontgomery), deputy national editor, Washington Post

Click for speaker information


Rod Hicks, Journalist of Call, Society of Professional Journalists
Rod Hicks is a veteran journalist who has held editing and leadership positions at numerous news organizations across the country, including The Associated Press, The Detroit Free Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He currently works for SPJ as Journalist on Call, a position established to address the issue of dwindling trust in the media. In this role, Hicks spends time in communities listening to people who have some skepticism about the news they receive and relays their concerns to journalists. Hicks’s most recent newsroom experience was at The Associated Press, where he served as an editor for the organization’s East Regional Desk, which manages news coverage in 10 states.

Lou Harry, Quill Editor, Society of Professional Journalists
Lou Harry is editor of SPJ’s Quill magazine. His journalism career also includes editing stints at Philadelphia magazine, Indianapolis Monthly and the Indianapolis Business Journal along with freelance work for more than 50 publications and websites. The winner of multiple SPJ awards, Harry has taught writing classes at Temple University, the University of Indianapolis and the Midwest Writers Workshop. He has served as emcee for many fundraisers, has organized conferences and once took a pie in the face from Soupy Sales.

Chuck Hawley, owner, Cornerstone Real Estate
Chuck Hawley is a commercial real estate professional who was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming. He has a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Wyoming and owns Cornerstone Real Estate. Hawley, who spends one to two hours a day on news coverage, was a participant in The Casper Project. His preferred news sources are Fox News Channel and The Wall Street Journal. The Associated Press, which he reads in the Casper StarTribune, and the internet are additional sources of daily news. Hawley believes the internet, a 24-hour news cycle, competition for viewers and an increase in the number of liberal journalists have contributed to biased reporting.

Joshua Wolfson, editor, Casper Star-Tribune
Joshua Wolfson is editor of the Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming. He previously was the newspaper’s managing editor, headed its arts sections and held reporting positions covering crime and health. Wolfson grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and Los Angeles before earning a journalism degree from San Francisco State University. He moved to Casper more than 12 years ago after working for publications in northern California. He joined the Star-Tribune in 2007. Wolfson served on a panel of local journalists for The Casper Project.

Lori Montgomery, deputy national editor, Washington Post
Lori Montgomery is deputy national editor at The Washington Post, where she helps lead the newspaper’s coverage of Washington, politics and the nation. She oversees coverage of the Trump administration and Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, for which the paper won a Pulitzer Prize. Before joining The Post, she was Europe bureau chief for Knight-Ridder Newspapers, based in Berlin. She previously was Washington correspondent for the Detroit Free Press and held various roles at the Dallas Times Herald. She served on a panel of national journalists for The Casper Project.


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 9-11:00 a.m.

Drone Starter Kit

Feel the need, the need for speed? Hold on hotshot, while this session will take your journalism skills to new heights — literally — it will also teach you how to be a responsible pilot in command (PIC) and harness drones for storytelling. Open to all levels, get some hands-on experience and training that will get you closer to becoming 107 certified.

Speakers: Robert Hernandez and Dale Blasingame


Storytelling for Non-Audio Folks

Whether it is for a podcast or video documentary, audio is the backbone to great storytelling. In this session learn how to translate a written story into an audio piece, plus learn how to produce them by gathering great audio and getting hands-on with production tools you can use right now.

Speaker: Julia Furlan, NPR


Data and Data Visualization: The Basics

In this session the basics of creating charts and maps with free tools will be taught. The session reviews the tools and steps you’ll need for making more specialized visual forms, as well as how to build narratives with your visualizations.

Speakers: Luis Melgar and María Pérez


Conoce tus derechos como periodista — Libertad de Expresión, Acceso a la Información y Medidas de Seguridad

El mundo se ha convertido en un sitio cada vez más peligroso para el ejercicio del periodismo. Las administraciones públicas y crimen organizado son los principales agresores de los periodistas. El 95% de muertes, detenciones arbitrarias, secuestros y torturas a comunicadores quedan en la impunidad. Por es eso es fundamental que los periodistas conozcamos más sobre los derechos que nos amparan y los mecanismos que tenemos para buscar ayuda del sistema Universal de Derechos Humanos para nuestra protección y un trabajo más seguro. Por otro lado, acceder a información pública en los Estados Unidos se ha transformado en un importante reto: aprende a navegar la Ley de Derecho a la Información (FOIA Freedom of Information Act) y cómo protegerte cuando publicas secretos oficiales.

Speakers: Frank LaRue (Ex Relator Especial de Libertad de Expresión ONU); Giselle Girones (abogada especialista FOIA de Shullman Fugate) y Dagmar Thiel (Directora de Fundamedios U.S.)


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 9-11:30 a.m.

Workshop (Half Day)
Using Google Earth and Google Earth Pro to Tell Stories

Attend this hands-on workshop to learn about Google Earth Pro can help you pull archived satellite imagery, create graphics and video tours to tell breaking news stories. Participants should bring a laptop with a Google Chrome browser and install Google Earth Pro for free prior to the session. The download link is at the bottom of this page and your IT department can help you move it through your firewall: https://www.google.com/earth/versions/

Speaker: Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox)

Click for speaker information


Mike Reilley
Mike is an SPJ digital trainer who has taught Google News Initiative tools to more than 5,150 journalists and educators in the past three years. He is a faculty member in data journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago. A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Mike served for 14 years as a faculty member at Northwestern, Arizona State University and DePaul University. He holds journalism degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (undergrad) and Northwestern University (masters). Mike founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox (journaliststoolbox.org) for SPJ.


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Unleash and Focus Your Inner Broadcaster

Finding your voice for radio, television or even podcasting isn't always easy. In this session, you'll learn techniques to deliver copy in a clear, conversational manner and more effectively communicate with your audience. You'll also learn how to stay focused and “in the moment” with every story you read. We'll have scripts to help you unleash your inner broadcaster. NOTE: While this session is great way for existing and aspiring broadcasters to develop stronger vocal ability, it's also a great way for newsroom managers to learn new techniques for coaching their own staffs.

Speakers: George Bodarky, News and Public Affairs Director, WFUV FM; Naomi Starobin, Radio General Manager, WHYY

Click for speaker information


George Bodarky, News and Public Affairs Director, WFUV FM
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 a past president and current board member of Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and a past president and current board member of the New York State Associated Press Association. He also serves on the executive council of the Deadline Club. George is an award-winning journalist who trains undergraduate and graduate students at Fordham University in multiplatform journalism. George is also an adjunct professor at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and has taught at Columbia University’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.

Naomi Starobin, Radio General Manager, WHYY
Naomi Starobin is the Radio General Manager at WHYY, Philadelphia’s public radio and TV station. She decides when shows air, improving the quality of everything the audience hears, training hosts and reporters, and creating new shows.Naomi teaches audio reporting and production and does voice coaching at Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She was founding managing editor for Keystone Crossroads, a Pennsylvania statewide reporting project on urban issues. That included hosting the Keystone Crossroads podcast, “Grapple.” Before that she was the news director at WSHU Public Radio in Connecticut, and a factchecker at Consumer Reports magazine. In her former life she was an environmental scientist at consulting engineering companies and (favorite job ever!) was a ranger at several national parks. She has a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and has been on board of PRNDI, Public Radio News Directors, Inc.


Innovation Meets Preparation: How to Succeed in Tomorrow's Newsroom

OTT, ATSC 3.0, 5G...they’re all having significant impact on broadcast and other media industries. View new research into how local news organizations leveraging these technologies and others to innovate. Learn what are the skill sets that journalists need to succeed in a world where the distribution platforms are continually changing the way we do business.

Speakers: Debora Wenger, Assistant Dean and Professor, School of Journalism and New Media, University of Mississippi; Chip Mahaney, (@ChipMahaney), News Director, WCPO-TV; Hank Price, Director of Leadership Development, University of Mississippi

Click for speaker information


Debora Wenger, Assistant Dean and Professor, School of Journalism and New Media, University of Mississippi
A broadcast news veteran, Debora Wenger is an Assistant Dean and Professor in the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. Wenger worked as a reporter, producer and newsroom manager with multiple TV stations, including WFLA-TV in Tampa and WSOC-TV in Charlotte, NC. She conducts multimedia workshops in newsrooms around the country for SPJ in association with its Google News Initiative Program and is editor of www.NewsLab.org. She is also coauthor of two books, Advancing the Story: Journalism in a Digital World and Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First.

Chip Mahaney, News Director, WCPO-TV
Chip Mahaney was appointed News Director at E.W. Scripps-owned WCPO in November, 2016. He's worked at TV stations in Austin, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oklahoma City; Dallas; and Richmond, Virginia. He worked two years for CBS News and spent five years working in the newsroom technology business. Over a period of 35 years, Mahaney has trained at least a couple thousand journalists on newsroom management, ethics, social media, and emerging technologies.

Hank Price, Director of Leadership Development, University of Mississippi
Hank Price is a veteran media executive, educator and author. He is a frequent speaker to television industry groups about the future of media. He currently serves as Director of Leadership Development for the School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss.

During a 30-year career as a television general manager, Priced specialized in turnarounds, leading television stations for Hearst, CBS and Gannett. During this time, he became known for turning traditional businesses into multi-platform brands. Simultaneously, he spent 15 years as senior director of Northwestern University’s Media Management Center. Price is the author of Leading Local Television (BPP, 2018) and co-author of Managing Today’s News Media: Audience First (Sage, 2015) a management textbook.


New Facebook Tools Your Newsroom Needs

This session covers everything journalists need to know to engage their communities, get story ideas and share newsworthy information. The presentation will discuss best practices for Facebook Live, Facebook groups, Instagram and Facebook Stories, Photos, Video and more. It will also introduce new tools to journalists, including Author Tagging.

Speaker: Lynn Walsh

Click for speaker information


Lynn Walsh
Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism for more than 10 years. Currently, she is a freelance journalist and the Assistant Director for the Trusting News project, where she works to help rebuild trust between journalists and the public by working with newsrooms to be more transparent about how they do their jobs.

She is a past national president for the Society of Professional Journalists. During her term, she spoke out against threats to the First Amendment while working to protect and defend journalists and journalism. She also serves the journalism organization as a member of SPJ’s FOI committee and is the current Ethics Chair. Lynn was also selected to represent SPJ on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee where she worked to recommend changes to help improve the national FOIA process.


Serving All People: Combating Bias When Covering Race and Religion

Sponsored by The Kneeland Project

New research shows that minority communities not only do not see their reality portrayed on the news, but many believe the stereotypes and inequality to be overt and planned. Bias is ingrained in all of us. Our implicit, unconscious bias leads to errors in how we as journalists perceive truth, remember events and, most importantly, make decisions about people. In short, bias limits our truth-telling. When we recognize and mitigate our bias, we become curious about the emotional experience of others; we go beyond what we, ourselves, perceive and instead go on a path to discover how others perceive their own "truth." This of course leads us to more accurate, diverse, enlightening stories. Using real examples and interactive personal exercises, this program will teach all journalists how to identify unconscious cultural bias and hidden agendas and help them connect with people on a deeper, more truthful level.

Speakers: Kevin Benz, Sara Fahim

Click for speaker information


Kevin Benz
As a newsroom coach and journalism consultant, Kevin works inside newsrooms across the country teaching ethical, entrepreneurial journalism and newsroom culture. He has reached thousands of journalists with his inspiring and practical ideas for how to do the job smarter. Kevin is a former news photographer, "recovering" news director and served as Chair of RTDNA.

Sara Fahim
Sara is an independent strategic planner, researcher and ideas consultant. Over the past several years she has studied how people of color experience the news. Her understanding of implicit bias and the use of empathy helps her develop training on meaningful and impactful coverage choices for journalists. Born to multi-cultural parents and fluent in Arabic, her company, Run With Wolves, advises brands across the globe and across industries.


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 1-3 p.m.

AR, VR, MR, XR, WTF

You know Virtual Reality and heard about Augmented Reality, but what is MR or XR? In this session not only learn the language, but also get hands-on experience with some of the technology, including creating a Mixed Reality experience via Snapchat.

Speakers: Robert Hernandez


Turning Hits Like Cardi B: The Art of Follow-Ups That Look/Sound Fresh

Breaking news is always exciting and the easiest way to get on-air. But continuing coverage is where you should be doing your best journalism, deep-dives and investigations. By the end of the session, you'll be turning out hits like Cardi B. Okurrr?!

Speakers: Mireya Villarreal, CBS News, Gabe Gutierrez, NBC Correspondent, Alex Pena, CBS Digital Journalist/Producer, Mandi Mendoza, Fox/WOAI News Director (San Antonio)


¡Hola Mundo! Beginners Coding for Storytelling

Unlock the power of digital storytelling by getting familiar with the basics of the Web. All levels of tech comfort (or discomfort) are welcomed to take this session to learn the basics of how HTML and CSS can help your stories shine online.

Speakers: TBD


Feature Stories: Crafting More than Breaking News

For decades, Column One has been a showcase for compelling storytelling in the Los Angeles Times. Learn how to find these kinds of stories and how to write them directly from Column One editor and writing coach Steve Padilla and narrative writer Esmeralda Bermudez. They'll share concrete tips that will strengthen your reporting and writing and help you mine for stories in the community, particularly among Latinos.

Speakers: LA Times reporter Esmeralda Bermudez, Column One editor Steve Padilla


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 2-3:30 p.m.

So you want to be a journalist and travel the world for your stories? From the Texas Border to the Croatian Border, we can help you

Panelists include Yami Virgin of KABB-TV in San Antonio, Lane Luckie of KLTV in Tyler, Texas and Suzy Castillo of KTSM in El Paso.


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Saturday, Sept. 7, 2-5 p.m.

Workshop (Half Day)
Mobile and Desktop Tools for Data Viz, Fact-Checking and Digital Workflow

Trainers Mike Reilley and Victor Hernandez return to EIJ to share the latest and greatest mobile and desktop tools to create data viz, handle digital workflow and fact-check information. The hands-on workshop is fast-paced, so bring a fully charged laptop, smartphone and a double espresso. You'll leave with some cool projects, digital handouts and other resources you can take back to your newsroom or classroom.

Speakers: Mike Reilley (@journtoolbox); Victor Hernandez, (@ToTheVictor), Executive Editor, Cascade Public Media

Click for speaker information


Mike Reilley
Mike is an SPJ digital trainer who has taught Google News Initiative tools to more than 5,150 journalists and educators in the past three years. He is a faculty member in data journalism at the University of Illinois-Chicago. A former reporter at the LA Times and web editor at the Chicago Tribune, Mike served for 14 years as a faculty member at Northwestern, Arizona State University and DePaul University. He holds journalism degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (undergrad) and Northwestern University (masters). Mike founded and updates the research site The Journalist’s Toolbox (journaliststoolbox.org) for SPJ.

Victor Hernandez, Executive Editor, Cascade Public Media
Victor Hernandez is the executive editor at Crosscut and KCTS 9. He is an award-winning newsroom leader and strategist with a passion for managing teams, developing and refining content strategies and growing audiences. He has previously worked at CNN, NBC, University of Missouri School of Journalism and technology startup Banjo.

He currently serves on the national board of directors for the Society of Professional Journalists and is a member of the Online News Association and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He is a frequent speaker and trainer at national and international journalism conferences and serves as visiting faculty at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.


Workshop (Half Day)
Writing to Capture Attention and Trust

"Hail of bullets" - "Pool of Blood" - "Man launches campaign" - All popular phrases, but big no-no's for the newsroom at KFI-AM in Los Angeles, America's most listened to news/talk station. Join KFI's News Director, Chris Little, as he deconstructs lazy and overused writing styles in favor of a conversational approach. His award-winning news team has :32 to tell a story with audio, and they manage to include all the important information. Little has developed a style guide with a long list of banned words and phrases that he says helps his reporters speak to the audience like they're having a conversation with their grandmother. If a reporter files a line like, "The blaze ripped through numerous structures causing people to evacuate as law enforcement tracked down the male arsonist," they'd get a scathing email and have to refile something like, "Flames tore through the neighborhood forcing people to leave their homes while cops tracked down the man who started the fire." If you want to learn to write conversationally for radio or television, this is the session for you. Walk away with a new appreciation for the reasons why the best broadcast writers avoid trite, hackneyed writing and cliches.

Speaker: Chris Little

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Chris Little
Chris Little has been in broadcasting for 40 years. In 1979, Little began his career in music radio and then went on to television news. In 1991, he became a reporter at KFI AM-640 in Los Angeles, and by 2000, Little was named news director. Little has helped build one of the most respected radio newsrooms in America. His leadership and out-of-the-box management style has contributed to KFI’s position as the most listened-to talk radio station in the United States. Little also has the distinction of the longest serving news director, ever, in Los Angeles Radio.


Workshop (Half Day)
Why Newsrooms Lose Trust and How to Get It Back

At Trusting News, we take audience misassumptions, questions and feedback and turn them into strategies for journalists. Stop thinking of distrust in journalism as an unsolvable, big-picture problem. Instead, find concrete ways everyone in your organization can work to demonstrate credibility and *earn* trust every day. In this workshop: You'll hear what we've learned about the most common causes of mistrust. (Some of them will feel all too familiar, and some may surprise you.); You'll see dozens of examples of what our partner newsrooms have done to address these problems, and you're guaranteed to be exposed to ideas you could put into practice right away. Our focus is on day-to-day solutions any journalist can employ; You'll throw your own challenges with trust and credibility at us, and together we'll map out plans to address them directly. You'll leave the workshop feeling more optimistic about your relationship with your community. You'll be ready to empower your colleagues (in every department, at every level) to take ownership over the problem of trust.

Speaker: Lynn Walsh

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Lynn Walsh
Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism for more than 10 years. Currently, she is a freelance journalist and the Assistant Director for the Trusting News project, where she works to help rebuild trust between journalists and the public by working with newsrooms to be more transparent about how they do their jobs.

She is a past national president for the Society of Professional Journalists. During her term, she spoke out against threats to the First Amendment while working to protect and defend journalists and journalism. She also serves the journalism organization as a member of SPJ’s FOI committee and is the current Ethics Chair. Lynn was also selected to represent SPJ on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee where she worked to recommend changes to help improve the national FOIA process.


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

Fine Fellows, Future Focus: SPJ Fellows ponder what's next for journalism

Each year, SPJ honors journalists who have made an extraordinary contribution to the profession by recognizing them as Fellows of the Society. Prior to their recognition at this year’s President’s Banquet, hear from the honorees as they reflect on their storied careers, the state of journalism and what the future holds for our profession.

Moderator: Ron Allen (@RonAllenNBC), Correspondent, NBC News

Speakers: Terry Anderson, former foreign correspondent and professor of journalism and 2019 SPJ Fellow; Maria Ressa (@mariaressa), co-founder, CEO and executive editor, Rappler.com and 2019 SPJ Fellow; Nick Ut (@nickut), retired photojournalist and 2019 SPJ Fellow

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Ron Allen, Correspondent, NBC News
Ron Allen is an NBC News correspondent based in New York. His reports appear on all of NBC’s platforms including, “NBC Nightly News,” “Today,” and MSNBC.

He joined NBC News in 1996. Since then he has covered a wide range of national and international stories. Most recently, his assignments have included the Trayvon Martin shooting, the abuse scandal at Penn State, the historic Arab Spring from Cairo, Egypt, the devastating earth in Haiti, and the 2012 election campaign.

Allen moved to New York in 2003 after 11 years as a foreign correspondent based in London. He has traveled to more than 75 countries, spending a considerable amount of time in hotspots such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Balkans, Israel and the Palestinian territories, and across Africa, in countries such as Rwanda, South Africa and Somalia to name just a few.

Allen’s work with reporting teams has earned many of journalism’s highest honors, including 6 Overseas Press Club Awards, 5 Emmys, 2 Robert F. Kennedy Awards, 2 George Foster Peabody Awards, and 2 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards. The National Association of Black Journalists named him journalist of the year in 1996.

Terry Anderson, former foreign correspondent and professor of journalism and 2019 SPJ Fellow
Terry Anderson is a former foreign correspondent and professor of journalism. He was a radio, TV and newspaper journalist before joining the Associated Press, where he was assigned to locations in Tokyo, Johannesburg and Beirut.

During the Lebanese civil war, he was kidnapped by radical Shiites and was held for 6 years, 9 months, before being released. Anderson is the founder and co-chair of the Vietnam Children’s Fund, which has built more than 50 schools in Vietnam. In addition, he is honorary chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists and created the Father Lawrence Jenco Foundation with a $100,000 endowment to honor and support people who do charitable and community service projects in Appalachia. The foundation honors his late prison companion and mentor, the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco.

Anderson has also taught journalism and diversity at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism, the University of Kentucky, Syracuse University and the University of Florida.

Maria Ressa, co-founder, CEO and executive editor, Rappler.com and 2019 SPJ Fellow
Maria Ressa has been a journalist in Asia for more than 30 years and is a former CNN bureau chief who reported in Manila and Jakarta before becoming CNN’s lead investigative reporter focusing on terrorism in southeast Asia.

She is chief executive officer and executive editor of Rappler, a company she co-founded in 2012 and helped turn it into one of the most influential and innovative news organizations in the Philippines.

She was arrested for “cyber libel” amid accusations of various instances of falsified news and corporate tax evasion on Feb. 13. She has since posted bail while the lawsuits are pending in regional court. An outspoken critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, her arrest was seen by the international community as a politically motivated act by the government.

Ressa, who was selected as one of “The Guardians” for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in December 2018, was also named one of Time’s 100 most influential people of 2019.

Nick Ut, retired photojournalist and 2019 SPJ Fellow
Nick Ut is a retired photojournalist with the Associated Press, where he worked for 51 years. During his time with AP, Ut covered the war in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography and World Press Photo of the Year for his June 8, 1972, photo “The Terror of War” depicting children fleeing from a napalm bombing on their village, including a naked 9-year-old girl Kim Phuc.

Ut, who eventually relocated to Japan for the AP, went on to report in Los Angeles, where he covered wildfires, riots, earthquakes, the O.J. Simpson trial and other news events. He was honored by the SPJ Greater Los Angeles chapter with a lifetime achievement award in 2009.


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